- Travel & Directions
- The Park & History
In 1890 the Congress of the United States authorized the establishment of the first four national military parks: Chickamauga & Chattanooga, Shiloh, Gettysburg and Vicksburg. President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill on August 18th, 1890 that established the first and largest of these, The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. This park served as the model for the establishment and development of most other national military and historical parks. These parks owe their existence to veterans of the battle, who, during visits to the area, saw the need for a national park to preserve and commemorate the battlefields. A purpose of creating the Park was to maintain the battlefields in their historic condition. At the time that Chickamauga & Chattanooga was established there had been scarcely any changes in the roads, fields, forests and houses, except in the growth of underbrush and timber which could easily be removed. These fields offered unparalleled opportunities for historical and professional military study of the operations of the two armies. Over all types of terrain such as mountain, open fields, rivers, streams, ridges, and forests visitors can observe and comprehend the challenges and grand strategy of the campaign that extended over a 150-mile front and follow the many tactical details of the actual battles. No battlefield park of this quality and magnitude can be found in any other nation of the world.
The Park was officially dedicated on September 18th, 1895. A purpose in establishing the Park was "preserving and suitably marking for historical and professional military study the fields of some of the most remarkable maneuvers and brilliant fighting of the Civil War." Most of the 1,400 monuments and historical markers on the battlefields were planned and placed by veterans of the battles, usually located where the soldiers did their most notable fighting. Beautiful monuments and markers, varying greatly by artistic style and size, were erected by state governments to commemorate the role of regiments and batteries from that state in the battle. Tablets identify the location of a particular division, brigade, or battery at a specific time and their role during that particular phase of the battle. Tablets trimmed in Blue are for Union units and those trimmed in Red are for Confederate units. Original cannon barrels, mounted on iron display carriages, help mark positions of artillery batteries in the battle.
The National Park Service maintains the park as close as possible to its 1863 appearance. They have made every effort to make your visit safe and enjoyable. Please be sure to do your part by following all park rules and the instructions of the Rangers. The Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center is located at the north entrance to the Park. It contains exhibits, a bookstore and the Fuller Collection of American Military Arms. "Battle of Chickamauga" is a multi-media program that provides a unique orientation to the battle. Maps and tour information are also available. There is also a visitor center at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield and Point Park.