Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sherman Reservation

The Sherman Reservation seems like the most neglected part of the Chattanooga battlefield. It is generally over grown, both in tall trees that block most views outside and in undergrowth that limits the view through the trees.

This is an Illinois monument, up a bit of a steep slope (though not entirely inaccessible) with trees and undergrowth all around it.

Another sad aspect of the reservation is that many plaques are missing. I talked with a park ranger and he said some had been stolen (likely for scrap value) and the rest had been removed to prevent future thefts. The backs of every Illinois monument should have a small plaque but all are missing.

Every Ohio plaque has also been removed, but the base remains so that you know it was once there. I think Ohio and Illinois should replace their plaques with a cast iron plaque, or with some other metal that would be less likely to be stolen.
A bit of a "Where's Waldo?" moment. There is an Ohio base in here. If the plaque was still in place it would be very difficult to get at. Hint: it is in nearly the very middle (both horizontally and vertically) of the picture.
The Missouri markers put the engraving on a flat top, which wind and rain have basically erased. Someone use chalk (I hope it was only chalk) to make the writing on this one visible again. I've heard of people using flour in graveyards to help bring out the old writing, maybe I need to carry a bag of flour on my future battlefield wanderings.
A little hard to see but these are earthworks that Giles A. Smith's brigade erected on the night of November 25th. The next morning they would awake to find out that Cleburne's Division had left their front.
I just like this view of the road that takes you to Sherman Reservation. There is a Missouri marker on the left side of the road.

Although I said earlier in this post that it is hard to see out of the reservation, there is one nice view of Lookout Mountain possible.


Anonymous said...

In the second photo down, do you think the war department tablets were removed for maintenance or were stolen? I know the battlefields in the east began a round of "clean up" on the old war department tablets a few years ago.

Nick said...

The missing tablets are actually Ohio plaques. As best I can tell they used a different metal than the War Department tablets. I was told that some had been stolen and then the rest were removed to protect them from being stolen.

Andy Papen said...

Nick, you're certainly correct about the condition of those Missouri unit markers. The elements have certainly made them all but unreadable. The two regimental markers at Chickamauga (2nd and 15th Missouri on the slope of Lytle Hill) are in similar shape. I've spent considerable time at the Sherman Reservation, as part of the research I've done on one of those Missouri regiments (26th). The photo you posted of a Missouri unit is an interesting one, by the way. Company E of the 24th never served with the rest of the 24th; it served most of its career attached to the 10th Missouri, which also has a marker there.

Anyway, I've enjoyed your Chickamauga/Chattanooga photos. It's about time for me to make another trip there......