published Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Artillery demo, ranger walk at battlefield — Aug. 24

Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    Red crape myrtles in Coolidge Park line the riverfront.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
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Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will offer two special programs Saturday, Aug. 24 -- one at Chickamauga Battlefield, the other beginning at Coolidge Park.

For more information about either program, call 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, www.nps.gov/chch.

• Artillery demonstration: Visitors to Chickamauga Battlefield will experience the power of Civil War artillery.

For Living History Day, park rangers and Union living historians will describe what life was like for artillerymen on the battlefield and offer demonstrations. The four 30-minute programs, to be presented near the Visitor Center, 3370 LaFayette Road, will start at 10:30 am., noon, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

According to park historians, fighting at Chickamauga often proved difficult for even veteran artillerymen. Capt. W.H. Fowler, whose battery position is marked behind the Visitor Center, said his guns were limited because "the character of the field where we operated was so badly adapted to the use of light artillery." Although conditions were not always ideal, artillery played an important role in the battle as it raged in the forests and fields near Chickamauga Creek.

• Ranger walk: Meanwhile, at Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River St., participants can gather for a free, three-hour, ranger-guided walk starting at 1:30 p.m.

The walk is especially designed for anyone who has an interest in the city during the Union Army's stay and/or the city's history in general. Part of the program will describe the city scene on Market Street during the Civil War. Park officials say that, before the Union Army's occupation, Chattanooga was still a fairly "raw" city, looking much like an Old West town.

Participants are reminded to bring water and to wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable, supportive footwear.

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