Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Civil War in Tennessee - Controlling the River and Rails

Marker ID:  
Location: on Ringgold Road (U.S. 76) at I-75, Chattanooga, TN
County: Hamilton
Coordinates: N 34° 59.781    W 085° 12.403
  34.99635    -85.20671666
Waymark: None


Civil War in Tennessee
Controlling the River and Rails

Controlling the river and railroad junction at Chattanooga was important to both North and South during the war. As a Confederate general noted, Chattanooga "commands important passes into Georgia and Alabama, and would enable the enemy ... to cut off completely the communications between eastern and western parts of this State."
Union forces advanced from Middle Tennessee in the summer of 1863, took control of Chattanooga, and marched into Georgia in September. Defeated at the Battle of Chickamauga, about eight miles south of the Tennessee border (Exit 1), the Union army retreated to Chattanooga, which the Confederate army besieged. Separate Federal attacks on November 24-25 pushed Confederate forces from Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge (Exit 3) and into Georgia.
In 1863-1864, Union soldiers built new fortifications along the region's rivers and rails. They constructed Fort Hill overlooking the railroad in Cleveland (Exit 20) and converted a brick depot in Niota (Exit 56) into a temporary fort. On the Hiwassee River at Charleston (Exit 33), they converted an old post from the 1830s Trail of Tears into a temporary headquarters.

Follow the routes of the armies along the Tennessee Civil War Trails. Colorful markers at each stop tell the story of the war's interesting people, places, and events. A free map guide to the Tennessee Trails network is available in the Welcome Center. Please drive carefully as you enjoy the beauty and history of the Tennessee Civil War Trails.