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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Civil War River Crossing

 
 
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
1. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Inscription. General Ulysses S. Grant's plan for lifting the siege of Chattanooga called for the Union Army of the Tennessee under General William T. Sherman to cross the Tennessee River and strike the Confederate Army's flank on the northern end of Missionary Ridge. The crossing plans involved massing a large number of pontoon boats at a point four hundred yards from the convergence of North Chickamauga Creek and the Tennessee River. Union troops rowing downriver would secure a landing on the southern bank of the Tennessee just below the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek. The Union army engineers would throw a 1,200 foot-long bridge across the Tennessee to facilitate the crossing of the rest of Sherman's men.

Around midnight on November 23, 1863, Union troops boarded the pontoon boats moored in North Chickamauga Creek. After entering the Tennessee River, part of the flotilla moved silently downstream and landed just north of the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek, the other pontoons landing south of the creek. The Federals quickly rounded up surprised Confederate pickets who had failed to raise the alarm. Within a short time, the Union troops constructed a stretch of substantial earthworks around their position.

Throughout the predawn hours of November 24, oarsmen hastily plied their boats back and forth across the Tennessee River.
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
2. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Close-up view of the text on the historical marker.
At the same time, engineers began work on the pontoon bridge that would span the river. The completion of this bridge around noon on November 24, along with the arrival at the crossing site of the side-wheeler Dunbar, greatly facilitated the passage of Sherman's troops, horses, and cannon. This uncontested crossing of the Tennessee River put the Union troops in a highly advantageous position on November 24, near the right flank of Bragg's army.

The bridge's southern terminus was in the vicinity of the large grain silos. A short distance east of the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek was the location of another Union pontoon bridge.
 
Erected by The Tennessee Riverpark Master Plan.
 
Location. 35° 5.389′ N, 85° 16.037′ W. Marker is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker can be reached from Lost Mound Drive north of Amnicola Highway (Tennessee Route 58). Touch for map. This historical marker is located in the Tennessee Riverpark, at the end of a Tennessee Riverwalk walking trail, located on the southern bank of the Tennessee River, just below the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek (on the upstream side of the Tennessee River). Marker is in this post office area: Chattanooga TN 37406, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
3. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Close-up view of the photograph of a Union pontoon bridge that is displayed on the historical marker.
this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sherman's Hideout (approx. 1.9 miles away); 8th U.S. Missouri Infantry (approx. 2 miles away); Alexander's Brigade (approx. 2 miles away); 6th U.S. Missouri Infantry (approx. 2 miles away); 55th Illinois Infantry (approx. 2 miles away); Army of the Tennessee (approx. 2 miles away); 57th Ohio Infantry (approx. 2 miles away); 53rd Ohio Infantry (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chattanooga.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
4. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Close-up view of the photograph of a Union pontoon boat, crossing a river, that is displayed on the historical marker.
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
5. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Close-up view of the photographs of the Union generals Grant and Sherman, that is displayed on the historical marker.
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
6. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Close-up view of the topographical map, showing the Union crossing of the Tennessee River, that is displayed on the historical marker.
Civil War River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
7. Civil War River Crossing Marker
Civil War River Crossing image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
8. Civil War River Crossing
View of the end of the Riverpark walking path, situated just below the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek, on the southern side of the Tennessee River. Also a distant view of the north side of the Tennessee River, where the north end of the Federal pontoon bridge was situated.
Civil War River Crossing image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
9. Civil War River Crossing
View of Blue and Gray Education Society, tour group, being educated by Jim Ogden, of the National Park Service, about the Union crossing of the Tennessee River in this area.
Civil War River Crossing image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
10. Civil War River Crossing
View of the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek, where it empties into the Tennessee River.
Civil War River Crossing image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
11. Civil War River Crossing
View looking upstream on the Tennessee River, towards the mouth of North Chickamauga Creek, where the Federal landing operations originated from.
Civil War River Crossing image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
12. Civil War River Crossing
View of Jim Ogden, of the National Park Service, holding up a drawing of the Union pontoon bridge, which crossed the Tennessee River from the area seen in the picture, directly across the river.
Civil War River Crossing image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, December 6, 2013
13. Civil War River Crossing
View from the north side of the Tennessee River, looking across the river to the south side, of about where the Union pontoon bridge, crossed the Tennessee River.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 570 times since then and 95 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on December 10, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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