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HAUNTED BATTLEFIELDS GHOST STORIES AND GHOST PHOTOS

Chickamauga National Battlefield Ghost

The battle of Chickamauga September 18-20, 1863

Catoosa County and Walker County

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans and Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas [US]; Gen. Braxton Bragg and Lt. Gen. James Longstreet [CS]

Forces Engaged: The Army of the Cumberland [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 34,624 total (US 16,170; CS 18,454)

Virtually every battlefield is said to be haunted, but Chickamauga seems to be even more haunted than most. There are so many ghosts wandering the grounds, that it would be impossible to catalogue them all. Over the years, thousands have claimed to have seen them. The first sighting may have been at the battle itself, or even earlier. There is also a soldier who is supposed to walk the roads at night. If he sees you, he is said to stare at you until you leave.

Chickamauga Battle Field ghost photo sent to us by Harold Weiser.

The 5,200 acre Chickamauga Battlefield, scene of the last major Confederate victory of the Civil War, contains numerous monuments, historical tablets, wayside exhibits, and trails. Major points of interest can be reached by following the seven-mile auto tour. The Visitor Center includes exhibits, a bookstore, and the Claud E. and Zenada O. Fuller Collection of American Military Shoulder Arms. The four Union generals given credit for bringing an end to the Civil War (Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, and Philip Sheridan) were all in Chattanooga in the autumn of 1863. There are stories of ghost soldiers, and the sounds of gun shots, marching, crying, and moaning.

The two most famous ghosts from the Chickamauga Battlefield are the "White Lady of Chickamauga" and "Ol' Green Eyes." After the battle, a young lady, either a bride or bride-to-be, was seen wandering the battlefield looking for her lost beau. Wherever she went she asked soldiers if they had seen him, but no one had. She died without ever finding her lost love and her ghost, still wearing her white wedding gown, has been seen wandering the battlefield. "Ol' Green Eyes" is reported to be the ghost of a soldier whose head was blown off by a cannon. As the legend goes the soldiers head drifts around the battlefield looking for its missing body.

More American soldiers died in training on the Chickamauga Battlefield during the Spanish American War than died during that four month long war.

Chickamauga is derived from an ancient Cherokee word meaning "River of Death". And death was all around this heavily wooded area occasionally spotted with uncultivated, vine-strewn, thicket- matted stretches of ground sometimes disturbed by outcroppings of limestone rock. In other words, land that no farmer would have bothered with since it would have required a massive amount of work and toil to bring up to minimal farming standards. The real prize that the Union army hoped to gain from this battle was capture of Chattanooga which was the rail center and major city of the Middle South.

After the Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed his offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga. The three army corps comprising Rosecrans’ s army split and set out for Chattanooga by separate routes. In early September, Rosecrans consolidated his forces scattered in Tennessee and Georgia and forced Bragg’s army out of Chattanooga, heading south. The Union troops followed it and brushed with it at Davis’ Cross Roads. Bragg was determined to reoccupy Chattanooga and decided to meet a part of Rosecrans’s army, defeat them, and then move back into the city. On the 17th he headed north, intending to meet and beat the XXI Army Corps. As Bragg marched north on the 18th, his cavalry and infantry fought with Union cavalry and mounted infantry which were armed with Spencer repeating rifles. Fighting began in earnest on the morning of the 19th, and Bragg’s men hammered but did not break the Union line. The next day, Bragg continued his assault on the Union line on the left, and in late morning, Rosecrans was informed that he had a gap in his line. In moving units to shore up the supposed gap, Rosencrans created one, and James Longstreet’s men promptly exploited it, driving one-third of the Union army, including Rosecrans himself, from the field. George H. Thomas took over command and began consolidating forces on Horseshoe Ridge and Snodgrass Hill. Although the Rebels launched determined assaults on these forces, they held until after dark. Thomas then led these men from the field leaving it to the Confederates. The Union retired to Chattanooga while the Rebels occupied the surrounding heights.


Chickamauga entrance ghost photo sent to us from Remy Verrette

Each year many officers and leaders of the United States Army and our allies visit Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park to study leadership and tactics employed during the Civil War battles fought here in 1863. These visits are called Staff Rides.

