Chattanooga, Tennessee   2 comments

Day 36-37

Driving through the Chickamauga Battlefield with our guide was a great history lesson. Many of us did not know that Chattanooga, Tennessee, had Civil War battlefields. Control of this area was very important because of the railroads and rivers. The Confederates occupied Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga Valley preventing most Federal supplies from entering the city. Once Major General Ulysses S. Grant was put in charge, things changed dramatically. His tactics allowed the Federals to push the Confederates back into Georgia and take control of the city and nearly all of Tennessee. Major General William T. Sherman eventually used Chattanooga as his base as he began his march to Atlanta.

Chickamauga was one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. Confederate casualties totaled 18,000 out of 66,000 men and Union casualties were 16,000 out of 58,000 men. Memorials are displayed from all states within the battlefield. Special memorials with a cannonball on top are placed where Generals were killed in battle.

We spent our lunch time at Rock City walking through the many acres of gardens. In the late 1920’s Garnet and Frieda Carter began to develop a large walk-through garden on their 700 acre private estate preserving over 400 varieties of plant life. The gardens were open to the public in 1932.

Walking through the gardens past Gnome Valley,

the path seemed to be getting narrower and narrower in what is called the “Fat Man’s Squeeze.”

Then onto the Swing-A-Long Bridge, while other’s chose to take the Stone Bridge, over to “Lover’s Leap” for a beautiful view of the city. Great picnic lunch area.

At the foot of Lookout Mountain, we rode the Incline Railway. What an interesting experience it was to load into the car. As we reached the midway point, the “switch” allowed two cars to travel on a single track system. On the observation deck you can see over 100 miles to the Smokey Mountains on a clear day.

Located at the top of Lookout Mountain is the historic Point Park. We stood overlooking the city where Grant once stood. The battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Orchard Knob were the beginning of the end for the South.

This tour proved very interesting when we toured “inside Lookout Mountain” after touring on top of the mountain. We descended 260 feet by elevator making our way through the cave to Ruby Falls.

Over 80 years ago, Leo Lambert and a group of fellow explorers entered a small opening spending 17 hours crawling on hands and knees, exploring the cave before hearing the sound of rushing water.

Below left is a photo of the space they crawled through until they were able to stand up, 650 feet from the elevator. The only formation the public is allowed to touch is the one pictured below, right. It’s an onyx formation which Bill thought was a Blarney Stone.

Making our way through the cave, we came upon all kinds of formations

Finally 1120 feet underground we reached Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public.

What a magnificent find!


2 responses to “Chattanooga, Tennessee

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  1. Wow! These pictures are gorgeous! I’m moving to Kentucky soon and will be much closer to the beauty of Tennessee. Now I know what to look for 🙂 Thank you.

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