There will be an opening ceremony (on Friday, Sept. 19), and he will be here for that, said Chickamauga City Manager John Culpepper, one of the key organizers for the event.
The 145th Battle of Chickamauga will be held Sept. 19-21 at Davis Crossroads in McLemore Cove. The opening ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. A stage will be set up for Cheney, who will speak at the opening.
The Battle of Chickamauga took place Sept. 18-20, 1863, and was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War.
Cheney visited Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in September 2003.
His great-grandfather, Capt. Samuel Fletcher Cheney of the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI), served in the Battle of Chickamauga, which became known as the Gettysburg of the West.
The opening ceremony for the 145th Battle of Chickamauga will commemorate the men who fought in the battle, including Cheneys great-grandfather.
We are honored the vice president has scheduled to attend, said Ed Hooper, editor and publisher of the Civil War Courier, a national publication dedicated to Civil War-era re-enactors and Civil War history. Hooper is also helping to organize the 145th Battle of Chickamauga.
Re-enactors from around the world will be participating in this historic event, which marks the first time a sitting vice president has participated in a national Civil War reenactment, Hooper said.
Hooper said the 145th Battle of Chickamauga features a three-day educational program that will serve 7,000 to 10,000 school students and give then a hands-on history lesson from some of the nations best living historians, as well as allow them to meet recipients of the Medal of Honor.
The event will commemorate the 145th anniversary of the first awarding of the Medal of Honor, for which the vice president has a unique family tie, Hooper said.
In 1862 Cheneys great-grandfather was the commanding officer who gave permission to Pvt. William J. Knight of the 21st OVI to take part in a special operation that became known as the Great Locomotive Chase, Hooper said. The men, who are known in history as Andrews Raiders, were the first ever awarded the Medal of Honor. James Andrews, the namesake of the unit, was tried in Chattanooga and hanged as a spy in Atlanta, Hooper said.
Descendants of Pvt. Knight will be present at the ceremony. Knight was presented his Medal of Honor in September 1863.
To help commemorate the event, Andrews Raiders and General Longstreets arrival at the Battle of Chickamauga, spectators can ride an authentic steam locomotive to the site from Chattanooga. Tickets are still available online.
The 145th Battle of Chickamauga commemoration will include re-enactment battles on all three days, period sutlers, museum displays, activity tents with guest speakers, a grand ball, womens tea and fashion show, Hooper said. Thousands of re-enactors and period civilians will be on hand to create one of the best living history events in the nation, Hooper said.
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