Thursday, May 29, 2008

NC at Missionary Ridge

Earlier, I wrote that I would post the details of my trip. I'll just post bits and pieces from time to time.

One of the last places we visited was up on Missionary Ridge. While I have been to Chickamauga and Point Lookout several times, I had never ventured up on Missionary Ridge. The Ranger working in the small cubicle (he was very glad that the visitor center at Point Park was re-opening that weekend) showed me where the 58th and 60th NCT's position was and where their marker should be. The photo copy of the marker descriptionstates that the marker for Reynold's brigade was, on "02/10/64 - In storage at Utility area, moved for new highway." and beside that inpencil "I24" So, when they were building Interstate 24 in the 1960s, the marker for Reynold's brigade had been moved. The Ranger gave me a wide swath of area to cover in my search.

So off we went. The route is not well marked, and after about half an hour, we were able to find the "Sherman Reservation" and able to start on the north end of the ridge. We worked our way south, looking for the marker. There are plenty of markers for different Confederate and Union brigades along Crest Road. All most all of these are set in the front yards of some rather nice homes. A few of the markers have been set into brick retaining walls. I do recall seeing a lady working in her flowers, while on her front lawn, just feet from her front door, was a pair of cannons.

We had driven for a while, crossing over I-24, and arrived at the Bragg Reservation. This was the headquarters for General Bragg duringthe battle. I knew from my research that portions of Reynold's command retreated to the area of Bragg's headquarters as they fell back up the ridge to their assigned position. So, I knew that I was close. I got outof the car, and made my way around the little park, exploring each marker.

After about 15 minutes, I came to the realization that the marker was not at the Bragg Reservation. I walked to the northern end of the park and there was I-24. I returned to the car and started to retrace theroute. I had seen the marker for Finley's brigade earlier, and I knew that Reynolds was near the Floridians. As we headed north again, we rounded a curve, and there was the marker for Reynold's brigade. Coming from the other direction, we had been too busy watching for on-coming cars and had missed the marker. If you are ever looking forthe marker, when you come to a stop sign, you need to turn right to continue on Crest Road. The marker sits to your right as you turn.

So, the 58th and 60th NCT's position on the top of Missionary Ridge no longer exists. It was hauled away in the 1960s when they were constructing the interstate.

In my next post, we will discuss the marker and what is wrong with it.

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