Learn About The Faces Behind The Monuments On August 23 Tour At Chickamauga Battlefield

(Top) This cannoneer is depicted on the South Carolina Monument at Chickamauga Battlefield. (Bottom). The monument for the Thirteen Michigan Infantry Regiment includes this likeness of a soldier. NPS photos.

Like almost any other site commemorating the Civil War, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park features hundreds of monuments and markers, and many of them bear the likeness of individual soldiers. If you've ever wondered about the stories behind these faces, you can join a special walking and driving tour at the park on Saturday, August 23.

The Battle of Chickamauga was fought in the fall of 1863, just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and left thousands dead and a landscape scarred and ruined. Just over 25 years later, veterans from both sides returned to area, on a mission to preserve the site of the battle. Their efforts culminated on August 19, 1890, when Congress established the area as our country's first national military park.

To mark the site where their soldiers fought and died, states and organizations have placed stone and iron monuments and markers by the hundreds on the battlefield. A park spokesperson offers an apt description of these efforts: "In bas relief images and honored words, these monuments remain today as sentinels and storytellers to the memories of those who lived through the horror of this battle."

"Many of the monuments at Chickamauga Battlefield bear faces—soldiers standing ready to fight, to live, to die, and to protect. Yet who were these faces? How did they come to be at Chickamauga Battlefield?"

Those are some compelling questions, and you can learn the answers to at least some of them on a special, two-hour car caravan and walking tour on Saturday, August 23, 2104. The tour will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, located at 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. You'll find driving directions to the Visitor Center at this link.