Every year Dave Powell helps organize a spring weekend of Chickamauga tours. Usually he is a main tour guide with NPS Historian Jim Ogden. I got an email over the weekend announcing the next spring tour, March 13 & 14, 2009. Since Dave has helped me out in the past with research questions on Chickamauga I thought I'd help advertise the tours here.
I've always wanted to attend but every year something gets in the way. This year is no different. Maybe some day I'll hit the lotto and can retire, then I'll have plenty of time to run down to Chickamauga for the weekend.
CCNMP Study Group 2009 Seminar in the Woods
Mission Statement: The purpose of the CCNMP Study Group is to create a forum to bring students of the American Civil War together to study and explore those events in the fall of 1863 that led ultimately to the creation of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. The intent is to use the indispensable resource of the park itself as an outdoor classroom to promote learning and study of the battles for Chattanooga, and to build interest for an annual gathering that will in time examine all aspects of the Campaigns for Chattanooga. Additionally, we hope to bring students and serious scholars, both professional and amateur, to the field to share insights and knowledge about the battles.
Tour Leaders: Jim Ogden, Park Historian, and Dave Powell
Date: Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, 2009.
Note: Friday’s tours will involve a tour bus. We will be charging a small fee for use of the bus. See below.
Friday Morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Minty vs. Johnson, September 18th, 1863.
By Bus, we will examine the opening engagement of the battle, as Bushrod Johnson and Nathan Bedford Forrest collided with Minty’s Cavalry Brigade. Stops will include Ringgold, Peeler’s Mill site, Peavine Ridge, Reed’s Bridge, and conclude at Jay’s Mill. This land is in private hands, but we will have ample opportunities to dismount and walk some of the terrain in question.
Park at the Visitor‘s Center. The bus will depart and return from there.
Friday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Rosecrans in Command, September 17th to 20th, 1863.
By Bus, we will trace Union Commander William Starke Rosecrans’ movements on the field between September 17th and 20th, discussing his command decisions and the information he had at the time. Stops will include Crawfish Springs, Wilder Tower/Widow Glenn’s, the Visitor’s Center, and the Dyer Orchard HQ site.
Park at the Visitor’s Center. The Bus will depart and return from there.
Saturday Morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Hindman vs. Sheridan, morning of September 20th.
On foot: We will examine the attack of Hindman’s Division on Sheridan’s Federals, after Davis’ division is overwhelmed. We will discuss the fighting in South Dyer Field, the storming of Lytle Hill, defeat of Lytle and Walworth’s Brigades, and end with Wilder’s repulse of Manigault’s Rebel Brigade.
Park in the gravel lot by Recreational Field.
Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hindman assails the end of the line: Horseshoe Ridge, September 20th
On Foot: Horseshoe Ridge provides a dramatic conclusion to the battle of Chickamauga. We will discuss the movements of Anderson’s, Manigault’s and Deas’ Brigades as they make their final attack on Horseshoe Ridge.
Park at Snodgrass Hill.
Cost: Beyond the fee for Friday’s Bus, there is no cost for tour participation. Meals lodging, transportation, and incidentals, however, are the individual’s responsibility.
Tour Departures: All tours will meet at the Chickamauga Visitor’s Center at the designated start time, and will depart from there after some brief overview discussion. We will board the bus or car caravan to the designated parking area, and from there, we will be on foot. We will be on foot for up to three hours, so dress and prepare accordingly. Tours will depart rain or shine. Participants are responsible for their own transportation, and should plan accordingly. All tours are designed to be self-contained, so participants who cannot attend the full schedule are still welcome to join us for any portion of the weekend.
Lodging and Meals: Everyone is responsible for their own lodging and meals. There are many hotels in the greater Chattanooga area, for any price range. The closest are in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, with the least expensive in Ringgold. Each tour is designed to leave at least 90 minutes for lunch, and there are several family and fast food restaurants within minutes of the battlefield. There are designated picnic areas near the Visitor’s Center, for those who wish to bring a lunch and eat on the field.
What to bring: Each tour will involve extensive walking. Proper clothing and especially footgear is essential. Dress in layers, wear sturdy, broken-in walking shoes or boots, and be prepared for some rain, as spring can be quite wet in North Georgia. We will be walking on dirt and gravel trails, uncut fields, and through stretches of woods. The ground will be wet and muddy in places. Bring your own water and snacks.
Reading up on the subject: Many people like to prepare in advance for these kinds of events. I suggest the following works might be of help.
Cozzens, Peter. This Terrible Sound. University of Illinois, 1992. The best modern study of the battle.
Gracie, Archibald. The Truth About Chickamauga. Morningside, Reprinted 1987. For the veteran Chickamauga student only. Gracie’s narrative is incoherent, disorganized, and mistaken in many places. However, his focus is central to Saturday Afternoon’s tour, and his work contains a wealth of primary source accounts that are not found anywhere else. We will be discussing many of the same topics Gracie examines.
Woodworth, Stephen E. Six Armies In Tennessee: The Chickamauga And Chattanooga Campaigns. Lincoln, Nebraska. University of Nebraska Press, 1998; an excellent overview campaign study.
Woodworth, Stephen E. A Deep Steady Thunder: The Battle Of Chickamauga. Abilene, Texas. McWhiney Foundation Press, 1998. Concise but very useful account of the battle, designed as an introduction to the action. 100 pages, very readable.
Note: Friday’s Tours will be by Bus, as we move from site to site. While the tour itself is free, we do have to pay for the bus.
Pre-registration Fee: $35 Due by February 1st, 2009
After November 5th, 2008, send to:
34664 ORANGE DRIVE
PINELLAS PARK, FLORIDA 33781
Frank will hold your payments. If you pay by check, note that Frank will not cash those checks until we have sufficient entries, so that if we have to refund, Frank will simply send your checks back to you.
Please also note that this fee is NON-REFUNDABLE after February 1st, 2009. Once we are committed to the bus, we will be charged the booking fee.
On-site Sign up Fee: $40
We MUST have 20 attendees registered and Paid by Feb 1st, or we cannot reserve the bus. Once we confirm the minimum, you will be able to join the tour the day we depart, for late add-ons. If we do not meet the minimum, we will car-caravan for Friday’s tours.
For more information, email David Powell at: Dpowell334@aol.com