Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
February 3, 2010
March 6, 2006
We stop at every National Cemetery that we can; some are small and hidden and others, such as this one, are very large and historic. This one was started in December 1863 to bury the Union soldiers killed during the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge.
When you stop here, be sure to stop in the office and ask for the self-guided historical tour pamphlet. It will make your visit much more enjoyable. This is a very hilly cemetery; even if you park in the middle and walk, you’re going to get a very good workout. We parked at the Circle of Honor, where there are about 20 memorials covering everything military from the Civil War to the women of WWII to Vietnam.
There are many interesting and unusual things to see in the cemetery. The memorial archway that was built in 1868 is one of five built in the National Cemeteries. They are 40 feet tall and modeled after the triumphal arches of ancient Rome. There are over 180 German POWs buried here. They were being held at Fort Oglethorpe as prisoners when they died. The German government erected a monument here in 1935 to honor the 78 prisoners who died during WWI, and another 105 German POWs died here in WWII. As far as I could find, this is the only National Cemetery with foreign POWs buried in it.
Look around and check your map to find the Fourth Army Corps Obelisk monument, the Armed Forces Pavilion, the two limestone caves (closed in 1930s, when two explorers died in them), and the Six Medal of Honor Recipients that are buried here. Before you leave, be sure to see The Andrews Raiders Monument, otherwise known as "The Great Chase." James Andrews, along with Union troops from Ohio, in an attempt to destroy Railroad bridges and the telegraph lines, stole the train known as the "General." They went on a 90-mile chase, being pursued by the Confederate soldiers. When the train ran out of fuel, they continued on foot until they were all captured a few weeks later. Eight of the raiders, including Anderson (a civilian), were executed. Their actions are what inspired the US Government to come up with a medal to honor this type of courage, "The Medal of Honor."
It was a beautiful day: the trees were all coming into blossom, and before we knew it, 3 ½ hours had past. For military-history buffs, this is another must. Whether you drive through in 30 minutes or spend hours walking around, you’ll be glad that you did.
From journal Chattanooga Area Gems