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Orchard Knob Park belongs to the National Park Service and is part of the Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Battle Park. It is located on the low hill in Chattanooga on which Grant and Thomas stood on 24 and 25 Nov. 1863. Thomas directed the battle and pulled out a win in spite of Grant's interference and Sherman's incompetence. Thomas thus literally saved the Union war effort and Grant's career at this spot on these 2 days.

In keeping with his wishes, Thomas has no monument at Chickamauga or in Chattanooga. However, at the price of a new sign Orchard Knob can still be designated as Thomas Reservation without doing a disservice to this modest servant of his country, but doing a great service to ourselves. We, and especially our children, need to know about people like Thomas who stood up to be counted and did their duty.

Of course, Orchard Knob first has to be spruced up a bit. The photos below taken on 4 Aug. 2003 show its current state of maintenance. Trash is regularly left on the street or sidewalk, the west wall is crumbling, the grass is uncut, and the upgrading of this park announced 1 1/2 years ago has not taken place.











If you disapprove of the way the Orchard Knob community, the city of Chattanooga, and the National Park Service treat this historical site, write to the addresses at the bottom. If you want to see for yourself, follow the directions below.

Click on the 2 smaller maps to enlarge.



  • Orchard Knob (Thomas Reservation) is the red rectangle just off 3rd Street.
  • The National Cemetary, established by Thomas on 24 Dec. 1863 after the battle of Chattanooga, is the large yellow section to the left of Orchard Knob and it sometimes confused with it.
  • The center of Missionary ridge is the heavy blue line (Crest Rd..) 1 mile to the East of Orchard Knob.
  • The red star is Sharp's Spur where the troops of Willich and Hazen first pierced the Confederate line.
  • The blue star indicates Bragg's headquarters.
  • Right behind the blue star on Seminole Dr. is the X where Hooker's troops under Osterhaus arrived sometime after 4 PM and began to undermine the Confederate line, thus laying the groundwork for Thomas's charge up the middle.

    Click to go to Civil War maps of Chattanooga.

    If you are concerned about the neglected state of Orchard Knob (Thomas Reservation), first write to your own congressman. If you write to any representative or senator on the national or state level and mention a National Park Service issue, they are bound by law to both answer you and to refer the matter to the National Park Service.

    Other addresses to which you can write:

    Chattanooga Times/Free Press: letters@timesfreepress.com.

    Chattanooga city council spokesman Randy Burns: Burns_R@mail.chattanooga.gov

     National Park Service:
    - Jerry Belson, director of Atlanta regional office: jerry_belson@nps.gov - tel. 404-562-3182
    - Pat Reed, director of Chickamauga Visitors' Center: pat_reed@nps.gov - tel. 706-866-9241


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