Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Ghosts of Chickamauga...

America’s battlefields are all quiet now and have been for well over a century or two, depending upon the war in which it took place. Most of the people visiting the parks and museums associated with these battlefields note feelings of reverence and serenity while exploring the grounds.

At least until the sun goes down...

Horseshoe Ridge at the Chickamauga battlefield by Hal Jespersen

During the Civil War, the bloodiest battles waged took place at Gettysburg, Antietam, Stones River, and Chickamauga. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that at the end of the siege, more than bullets and blood remained behind. We'll explore each of these battlefields in the days ahead.

First up...Chickamauga.

The battle at Chickamauga took the life of an ancestral Uncle of mine, and figures prominently in “Spiritof the Rebellion.” In 1863, from the early hours of September 19th through the 20th, the combined casualties totaled 37,129 men. At the end of this horrendous battle, countless bodies of Union soldiers, left lying in the field for weeks, were finally buried in makeshift graves. Various reports tell us they buried the dead in rows, head to foot and more often than not, several men shared a grave. Not a single marker would ever note their passing.

One hundred and fifty years has come and gone since that battle, yet to this day visitors report the sound of distant gunshots, footsteps, conversations one can’t quite make out and bushes that move of their own accord. It is not uncommon to hear mournful cries, fearful shouts, galloping horses when no horses are present, soldiers marching, and moaning...

Over the years, the visage of a ghostly woman in white, floating above the grounds has been witnessed by numerous people. Legend tells us that she searches for her beloved sweetheart, killed during the battle. Perhaps one day she’ll find him...

And then we have Ol’ Green Eyes. While some believe this specter is a Confederate soldier searching for his severed head, others believe he is an otherworldly creature, half-man and half-beast, from Native American legend. A legend that well precedes the Civil War. According to reports, he walks on two legs and has straggly, waist-length hair. His most notable feature is his glowing green eyes and huge jaws that sport two sharp fangs. There were survivors of the battle who reported seeing this creature wandering among the dead at the area known as Snodgrass Hill.

Finally, we have an unexplained event at  Wilder Tower...

John T. Wilder  Monument Hlj
At the time of Colonel John T. Wilder’s commission, the Union army could do nothing more than provide the troops with mules to ride and arm them with hatchets—a thing that rankled the colonel. In response, he called in every political favor that he could to get horses for his troops and then used his own money to purchase 2100 Spencer rifles at a cost of $13 each. Because of this gift, Wilder’s Lightning Brigade held off more than 14,000 Confederates during the retreat.

In 1899, the survivors of the mounted infantry erected the tower in Wilder’s memory. At the time of its construction, those in charge placed mementos of the war into the cornerstone of the structure and sealed them inside. They planned to remove the stone during the Bicentennial celebration scheduled in 1976. The event took place as planned. Yet, as they opened the stone, still intact and undisturbed, they discovered all the contents placed inside had mysteriously vanished...

So tell me, have you ever had an otherworldly experience at a battlefield? What would you do if you did?


  1. Run as fast as I could then wished I would of stayed and watched the whole thing....lol

    1. Oh the stories you could tell if you just stay awhile! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! You made my day!

  2. Debbie, what a riveting post! I had chills running up and down my spine the entire time, especially when I hit the part about Colonel Wilder and the monument. WOW! Just amazing.

    I've wandered about a few battlefields in my day, including Gettysburg and Antietam, but I'm always careful to visit during the daylight hours!

    1. Isn't it interesting that most of the time, spooky, otherworldly events take place in the dark? Thank heaven for light! Thanks for visiting Mae! I always look forward to your comments!

  3. Really enjoyed this! Thank u for posting. :)

  4. Thank you Candice! And thanks for stopping by!

  5. I lived in Chickamauga, GA. for 10 years. My husband built a new home in Leewood Estates. We had many ghostly experiences while living there. Our ghost was a friendly but comical soul. Hiding objects from us, only to reveal them at a later date (in plain sight). Cooking soup and leaving it on the stove top, while no one was home, only to be discovered by us upon our return. Tossing items down the hallway, while we would be in the opposite end of the house. Turning on radios and TV's in the middle of the night, and many other accounts of her presence. We never know when she would decide to visit, but we became very used to her antics. My teenage daughter saw a faded image of a girl or woman in a long white dress in her room on several occasions, so we realized that our ghost must be a female. We thought and thought about a name to give her. We finally came up with the name Beaulah. I hope she liked the name. Sadly to say, we moved to Lafayette, GA. about three years ago and although I walked through our house, before leaving for the last time and asked Beaulah if she would like to go with us to our new home. She must have decided to stay in Chickamauga, as we haven't heard from her since we moved. She obviously had roots in the location of our home there and decided to stay where she was most comfortable. We miss the funny little jokes that she played on us, but I certainly hope she continues to have fun and enjoys the new owners of our previous home in Chickamauga. I have fond memories of our days with Beaulah and hope you have enjoyed my post. Sandy

  6. Oh Sandy! I LOVED your post! I too am hoping that Beaulah is happy with the new owners. (Might be fun to contact them and she if she introduced herself...and wouldn't it be great if they too named her Beaulah?) Thanks so much for stopping by! I truly enjoyed your visit!