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

Road to Chattanooga

The Tide Turns for the Union

Road to Chattanooga Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, August 5, 2016
1. Road to Chattanooga Marker
Inscription.  This interstate highway parallels the historic line of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad. Late in 1863, Union and Confederate armies followed the tracks during a series of battles in the fight for control of Chattanooga, a strategically vital rail center.
     Multiple Civil War-related sites are located in Charleston (Exit 33), near the location of a raid by Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry. The Henegar House was a headquarters for Union Gen. William T. Sherman. Cumberland Presbyterian Church served as a Confederate hospital. The Hiwassee River Heritage Center interprets the story of Union occupation.
     In downtown Cleveland (Exit 25), late in 1863 Union forces built Fort Hill to protect the railroad. A cemetery was established nearby, with the dead of both sides interred there. In 1914, the Grand Army of the Republic erected a monument for the Union soldiers there, one of three such memorials in the state. Fighting occurred around the Masonic Female Institute in Cleveland.
     The site of a major Confederate hospital is located near Exit 7. Silverdale Confederate Cemetery contains the graves of about 155 of
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Gen. Braxton Bragg’s soldiers. Most of them are unknowns who died in hospitals in 1862.
     Several units of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park can be accessed from Exit 3, including Orchard Knob, Missionary Ridge, and Lookout Mountain. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory there late in November 1863 turned the tide against the Confederates and resulted in Federal occupation of most of East Tennessee for the rest of the war.
Erected 2016.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
Location. 35° 25.766′ N, 84° 41.37′ W. Marker is near Athens, Tennessee, in McMinn County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 75 at milepost 45, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located at the rest area between Exit 49 and Exit 42; it is accessible only from the southbound travel lanes of I-75. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Athens TN 37303, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pushing Toward Knoxville (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Mark A.M.E. Zion, “Free Hill” (approx. 5.4 miles away); First United Presbyterian Church (approx. 5.4 miles away); Boyd House
Marker in Front of Rest Area Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, August 5, 2016
2. Marker in Front of Rest Area Building
(approx. 5½ miles away); Free Hill — A Forgotten Community (approx. 5½ miles away); McMinn County Jail (approx. 5½ miles away); Athens Outlet Store (approx. 5½ miles away); African American Barbers in Athens (approx. 5½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
More about this marker. The marker includes images of the Masonic Female Institute, Cleveland, ca. 1867 and of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant on Lookout Mountain, 1863.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 443 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 31, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Nov. 28, 2023