The History of the Lookout Valley Community


Richard Alexander McKeel

Chapter Three

“The Civil War Comes to

Lookout Valley

            The American Civil War came to Lookout Valley for the first time in 1862 with a minor skirmish on Patten Chapel Road or Smith Hill as it was called in those days. However, the major battle that was fought in Lookout Valley was in the fall of 1863.

The major battle that took place in Lookout Valley was after the Union defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga; many Union Regiments went into the surrounding areas of Chattanooga and engaged many Confederate Regiments. These skirmishes also occurred in the areas around the Lookout Valley Community. They include the areas of the Wauhatchie Railroad Tunnel, Wauhatchie Station, and Browns Ferry.

            On the 26th of October 1863 , Union General Ulysses S. Grant who later became the Eighteenth President of the United States telegraphed Lincoln about occupying the city of Chattanooga , “We will hold it till we starve.” That day in October Grant opened the famous “Cracker Line Operation” across the Tennessee River into Lookout Valley . Meanwhile, Union General Joseph Hooker with three of his divisions marched up from Bridgeport Alabama through Lookout Valley onto present day Brown’s Ferry Road .

            At 3:00 A.M. on October 27th a Union Division crossed the Tennessee River on pontoons around Moccasin Bend in the direction towards the Old Post Road (Brown’s Ferry). Union General Geary’s Division at the Wauhatchie Station halted on the railroad tracks to protect the line of communications from the South as well as Kelley’s Ferry Road . Observing the Union movements on the days of the 27th and 28th Confederate General James Longstreet and Braxton Bragg they to tried their luck by having a surprise night attack on Wauhatchie Station. Although the attack was scheduled for a 10:00 P.M. start on the night of the 28th chaos and confusion delayed the attack for another two hours. At midnight , stunned by the attack, Geary’s Division took a stand at the Wauhatchie

Station and formed a V-Shape Battle Line.

            Hearing the reverberation gunfire and cannons of General Hooker who was at Brown’s Ferry, sent Union Major Otis Howard and two of his divisions to Wauhatchie Station as reinforcements. The Battle of Wauhatchie only lasted two days but many young men lost their lives in and around Lookout Valley . The battle ended with neither a success nor loss for the Confederates or the Union . Confederate Losses were 34 killed, 305 wounded, and 69 missing. The Union losses were 78 killed, 327 wounded, and 15 missing.

            A few side notes to the Battles for Wauhatchie: some of the Union Regiments who fought in the battle were veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1-3, 1863 . Also, Moses Veale, Captain, Company F, 109th Pennsylvania Infantry who fought in the Battle of Wauhatchie received the Congressional Medal of Honor on January 17, 1894 , who fought after his horse was shot underneath him. He also had four gunshot wounds. Furthermore, Captain Veale was the writer of the poem “Taps.” 


Wauhatchie Pike in an 1863 Photograph



James Walker Painting “The Battle of Lookout Mountain



Two of the Three Civil War Monuments in Lookout Valley Sadly the third was destroyed by vandals.

Location Wauhatchie Pike

Location Parker Lane near Cummings Bottom


Lookout Valley Becomes Tiftonia


            Sometime around the late 1800s a portion of our community was changed from Lookout Valley to Tiftonia in Honor of John Tift, who was a politician that lived in the area for many years. John Tift came into the community from Tifton , Georgia .





Richard Alexander McKeel

Copyright © 2004