War Between the States Day, an annual event in historic Chickamauga at the Gordon-Lee Mansion, will feature re-enactors who, through living histories, will demonstrate what life was like for the average soldier in the field. They will demonstrate maneuvers, camping, weapons firing, cannon firing and more. They will also portray average citizens left on the farm and how they survived one of the most trying times in our history, the Civil War.
The Gordon-Lee Mansion is the only original structure still standing that was used by both armies during the Battle of Chickamauga. It was also used as a Union headquarters prior to and the site of seven division hospitals during the battle. The mansion will open for tours conducted by the Friends of the Gordon-Lee Mansion from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission for the tour is $4 per adult and $1 per child younger than age 12.
The event will also feature the annual Blue-Gray BBQ Contest, held at the mansion to commemorate one of the most famous barbecues in American history — the great Blue-Gray Barbecue of 1889. This event was also one of the most important healing events in American history, when 14,000 veterans of the Battle of Chickamauga attended, smoked pipes of peace with each other, ate barbecue and decided to form the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. Barbecue vendors will be cooking and selling barbecue throughout the day.
A speakers symposium hosted by the Georgia Civil War Commission will begin in the mansion’s banquet room at 10 a.m. Speakers will cover topics like “Finding your Confederate Ancestor,” “The Battle of Chickamauga,” “Black Confederates,” “Patrick Cleburne,” “Confederate Treasury” and “An Ordinary Soldier.”
The Chickamauga Merchant’s Association will host “Chickamauga Yesteryear” in the historic downtown district. The main street in the downtown area will be blocked off to car traffic, and merchants will be hosting special craft artisans for historic demonstrations of their art. The merchants will be turning the downtown area into an early-1900’s replication of Chickamauga and will be open for shopping.
For more information, contact Richard Barclift, tourism director, at 706-375-4728 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Directions, information on entering the barbecue contest and a schedule of speakers can be found at GordonLeeMansion.com.