On Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m., the public is invited to hear Lincoln Memorial University professor Dr. Earl Hess discuss “The Significance of the Battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.” Hess’ lecture will be held in the Walker Library at McCallie School (500 Dodds Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37404). This special presentation is made possible through a partnership with the Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area and the Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
The weekend of Saturday, Nov. 23, and Sunday, Nov. 24, provides special programs and tours that stretch all the way from Lookout Mountain to Missionary Ridge.
Visitors to Point Park, atop Lookout Mountain, can participate in telegraph/signaling demonstrations (10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.), Civil War medical demonstrations, and pioneer/engineer programs. Also, Ranger-guided tours of Point Park will occur at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., beginning inside the Point Park entrance gate. (Please note, a $3 entrance fee for adults ages 16 and older, is required to enter Point Park.)
The Cravens House will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, allowing visitors to learn more about the Battle of Lookout Mountain, also known more poetically as “The Battle Above the Clouds.” On Saturday, living historians portraying Union and Confederate soldiers will ascend the mountain from the base and demonstrate some of the Civil War soldier experience during the battle before continuing their ascent to Point Park on Sunday morning.
At the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center, living historians portraying Union soldiers will discuss and demonstrate Civil War signaling (10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.). Come learn how soldiers communicated in a time before telephones and radios. Union infantrymen will also provide interpretive programs discussing the crossing of Lookout Creek and the assault on Lookout Mountain (10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.). Please note there is an admission fee to the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center.
To the east of Lookout Mountain, living historians portraying Confederate artillerymen will provide interpretive programs and firing demonstrations on Missionary Ridge throughout the weekend. (Parking will not be available at Missionary Ridge. Please park at McCallie School to take a free shuttle to Missionary Ridge.)
At the foot of Missionary Ridge, living historians will be stationed atop Orchard Knob throughout the weekend providing programs concerning the Confederate experiences as they were on outpost between the Union and Confederate lines. Parking at Orchard Knob is limited. (Please park at McCallie School in order to take a free shuttle to Orchard Knob Reservation.)
The free shuttle buses for the programs at Orchard Knob and Missionary Ridge will leave McCallie School on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8:45 a.m. On Nov. 23, the last shuttle will depart from the school at 3:30 p.m., and on Nov. 24, the last shuttle will depart from the school at 2:30 p.m.
Many special tours will also occur over the weekend.
On Saturday, Nov. 23, 150 years after the battle, park Historian Jim Ogden will conduct 90-minute tours focusing on the action that took place on Orchard Knob. The tours are at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Parking for these tours will be available at Orchard Knob Elementary School or via the free shuttle from McCallie School. These tours will begin at the northeast corner of the Orchard Knob Reservation.
On Sunday, Nov. 24, Ogden will lead tours on the actual date of the “Battle Above the Clouds,” 150 years ago. At 9 a.m., a two-hour walking tour will be conducted regarding General Joseph Hooker’s feint from Smith Hill and Bald Hill in Lookout Valley. Follow the special event signs from Brown’s Ferry Road to Parker Lane and the program parking area.
Later that afternoon, Ogden will lead tours at the Cravens House Reservation on Lookout Mountain. At 1 p.m., he will lead a 90-minute walking tour, beginning at the rifle pits near Cravens House. The tour is titled “Geary’s Division Strikes the Confederate Left Flank.” At 3:30 p.m., he will lead a 2-mile, 90-minute, walking tour that will discuss the fighting around Cravens farm and the conclusion of the Battle of Lookout Mountain. This tour will begin at Cravens House. Parking for these tours will be at the Cravens House Reservation on Lookout Mountain.
The following day, Monday, Nov. 25, Ogden will conduct tours of Missionary Ridge at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the actual 150th anniversary of this pivotal battle in the Campaign for Chattanooga. These tours are free, but they will require tickets. They originate from McCallie School. Please visit the Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP website — www.nps.gov/chch — and follow the link to download and print tickets (information about tickets is near the bottom of the Web page).
Visitors must obtain tickets before they arrive in order to guarantee a place on a tour. Officials ask that participants arrive and check in with park staff at least 15 minutes before their scheduled tour. At 15 minutes before the tour, tickets for anyone who has not yet checked in will be released for other visitors.
Finally, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, visitors are encouraged to join Park Guide Lee White and the University of West Georgia’s Dr. Keith Bohannon at the Ingles parking lot in Ringgold, Ga., (5044 Alabama Highway) at 2 p.m., for a car caravan tour of the rear guard action fought in the area 150 years ago. The Battle of Ringgold Gap was the final battle in the struggle for Chattanooga.
Please note that all programs will be conducted rain or shine. Owners are responsible for all items left in vehicles.
For more information about programs commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battles for Chattanooga, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, or visit the park’s 150th anniversary Web page at http://www .nps.gov/chch/planyourvisit/150th-anniversary-of-the-campaign-for-chattanooga.htm
(About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.)