Day 2: Magical History Tour
|Lookout Mountain, looking over Tennessee River.|
Continuing my posts on my Deep South tour, I visited Lookout Mountain before leaving Chattanooga, TN.
The day was actually cloudy, which made it look more like it probably did during the Civil War battle – which was called the Battle Among the Clouds. I took the photo at right on the return trip when we stopped again to see the view.
Lookout Mountain’s shape and location can in some conditions cause a unique weather phenomenon like it did during the Civil War. After dawn, fog will sometimes descend from the cooler mountain top to the valley below and stop about halfway down, hence the name, the “Battle Among the Clouds.”
|Bend in the Tennessee River seen
from Lookout Mountain.
From the mountaintop, it is said that seven states can be seen: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. In reality, on very clear days, some mountains in the Knoxville area of Tennessee can be seen at a distance of about 100 miles, but the curvature of the Earth’s surface lowers anything in Kentucky, South Carolina or Virginia to below the horizon
For a little background, the Battle of Lookout Mountain was fought on November 24, 1863. The majority of hand to hand combat took place near the Cravens house about halfway to the summit.
In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the “Gateway to the Deep South.” The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city. After the fighting, a Confederate soldier ominously wrote, “This…is the death-knell of the Confederacy.”
When you’re standing on that mountain, looking down, it’s amazing to think that anyone would consider fighting on it — let alone actually attempt it, but that’s exactly what happened on Nov. 24th. Aided by a heavy fog that enshrouded the slopes of Lookout Mountain, Union General Hooker’s soldiers pushed the Confederates out of their defenses.
When the siege and battle for Chattanooga were over, Union armies controlled the city and nearly all of Tennessee. The next spring, General Sherman used Chattanooga for his supply base as he started his march to Atlanta and the sea.
My next post will be on my stay at the beautiful Nottoway plantation outside of Baton Rouge, La.