Last week about fifty people gathered at Chickamauga National Military Park for what has turned into an annual event: the CCNMP “Seminar in the Woods.” Now in its 11th (or possibly 12th, memories are a little vague) year, I first started organizing the Seminar in order to study the battlefield in more depth than a normal tour affords. I have deliberately kept structure informal and the costs low: I charge for the bus on Friday, but there is no cost for the tours on Saturday. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that Park Historian Jim Ogden spends two days with us, the lack of cost is simply much easier to manage.
Besides, I am not a tour director, meal organizer, or complaint guy.:) If you don’t like your hotel I take great comfort in knowing that I had nothing to do with booking it.:) You are on your own for meals and lodging.
This year’s event worked out well. Good weather both days, and we covered some ground that we hadn’t tackled before or had not revisited in a long time. We drove down into Johnson’s Crook, on the east side of Lookout Mountain, to at least see where most of the Union XIV Corps ascended Lookout, though taking a bus up Newsom Gap Road is impossible. On Wednesday I reconned this in my car, and discovered that even the term “gravel road” is too generous. Ruts and switchbacks, all the way. I was so nervous about running across a washout and having to back down the mountain (in most places turning around was not an option) that I forgot to take a single picture.
While discussing the XIV Corps, we talked quite a bit about logistics, and one of the items that came up was this excellent – if much under-used – book by Edward Hagerman:
I was so busy with the touring stuff that I didn’t take any pictures, though some other attendees have already posted some of their photos to Facebook. Of course, most of my pictures tend to be of monuments and War Department tablets anyway, so I am not so sure how exciting they would be for others.
We are already planning on next year. See you then.