Tour Chattanooga Battlefield in One Day

A Civil War itinerary with all the key sites
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Mike Talplacido

If you have one day for your trip, spend it exploring the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and the nearby historic sites to learn more about the crucial role the battles played in the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns of late 1863. If you make it to all the sites on this one-day tour of the Chickamauga Battlefield, you can visit the National Military Park, the Chattanooga National Cemetery, and the Chattanooga History Center.

Before you go:


Stop #1: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Time: 4 - 6 hours


After taking charge of the Union’s western armies in October of 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant focused on lifting the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee. After three days of Union victories on Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain, and Tunnel Hill, the Confederate army withdrew and opened up the Deep South to a Union invasion.

What to do:

Start at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center:

  • Find out what Ranger Programs are scheduled for that day.
  • Tour the Visitor Center exhibit.

Tour the Battlefield. You have several options: 

  • Take a self-guided hiking tour of the battlefield, stopping to observe the monuments, markers, and scenic vistas.

Don't miss:

  • Orchard Knob – 14,000 Union troops attacked and captured the 643 Confederates positioned on this hill on the first day of the battle of Chattanooga.
  • Lookout Mountain – Union soldiers advanced on this position on the second day of the battle, forcing the Confederates to retreat to Missionary Ridge.
  • Missionary Ridge – Federal troops successfully overran the Confederate defenses and forced a Rebel retreat, ending the siege of Chattanooga. 


Stop #2: Chattanooga National Cemetery

Time: 1 hour


Chattanooga National Cemetery was established during the Civil War in December 1863 by an order from Gen. George Thomas to provide a proper burial for Union soldiers killed in the battles around Chattanooga.

What to do:

  • Walk through the cemetery.


Stop #3: Chattanooga History Center

Time: 1 hour


The Chattanooga Regional History Museum has an extensive Civil War collection containing more than five hundred pieces. 

What to do:

  • Examine the artifacts and displays.



Related Battles

Hamilton County and City of Chattanooga, TN | November 23, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Estimated Casualties
Catoosa County and Walker County, GA | September 18, 1863
Result: Confederate Victory
Estimated Casualties

The Battlefields Today