Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park | WILDER BRIGADE

Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELD AUTO TOUR

STOP 6: THE WILDER BRIGADE

Allow up to 30 minutes for a visit

Stop 6 on the Chickamauga Battlefield Automobile Tour is home to the Wilder Brigade Monument, an 85-foot tower that was completed in 1903. Union Colonel John Wilder’s brigade was known as the Lightning Brigade: mounted infantry armed with the most coveted weapon of the war, the 7-shot Spencer repeating rifle, the forbearer of today’s modern rifles. A soldier could fire 14 shots a minute compared to 3 from a typical Civil War-era musket. Wilder’s Brigade had the only Union success at the southern end of the battlefield, halting advancing Confederates multiple times during the fighting.

When open, visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the tower and access an open-air observation deck. However, to do so you must climb 136 steps along a narrow, winding staircase. The tower is closed from December 1st until March 15th, during bad weather, and, oddly enough, when hornets decided to build nests, which happens quite often.

Staircase inside the Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Staircase inside the Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

The view is nice, but overall I was a little disappointed, so don’t force yourself to climb the steps if it could be detrimental to your health. I was hoping to get a birds-eye view of the monuments and cannon near the monument, but most were so close to the base of tower that I couldn’t see them. As a result, all you get is an aerial view of the surrounding forest.

View from the top of the Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

View from the top of the Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

There are also dozens of exquisite monuments sculpted from granite and metal, as well as an information panel.

First Wisconsin Cavalry Monument located in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

First Wisconsin Cavalry Monument located in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Cannon overlooking the battlefield at the Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Cannon overlooking the battlefield at the Wilder Brigade Monument in the Chickamauga Unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Wayside exhibit at Wilder Brigade tour stop on the Chickamauga Battlefield Tour

Wayside exhibit at Wilder Brigade tour stop on the Chickamauga Battlefield Tour

Plan to spend up to a half hour at this stop, depending on whether or not the Wilder Brigade Monument is open for climbing.


Next Stop: Rout of the Union Right | Previous Stop: Heg Memorial and Viniard Field
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Last updated on June 1, 2023
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