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,
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.
National Battlefield The Brotherton House
Ghosts by Rich Kanan
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
No Fees Charged
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
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!
plans to visit a Haunted Battlefield today!
VISIT HERE TO VIEW FULL LIST >
see: Chickamauga National Battlefield
The Brotherton House Ghosts and photos!