published Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Battlefield tour focuses on 'Headstones, Art, Memories' β€” Aug. 17

Deer graze among several monuments at Chickamauga Battlefield.
Deer graze among several monuments at Chickamauga Battlefield.
Photo by Jay Bailey /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

An acorn, an ancient goddess, life-size soldiers. The veterans who placed monuments at Chickamauga Battlefield chose intricate designs to carve in stone.

What do these symbols and images mean? A ranger-led program set for Saturday, Aug. 17, at Chickamauga Battlefield will supply some answers.

As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga, the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will present "Headstones, Art, Memories -- Monuments at Chickamauga Battlefield," a two-hour car caravan and walking tour. The ranger-led program will start at 2 p.m. at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, 3370 LaFayette Road.

The Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863 left thousands dead and a landscape scarred and ruined. Just over 25 years later, veterans from both sides returned to establish that land as Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the nation's first. To mark where soldiers fought, they placed stone and iron monuments. In bas-relief images and honored words, these monuments remain today as sentinels and storytellers to the memories of these soldiers and the civilians whose homes became a battlefield.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, or visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/chch.

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