Monday, June 19, 2017
Before I left Manchester I drove around the streets in the center of town. I like to see the architecture in smaller towns. In the very center of the town sits the courthouse. In front of the courthouse are memorial stones presented to commemorate the fallen soldiers in each of the major wars fought here and abroad starting with the Revolutionary War. It was very moving to read the words of dedication written on these stones. It is good to remember what has gone on before us and what is happening now. Later I drove by a church that had a very interesting steeple. I had to take a picture before I hit the road. The weather was looking quite chance-y and I feared a storm was a-brewing. It was.
I made it to Manchester, Tennessee after leaving Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga. I arrived on a Saturday night and I was sitting with the congregation in the sanctuary of First UMC on Sunday morning. The church is right in the center of town. The service was very good and the people, as always, were very friendly. After a delicious home cooked lunch at a local cafeteria about a half a block from the church, I was on my way. Next stop...Murfreesboro.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
This is the view that the southern army had overlooking Chattanooga during the war between the states. This is Lookout Mountain and it is part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga Battlefield Park run by the National Park Service. The view from the top is spectacular and from this viewpoint high above the city the southern army was able to keep track of the movements of the northern army.
The mountain offered a natural defense line and the army, under General Braxton Bragg, was able to hold off the enemy...for a while. Eventually the northern army broke through the lines and continued their march toward Atlanta. Chattanooga, like Atlanta, was (and is) a major rail hub and it was important to gain control of the city. The island in the distance is called Moccasin Island because it is shaped like the slipper of the same name. The mountain has many stacked rock formations. No climbing, though!! There are hiking paths and picnic areas here and it's a great place to enjoy the outdoors...and the history.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
I drove north on I-75 in Georgia a couple of weeks ago. Just before the Tennessee border, I turned off of the interstate, drove a short distance and stopped at the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Battlefield. This park is operated by the National Park Service. Inside the headquarters I was able to read about the history of this area and the importance it played in the War Between the States. There is a very nice driving tour that can be taken throughout the park grounds. Monuments and buildings of importance are featured along the route. The day I visited the park there was an authors symposium focusing on General Braxton Bragg of the southern army. History buffs loaded with books for the authors to autograph were in attendance at the day long event. Two battles--Chickamauga and Chattanooga--were fought in this part of Georgia and Tennessee and there are several locations within the park, open to visitors, that pertain to the various battle sites. They are all located within a relatively short driving distance of each other. This is another beautifully maintained park that is part of the national park system. "Came for the history, stayed for the beauty."
Friday, June 16, 2017
I've started my way north for the summer. Before leaving the Atlanta area I visited Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Cobb County, Georgia. Operated by the National Park Service, the park is most associated with the battle that took place here in June of 1864. This location was the last line of defense by the southern army in their attempt to keep the Union troops from marching toward Atlanta. The battle line was broken and the northern army moved on to Atlanta.
The maps and diagrams on display in the park headquarters showed where each fighting unit was stationed and how their movements lead to the breaks in the lines of defense. The topography of the land played an extremely important roll during the battle with its natural walls formed by the mountains, hills and vallys. There is a hiking path that leads to the top of Kennesaw Mountain and it begins near the headquarters. Visit the national parks. They're yours to enjoy.