The U.S.Army Corps of Engineers built the Point Park gate and adjoining wall. The entrance gate, which resembles that of a castle, was completed in 1905, and is the largest symbol of the Army Corps displayed anywhere in the world.

An evaluation of the statistics shows that the Union had 19.6 percent killed and wounded and Confederates 25.9 percent. Using Livermore's "hit by 1,000" system of comparing the combat effectiveness, Rosecrans' troops killed or wounded 292 Confederates for every 1,000 Federal soldiers engaged; Bragg's forces, on the other hand, killed or wounded only 172 Federals for every 1,000 of their own troops engaged. The battle, fought in a densely wooded area which permitted little or no tactical control of units, was one of the bloodiest of the war.


Chickamauga was a maker and breaker of reputations. Thomas's performance elevated him to top command, and Granger was also marked for higher responsibility. Rosecrans, Alexander McCook, Crittenden, and Negley were relieved: the last three were charged with misconduct but acquitted. The fractious Bragg, whose personality defect were large responsible for the poor cooperation of his subordinates, relieved Polk, D.H. Hill, and Hindman for unsatisfactory performance during the campaign.
Source: "The Civil War Dictionary," by Mark M. Boatner III

Ghost photo of Chickamauga Cabin sent to us by Glen Daigle.

Also see: Chickamauga National Battlefield The Brotherton House Ghosts by Rich Kanan

Ghost of the Battlefield

The legend of Old Green Eyes, the ghost who is said to haunt the battlefield in various forms ranging from a Confederate soldier to a green-eyed panther, has been a part of Chickamauga Battlefield lore since the last shot was fired at the bloody battle that claimed 34,000 casualties Sept. 19-20, 1863. Green Eyes is rumored to be a man who lost his head to a cannonball, frantically searching the battlefield at night for his dislocated body.

The tales of Green Eyes and other phantom sightings stem from the soldiers, who lived through the War Between the States. Another legend is quoted as saying that Old Green Eyes roamed the area long before the Civil War and was even seen moving among the dead at Snodgrass Hill during a lull in the fighting. Probably the most stubborn phase of the campaign was at Snodgrass Hill which is some of the roughest and hilliest terrain in the entire park area.

Many people visiting the park near dusk have seen two big glowing eyes approaching them and have heard an agonizing groaning sound which sent shivers up and down their spine.

Charlie Fisher, a forest ranger, says that in the early 1970's two different people both wrecked their automobiles against the same tree. They both sworn to have seen Old Green Eyes.

A man named Ed Tinney did see Old Green Eyes on several occasions. He saw the ghost one foggy night while walking along one of the trails which wind through the park. He said the shape was human-like but wasn't human. When he first saw it, it was less than twenty feet away and passed right by him! He described the hair on the "thing" as long, like a woman's hair, with eyes almost greenish-orange in color. It's teeth were long and pointed like fangs and was wearing a cape which seemed to be flapping in the wind, even though there was no wind! The next thing he knew, it just disappeared right in front of him.

One of the earliest ghost sightings shortly after the Civil War ended is documented in Susie Blaylock McDaniel's book "The Official History of Catoosa County."

Jim Carlock, an early resident of the Post Oak Community, writes in McDaniel's book about returning home from a centennial celebration on Market Street in Chattanooga in 1876, a mere 13 years after the bloody battle. Carlock writes: "Did you ever see a ghost? They used to see them on the Chickamauga Battlefields just after the war."

Carlock goes on to write that, while passing through the battlefield (or near it, the exact location is unclear), it was dark and there were no houses nearby when he and his friends spotted something 10 feet high with a "big white head." He said he and his companions were in a wagon and a Mr. Shields was riding horseback. Carlock said Shields road up and hit the ghost and a baby cried out and the ghost said, "Let me alone." He said the entity appeared to be a ghostly apparition of a Negro woman with a bundle of clothes on her head.

But the Civil War is not the only source of death that may have imprisoned lost spirits at the battlefield. The hill behind Wilder Tower saw the deaths of many soldiers, mainly from ty-phoid fever, during their training and encampment on the battlefield in preparation for the Spanish-American War.

