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Good For Kids
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The visitor center/museum is larger than average and more informative than most comparable battlefield museums.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP
Closest available address
3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
Park is open 6am to dusk. Main visitor center is open 8:30am-5pm.
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was established in 1895. It is the oldest national military park in the US and also the largest at approximately 10,000 acres. The park is divided into four areas but the main park section and primary visitor center is in northern Georgia.
In the fall of 1863 Confederate forces had been forced out of Tennessee by Union troops. Southern troops retreated into northwest Georgia where they reorganized and received reinforcements. The Confederates then advanced but failed to either capture or destroy isolated Union positions. Both armies congregated near Chickamauga Creek. After a day of indecisive fighting, the Confederate Army broke the Union lines in one of the most successful charges of the war. While defeated, the Union Army was not destroyed and was able to retreat back to Chattanooga. It was then besieged for several months before the siege was broken by other Union forces in the Battle of Chattanooga.
The Chickamauga unit is the most interesting part of the park. The large visitor center was quite informative. There is a new 30 minute overview film, an extensive rifle collection and a number of interesting videos and lighted maps. The auto tour has 8 stops; the best were stops 6 with a historic tower and good views of the battlefield and stop 8, where Union forces held off repeated Confederate assaults. Other park locations were much less impressive, though to be fair Lookout Mountain was skipped because it was too difficult to locate. The Missionary Ridge unit is very small and has a number of memorials. Views of Chattanooga were not bad, but it’s hard to get a sense of fighting. There also is an archeological park unit called Moccasin Bend with information about Indian artifacts. As one of the most important battles of the war, a visit here will have major appeal to Civil War buffs. Others will find it less interesting but should still enjoy the park movie and displays at the Chickamauga museum.
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Gar the Bold
11/24/2013 9:41:39 PM
This is a good review of the battlefield and park. Lookout Mountain is a good place to visit because of the views of the area, but it does not add a great deal of understanding to the action of the battles.
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