Welcome back to ‘A Journey into the Haunted‘ as we visit ‘Chickamauga Battlefield’. The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is located in north Georgia and eastern Tennessee. This National Park Service is home to two of America’s Civil War bloodiest battles that took place in 1863: The Battle of Chickamauga and The Battle of Chattanooga.
The second largest battle took place on this site that consisted of four areas including the Chickamauga Battlefield, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain Battlefield and Moccasin Bend. So the fact it was the second largest battle also meant the death toll was at its highest as well. The survivors were forced to use mass and unmarked graves because they could not keep up with the number of bodies. That means that spirits of these fallen soldiers were left to roam the battlefields confused and lost.
When there is this type of mass tragedy such as a battle there will be a negative energy left behind as well. Between the lost spirits and negative energy, there will be stories of hauntings that will be passed down from generation to generation. There have been reports of orbs, strange flickering of lights thought to be the lanterns of the widows who were looking for their husbands who never returned home from the war and shadows darting in and out of the tree lines. There are also reports of screams, moans, gunshots and visitors also say they feel as if they are being watched. I have also seen reports that people can smell gunpowder and see the fog of gunfire left behind after a battle appear and disappear within a few minutes.
As with most haunted locations, there are legends of ghosts that stand out above the rest and Chickamauga has a few of its own.
The most reported legend is Ol’ Green Eyes aka Chickamauga Green Eyes. It is reported that this is the spirit of a Confederate soldier who lost his head in a cannon accident. His fellow soldiers then buried his head and not his body, so he is roaming in search of it. There are also some who believe that Ol’ Green Eyes was not human at all but a monster who haunts the area.
There is nothing better than a “Headless Horseman” story and Chickamauga has one of their own. The story goes that Lt. Colonel Julius Garesché, fell from his horse during battle and was caught in a stampede of horses. The officer’s head was squashed and removed as the horses ran away. The soldiers found his headless body after the battle ended but never recovered the head. This has lead to reports of people seeing a headless figure on horseback riding through the woods in the dark.
Of course, we cannot forget the Lady in White. The young lady dressed in a flowing white dress has been seen walking among the graves and slipping into the woods as she disappears. The popular belief is that she is the widow of a soldier and she comes in search of her true love who never returned home from the war. She has been seen at all hours of the day and night searching and weeping.
This is another location that I have investigated personally. I sadly have no evidence that I can attach to this article because at the time I took this trip I was just learning how to handle that part of me, but I can assure you the moment you step out of your car ANYONE can feel the difference in the air. As I mentioned earlier you cannot have that much death, heartache and loss in one area and not leave behind a “footprint”. I didn’t see any ghosts, nor did I hear or smell anything, but I could feel something. The air was almost too heavy to breathe but I took a moment said a prayer for those poor souls lost and when I looked up again I saw the beauty of the location and not the trauma. I am hoping to plan another trip as part of this series to see what I can find.
So this is a location that I suggest you take no matter what you are interested in. If you are a Civil War history buff, ghost hunter, nature lover or cemetery fan (yes some people enjoy old cemeteries) this is a location you need to visit https://www.nps.gov/chch for more information and history on this historic landmark.