I’ve been away too long again. Sorry, time is ever fleeting.
I just got back from the annual Chickamauga Study Group tours, held this weekend every March. Once again, we had a great time, and once again, rain was the theme.:)
We had between 35 and 40 people each day, including a number of new faces, which was great to see. I don’t raise a lot of money with these tours, but we do charge a fee for the bus on Friday, so we do see some income – any excess is donated to the park in the form of library aquisitions. Last year we added about fifteen volumes to the library. This year, we have $320 to spend, and I hope to add something a little special. More on that when I know it will happen.
In the meantime, it was a great stomp. I think we gave some folks a little food for thought concerning General Bragg, though we didn’t go easy on him by any means. Saturday morning’s exploration of Cleburne’s attack was, I thought, also a solid success.
For the first time ever, I had to break away on Saturday afternoon to get home to Chicago – personal reasons intruded. My father had a pace-maker installed, and while he now appears to be fit as a fiddle, he gave us all a bit of a scare earlier. Fortunately, everything is OK, and of course, with Jim Ogden leading Saturday afternoon’s tour, the Study group was in good hands.
On another personal note, I would like to thank Jim for all the work he has put into these tours. Jim is the Park Historian, and he is a cultural resource unto himself. He is also a first-rate presenter, so no one will get bored on an Ogden tour. I like to think that the Study Group offers Jim a chance to do something a bit different than most of the tours and staff rides he leads: to zero in on just a segment of the battle and share that wealth of knowledge that more comprehensive tours don’t have time for.
Much to my surprise, we had press coverage on Friday, as a staff reporter and a photographer from the Chattanooga Free Press showed up. Apprently they found details of our little expedition on the web, and so we got a nice write-up in the Saturday morning edition of the paper.
Ah, sweet fame – it must be my fifteen minutes…
Seriously, I was pleased that the park and the group received the attention. It has long been my opinion that Chickamauga-Chattanooga has been one of the more under-appreciated parks in the system, considering its size and legacy. Moreover, while visitation is important, the right kind of visitation is doubly important. I’m not trying to sound snobbish. I want the parks to be widely used for their historical purpose of education and memorialization, not just as large recreation areas. Recreation is fine, but it’s still a battlefield. Ergo, a press piece noting a group there to study the field in depth is greatly encouraging.
Here is a link to the article.