Another specter, in the form of a lady in a white wedding dress, known as the "Lady in White," is searching for her lover has been encounteed many times. They say she is a grand lady who came to the battlefield in search of her lost love ro rake his body home and bury him. To this day, she hasn't given up hope of finding him. Love is a very strong emotion and often is the reason a ghost will make a series of return visits to a particular locale. In fact, any vibrant emotion can cause the appearance of ghosts.

One of the weirdest tales was related by Jeffrey Leathers, a ranger from Stones River who occasionally helps out rangers here at Chickamauga. It concerns the Wilder Tower.

This stone structure is eighty-five feet high and overlooks the entire area. It was built in 1903 by the men who served under Colonel John T. Wilder.

Apparently when the tower was being constructed, many souvenirs of the war were sealed inside the cornerstone to be opened at a later time. In 1976, during the bicentennial activities, officials opened up the cornerstone which was undisturbed until now and found the inside completely empty! There were no apparent marks which might have indicated that it had been broken into or tampered with in any way.

Other stories of hauntings on the battlefield include visitors' accounts of hearing gunshots, hoof beats, or smelling the strong scent of alcohol.

David Lester, Civil War enthusiast and re-enactor, said about five years ago, he and some of his fellow re-enactors were camping out at the battlefield as part of "Living History Days," an event that gives park visitors a first-hand look at how soldiers lived during the war.

Lester said several of his comrades wandered to a neighboring camp to say hello to their fellow soldiers. The men talked with the neighboring campers for several hours before re-turning to their own camp to sleep for the night.

When day broke, the men went back to the camp to wish them a good morning and see how they were getting along, but they were gone, Lester said. There was no sign of their campfire from the night before, not one trace of any human occupation at the site — only undisturbed land.

Some excerpts from The Catoosa County News (Friday, October 31 2003

Chickamauga is a must see for ghost hunters that find themselves in the northwest Georgia/Chattanooga area. It is a very scenic place during the day, but becomes rather misty at times, making it seem sinister and frightening once darkness falls.

Chickamauga is located in the northwest corner of Georgia, very near both the Alabama and Tennessee borders, and is often reported incorrectly as being in Tennessee. It can be reached directly through Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia via route 27, and is also near both Interstates 24 and 75 from Chattanooga.

The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park at Fort Oglethorpe, GA is dedicated to both battles and is situated between the two cities of Chattanooga, TN and Chickamauga, GA.


CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELD OPERATING HOURS AND SEASONS

The Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center are open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Both Visitor Centers are closed on Christmas Day.

Chickamauga Battlefield features an 7 mile self-guiding auto tour, monuments, historical tablets, hiking trails and horse trails. The visitor center contains exhibits and the Fuller Gun Collection which contains over 300 examples of military long arms. The visitor center also presents a 26 minute multi-media program, the Battle of Chickamauga, that provides unique orientation to this Civil War battle.

During some summer weekends, encampments of regiments from various states provide living history demonstrations. Also, during the summer, living history demonstration of a soldier's life are offered.

Lookout Mountain Battlefield contains monuments, historical tablets, hiking trails, scenic vistas, and the historic Cravens House. The Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center also houses the "Battle Above the Clouds" painting by James Walker.

The historic Cravens House on Lookout Mountain is open for tours during the summer. Contact the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786 for hours of operation.

ENTRANCE FEES

Cravens House
No Fees Charged

Point Park
Fees: $3.00 - Day
The user fee for Point Park is $3.00 per person (16 years or older).
With the Golden Age pass (62 years or older), the fee is $1.50. Children age 15 and under are free.


ALSO SEE: THE TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED BATTLEFIELD LIST

Though the battles have long ago ended and the sound of cannons and muskets is but a distant memory, there are some souls who are still waiting for the call to “Retreat” – and for them, it may never come!

Make plans to visit a Haunted Battlefield today!

< VISIT HERE TO VIEW FULL LIST >

Also see: Chickamauga National Battlefield The Brotherton House Ghosts and photos! Visit Here!

 

 

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