This exciting, dramatic re-creation of the events in October and November, 1863 accurately details the actions of the Confederate and Union Forces in the area of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is an excellent way to learn about the battles in the Chattanooga area.
Originally known as Confederama, The Battles for Chattanooga Museum was located at the bottom of the west side of Lookout Mountain. Built in 1957, Confederama became extremely popular in the 1960's, during the 100th anniversary of The Civil War in part because of the strong Southern influence throughout the small attraction. Twin Stars and Bars greeted tourists at the entrance and ads typically included warnings for Yankees.
By the early 1990's the museum had fallen into disrepair and the original owner died. Civil War enthusiasts realized what a loss it would be if the museum closed and backed efforts to save the famous landmark. A local business owner purchased the museum and all the contents. A grand refurbishing was begun. Each of the figures on the huge battlefield was removed and cleaned. Some were repainted. Wiring that in some cases was nearly 40 years old was replaced. A new, digital soundtrack was recorded.
Battlefield in the Battles for Chattanooga Museum
The room darkens -- the battle of Chickamauga, is little more than a distant flash of light. Moments later, the tiny city of Chattanooga is illuminated, and our story begins. A daring late night raid to open the "Cracker Line." The ill fated Battle of Wauhatchee, where Braxton Bragg refuses to commit the men needed (and promised) to Georgian James Longstreet.
The Battle Above the Clouds sweeps across the side of Lookout Mountain. Union General Ulysses S. Grant would later characterize this fight as a romanticized skirmish. The main assault on Missionary Ridge breaks the Confederate line, forcing a bitter retreat to Dalton for Bragg's Army of Tennessee. The Battles for Chattanooga Electronic Map recreates the series of battles that many scholars consider the turning point of the Civil War in the Western Theater.
Pat Cleburnes men defend Tunnel Hill
One of our favorite depictions on the detail of the "electronic map" is the fighting at the railroad tunnel during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Here Confederate General Patrick Cleburne held off a numerically superior William Tecumseh Sherman. The brutal, unsuccessful, fighting on the Confederate right, which at times was hand-to-hand combat, forced the successful frontal assault on Missionary Ridge by the Army of the Cumberland.
Our hearts were pounding at each turn, and the show is well worth the money. An excellent museum, which is free, accompanies the show. There is a gift shop within the building as well.
Open: Daily 9:00-5:00pm
Directions: From I-75 take I-24 west to exit 178 (Lookout Mountain).
Follow signs to Point Park.