Chickamauga tour, March 16 & 17, 2007
- For those who may be interested...Dave PowellCCNMP Study Group 2007 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 for to share insights and knowledge about the battles.2007 Theme: First day of the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19th.Date: Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, 2007. (Note: optional car caravan tour on Sunday March 18, from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. 10 person Minimum requirement required.)Schedule:Friday Morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon. “Van Derveer on the Reed‘s Bridge Road.”
We open the tour following the approach of Ferdinand Van Derveer’s Brigade to the battle, departing from the Visitor’s Center and moving east along the Reed’s Bridge road. We will discuss first contact, the engagement with Ector’s Confederate Brigade, the arrival of Dibrell’s Cavalry, and the various maneuvers that characterized these engagements. Return to Visitor’s Center.
Park at the Visitor‘s Center. Begin and end there. Walking; about 1 mile each way. We can pre-position some cars at Van Derveer’s monument line (along the Reed’s Bridge Road) if needed.
Friday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. “Cleburne’s Night Attack”
Late on the 19th, Major General Patrick R. Cleburne’s Division entered the fight near Winfrey Field. We will follow the advance of Wood and Polk’s Brigades into Winfrey Field, discuss the actions there, and introduce Deshlers’ advance south of the Winfrey House.
Park near Jay’s Mill.Saturday Morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon. “The rest of Palmer: Cruft and Grose‘s Brigades enter the fight”
Palmer’s Division of the XXI Corps entered the action late on the morning of the 19th, and remained engaged nearly all that day, west of Brock Field. Initially his contact was with Cheatham’s Division, and later, elements of A.P. Stewart engaged his forces.
Park at the picnic area at the intersection of Brotherton and Alexander Roads.Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. “Governed by Circumstances”
About midday on the 19th, Major General A. P. Stewart’s Confederate division was detached from his corps and sent into action by Bragg. The overall action was confused, and Stewart had no clear direction on where to enter the fight. When he asked General Bragg for additional directions, all Bragg could tell him was to move forward and let his subsequent actions be ‘governed by circumstances.” We will follow Stewart from his initial positions through the woods to his final actions near Brotherton Field. Walking about a mile and a half, mostly in the woods, as weather permits.
Park Along the Vinyard Alexander Road. We can pre-position cars as needed at Brotherton Field if necessary.Optional Sunday Tour:”Wauhatchie Valley car caravan tour.”
This tour will run ONLY if we have sufficient interest - I need at least ten people to sign up. We are limited to fifteen slots, in order to ensure safe travel. Some walking. We will cover some of the little known actions in October, 1863, as Longstreet attempted to attack Federal forces west of Lookout Mountain. This will be a car-caravan tour, and we will need everyone to squeeze into as few vehicles as possible, in order to ensure that we all keep up. Start at the Chickamauga visitor’s Center.Cost: 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 depart from the Visitor’s Center. We will 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 Olgethorpe, 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 just in case, 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. Plan on bringing 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.Elliott, Samuel Davis. Soldier of Tennessee: General Alexander P. Stewart and the Civil War in the West. Louisiana State University Press, 1999. Since two of our tours will involve Stewart’s actions, this book can provide a great introduction to the man and his role at Chickamauga.Woodworth, Stephen E. Six Armies In Tennessee: The Chickamauga And Chattanooga Campaigns. Lincoln, Nebraska. University of Nebraska Press, 1998. An excellent overview campaign study.-------------------, 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.