“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chattanooga in Hamilton County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Crutchfield House

Headquarters and Hospital


—Chattanooga Campaign —

Crutchfield House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 29, 2010
1. Crutchfield House Marker
Inscription. (preface)
After the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, Union Gen. William S. Rosecrans retreated to Federal-occupied Chattanooga, a strategically vital rail center, where Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg laid siege from Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant took command in October and began his efforts to break the siege. Bragg detached forces under Gen. James Longstreet to attack Knoxville as a diversion. After Gen. William T. Sherman reinforced Grant in November, the Federals attacked the heights and Bragg retreated. The Union army held the city for the rest of the war.

(main text)
On January 21, 1861, Jefferson Davis, traveling home to Mississippi after resigning from the United States Senate, stayed at the Crutchfield House. It was Chattanooga’s first major railroad hotel, having opened in 1856. Located in the city’s center across from the Union Depot, the hotel served travelers on both the Western and Atlantic and the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroads. It was a focus of Chattanooga’s bustling economic and social activity. Davis delivered a speech there on the sectional crisis described by others as brief and moderate. As he left the room, William Crutchfield, brother of hotel owner Thomas Crutchfield and an “uncompromising Union man,” made a heated
Crutchfield House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 27, 2013
2. Crutchfield House Marker
reply in which he called Davis a traitor and denounced secession. Davis returned to find pistols drawn and tensions high. Seeking satisfaction, Davis asked if Crutchfield was “responsible and reputable.” No duel took place, but the incident was reported as an example of the tensions that tore the nation apart.

During 1862, the hotel served as a Confederate headquarters for the garrison in and around Chattanooga. The commander, Gen. Samuel Jones, turned the hotel into a hospital in the winter. When Union troops occupied the town on September 9, 1863, the 92nd Illinois Mounted Infantry planted its regimental colors “on the third story of the Crutchfield House, the first to float over the evacuated town.” During the occupation, the hotel served as hospital for Union soldiers wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga.

The Crutchfield House survived the war but burned in 1867. In 1926, Dr and Mrs. John T. Read constructed the ten-story Georgian Revival-style Read House Hotel on the Crutchfield House hotel site in front of you.

Crutchfield House, 1864, seen behind the Adams Express Company building. The passenger depot is at left Courtesy Library of Congress

Crutchfield House, ca. 1864 — Courtesy Chattanooga History Center
A visitor just before the war
Crutchfield House image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 29, 2010
3. Crutchfield House
described a typical scene there: “The hotel swarmed with people arriving and departing with the trains, east, west, north, and south, hurrying to and fro with eager and excited looks, as if lives, fortunes, and sacred honor hung upon the events of the next hour.”
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 2.732′ N, 85° 18.638′ W. Marker is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker is at the intersection of Broad Street (Tennessee Route 2) and West Martin Luther King Boulevard, on the right when traveling south on Broad Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chattanooga TN 37402, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Union Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Crutchfield House (within shouting distance of this marker); Military History of Chattanooga (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Chattanooga Brush Electric Light Company (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Coca-Cola Bottling Company In The United States
Crutchfield House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 27, 2013
4. Crutchfield House Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); A Point in the 2d Line of Works (approx. 0.2 miles away); William "Uncle Bill" Lewis (approx. 0.2 miles away); William (Uncle Bill) Lewis (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chattanooga.
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   3. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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