On October 10 and 11 we celebrated the anniversary of the Battle for Chattanooga at Point Park. The actual battle took place November 23 – 25, 1863, but because that is Thanksgiving weekend and generally yucky weather at Lookout Mountain, this year they decided to try an anniversary celebration in October.
For the first time in 152 years, a cannon fired from Moccasin Bend (on the Tennessee River Bank) up to Lookout Mountain. Cannon firing from Lookout Mountain happens about five times a year, but this time the Confederates on Lookout Mountain were responding to the fire coming from the Yankees on Moccasin Bend. You can see pictures of the Moccasin Bend side on the CHCH facebook page.
The cannons being fired are real Civil War cannons. We have over 250 of them on the various battlefields around Chattanooga. We do not know, however, if they are the cannons that were actually used in the area. After the army moved on to more updated cannons, they dumped all the old cannons on the national military parks, and because Chickamauga and Chattanooga was the first military park, it got a lot of them.
We had a group of Living History soldiers from Kennesaw Mountain come up to fire the cannon at Point Park. They stayed in the park for the weekend in a white canvas tent. (I think they might have slept in their cars during the 1.45 inches of rain we got Friday night). On Saturday and Sunday they gave talks and fired the cannons. Our visitors were delighted to watch and talk to them.
You could hear the boom-ba-boom of the cannons all over the mountain. We got a kick out of watching people who were walking by jump when the cannon were fired. I answered a phone call from a woman who lived about halfway down the mountain who wanted to be sure that we were firing the cannons because, otherwise, she was under attack.
We had almost 700 visitors on Sunday, which was our busiest day at Point Park since we started working. The weather was gorgeous as soon as the fog burned off in the morning – a perfect temperature with a great view and interesting activities. It was a wonderful weekend to celebrate the anniversary of the battle for Chattanooga.