Lookout Mountain: Battle Above the Clouds
0 comment Thursday, October 2, 2014 |
Above is a picture, from an old postcard, of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
Lookout Mountain has a historical significance because of a battle which happened there in 1863.
This source describes the unusual characteristics of that site:
The mountain is known for a unique weather phenomenon. Sometimes, after a clear dawn, a layer of fog descends toward the valley below, stopping about halfway down the peak. This inverted fog has been written about since the first whites visited the area sometime before 1735. It was on a fateful day, November 24, 1863, that this weather anomaly set in, creating the most poetic name for any battle in the American Civil War, The Battle Above the Clouds.'
The Battle of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, occurred on November 23-24, 1863. According to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the battle was little more than a skirmish. He said
The Battle of Lookout Mountain is one of the romances of the war. There was no such battle and no action even worthy to be called a battle on Lookout Mountain. It is all poetry."
But it was part of the larger Battles for Chattanooga, which took place over several days, Nov. 23-25. The Battle for Chattanooga, according to this site, was the deciding battle of the Civil War.
CSA President Jefferson Davis said:
Chattanooga was the key to the situation, and its loss was terrible to the Confederacy. Our only comfort was, that the people at Washington did not know what to do with it."
According to the Army of the Cumberland website, from which the above quote is cited,
The battle for Chattanooga was the turning point in the Civil War because it opened the doorway to the Union forces for invasion into the deep South at the last moment for making possible the capture of Atlanta in time to influence the 1864 congressional and presidential elections.'
For those of us with Confederate ancestry and heritage, this represents a sad turning point. I know there are many Northerners who feel very strongly that the South had no right to secede, that they were fighting for the evil of slavery, and that they were essentially treasonous for seceding and fighting for their cause. I won't attempt to debate that in this short blog entry, although I think the South has a case.
But for me, the Battle of Lookout Mountain, the 'Battle Above the Clouds', has a meaning which is not tied in with the issues of the war, but a personal and poignant meaning: I know it's the place where my great-great-grandfather fell in battle.
I've never been to Lookout Mountain, but it looks like a beautiful place. The descriptions of the strange weather phenomena, and of the eerie beauty as the fog descends from the mountain downward conjure up an unworldly atmosphere in my mind. I hope to visit there one day, and to pay homage to the memory of my great-great-grandfather.
These are the somber thoughts of this Thanksgiving Eve for me.
As we give thanks, we ought also to keep in mind the great sacrifices of our forefathers, and give thanks for their bravery and selflessness. Of course we just observed Veterans Day, but our thankfulness and remembrance of our forefathers and their deeds should not be confined to specific days.
Each day is appropriate to remember and to be grateful.