Best Civil War Sites
Andre Jenny / Alamy
Chickamauga, GA and Chattanooga, TN
After an almost six-month standoff, the Federal Army was badly routed at Chickamauga in September 1863 and retreated to nearby Chattanooga. The Confederates promptly cut off most supply lines, took positions on the surrounding high ground, and began to shell the city mercilessly. While little evidence of fighting remains, the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, which spans nearly 10,000 acres, offers prime vantage points for understanding the long campaign. Begin at Lookout Mountain, from where the Rebels lobbed shells at the city and up which the Union soldiers stormed to regain control. Historic markers indicate where the armies changed positions and tormented each other along the Tennessee River. Drive along the crest of Missionary Ridge, where a critical battle was fought, for another view. At the national military park’s Chickamauga unit you’ll find an actual battlefield instead of urban sprawl, plus an excellent, recently refurbished Visitor Center.
Don’t Miss: If you like your cocktails and fried chicken in motel bars with old-school R&B, Christmas lights, and velvet wallpaper, Lamar’s (1018 East Martin Luther King Blvd.; 423-266-0988) is the place for you. Seriously worth it.