Moccasin Bend: The Key to Chattanooga

October 10 and 11 throughout the Day. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to participate in a series of special programs at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District and at Point Park, atop Lookout Mountain, on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11. The weekend’s programs will focus on the 152nd anniversary of Chattanooga’s besiegement.

On October 5, 1863, the first boom echoed across the Chattanooga landscape. The shrieking shell, fired from Lookout Mountain, sliced through the morning air before burying itself on Moccasin Bend, in the floor of a tent, between two blue-clad soldiers. Union General John Beatty recalled that “one of the soldiers turned very cooly [sic] to the other and said, ‘… you see what you get by leaving your door open.’” Thus began a constant barrage of artillery fire between Union artillery on Moccasin Bend and Confederate guns on Lookout Mountain. Frustration quickly befell the besieging Confederates as they tried to starve the Union army into submission, while increasing hope crept into the Union camp as the “Moccasin Battery” held the peninsula, which was essentially the key to Chattanooga and a supply line to Union troops stationed in the beleaguered city.

On Moccasin Bend, visitors can participate in a two-hour hike to the Union positions along Stringers Ridge on Saturday and Sunday at 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:45 pm with Park Historian Jim Ogden. Water bottles, comfortable, supportive footwear, and clothing appropriate for the weather are recommended for this program. Living historians portraying Union soldiers will be stationed along Stringers Ridge throughout the weekend as well. At the south parking area, off south Moccasin Bend Road, Union artillerymen will be demonstrating the power exerted by the “Moccasin Battery” by firing a reproduction Civil War cannon at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm on Saturday and at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm on Sunday. For those planning to visit Moccasin Bend, please follow the “Special Event” signs from the Manufacturer’s Road exit off Highway 27. In addition to the programs at Moccasin Bend, artillery programs and ranger guided talks will be conducted at Point Park on Lookout Mountain on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission to Point Park is $5.00 per adult, ages 16 and over, and there are no admission fees for the programs on Moccasin Bend.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 or visit the National Military Park’s website at Or contact Michael Wurzel at the Friends of Moccasin Bend office at 423-322-5014 or visit the FOMB website

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