A Blue and Gray Trail Site
In 1852 Colonel James Whiteside built a road from the north end of Lookout Mountain to his property at the top, then called Point Lookout. The ride up took four hours in a buggy with a good horse, but the view was stunning. In 1857 Col. Whiteside added a hotel that would be destroyed during the Civil War.
A few days after the battle of Chickamauga the Army of Tennessee retook Lookout Mountain and used it as an observation post and to fire on Chattanooga. Confederate artillery from Point Lookout was largely ineffective. After the Union Army successfully completed the "cracker line" the position became a target. On November 24, 1863 General Joseph Hooker [US] launched an attack that would become known as the "Battle Above The Clouds." Although no fighting actually took place in Point Park a Confederate artillery battery did fire on Union soldiers, who were sweeping the mountainside (see The Battle of Lookout Mountain).
Although the mountaintop remained relatively quiet after the Civil War, in 1879 a second toll-road was completed and a building boom ensued. By the mid-1890's there were a number of alternate routes to the top of Lookout Mountain including two Inclines (more) and two railroads (a broad gauge and narrow gauge), and a number of hotels and rooms.
Point Park was completed in 1905 to commemorate the "Battle Above the Clouds" as part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. Land on the mountainside, acquired by the publisher of the Chattanooga Times, Adolph S. Ochs, from Col. Whiteside's family and the family of Robert Cravens comprised a significant portion of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park on Lookout Mountain, although it is not technically part of Point Park. Ochs then donated the land to the government for the memorial. Cravens House is also a part of the park and can be reached by road or trails.
Inside Point Park are numerous monuments to the men who fought and died. The New York Peace Memorial features a Union and a Confederate soldier shaking hands. A small museum at the Ochs Overlook houses items of interest for Civil War buffs.
From Point Park it is possible to access many other sites through an intricate maze of trails on Lookout Mountain. Access to the trails is from Ochs Museum. You can walk to Sunset Rock, where James Longstreet watched the Union Army march unopposed into Lookout Valley during the operations associated with the battle at Brown's Ferry. (1.1 miles, easy), walk to the Cravens House, (1.5 miles, moderate) or follow the eastern rim of the mountain (1.5, easy) on the Mountain Rim Trail. This trail is exceptionally beautiful at sunrise.
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