Chattanooga in Hamilton County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
1864 Military Bridge
The first bridge crossing of the Tennessee River at Chattanooga was erected in 1864 under the order of Montgomery Meigs, Quartermaster General of the Union armies. This clearing highlights the alignment where the wooden bridge, with its trestled northern approach, crossed the southern portions of Renaissance Park.
The bridge was constructed out of green timber, cut and sawed from trees from the hills where Hill City (North Chattanooga) now stands and the adjacent hills. Work in the river was facilitated by log rafts and pontoon floats. Bridge construction was staged from the north shore so that materials could be carried across completed portions of the span.
After the war, the military bridge was given to the city of Chattanooga, but it proved to be more of a liability than an asset. Marcus B. Long (1914) recalled that a herd of mules being driven across the span collapsed the draw span and resulted in many of the mules being killed in the fall to the river. The military bridge was swept away in the flood of April 1867.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is April 20, 1867.
Location. 35° 3.678′ N, 85° 18.591′ W. Marker is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker can be reached from River Street west of Tremont Street, on the left when traveling west. This historic marker is located along the north side of the river, in Renaissance Park, along a park walking trail that runs north-to-south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chattanooga TN 37405, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union Block House (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Contraband (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); United States Colored Troops (about 400 feet away); Occupied Chattanooga (about 500 feet away); Hill Overlooks & Industrial Past (about 500 feet away); 1838 Cherokee Removal & Trail of Tears (about 500 feet away); Coolidge Riverside Park / Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Citation (about 800 feet away); Stickball / Seven Sisters (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chattanooga.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 11, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 857 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 11, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 12, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.