published Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Weekend events at battlefields include bike tour, re-enactments

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to events at Moccasin Bend, Point Park and Chickamauga Battlefield.

On Sunday, a guided bike ride to the Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District will begin at 9:30 a.m. from Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River St. in Coolidge Park.

Participants should bring their own bicycles and helmets for this two-hour ride. Children 8 and older may participate in the ride if accompanied by an adult.

National Park Service interpretive rangers will talk about the history of Moccasin Bend. Upon return to Outdoor Chattanooga, about 11 a.m., rangers from Russell Cave National Monument will provide a program about gender and ethnic roles during Cherokee removal and the Trail of Tears. Visitors who don't participate in the bicycle ride are welcome to attend this program.

  • A 150th anniversary program discussing Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk's occupation of Columbus, Ky., will be held Friday at 7 p.m., beginning at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, 3370 LaFayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe.

The one-hour program will include a walking tour and car caravan. Participants should wear appropriate clothing for the weather, comfortable shoes and bring water.

Without Confederate President Jefferson Davis' approval and against the wishes of the government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Leonidas Polk ordered Confederate forces to occupy Columbus, Ky., on Sept. 3, 1861. Considered one of the great blunders of the Civil War, the occupation of Columbus kept Kentucky in the Union for the remainder of the war.

  • The 16th Alabama Regiment will present living history re-enactments at Point Park Sept. 3-4. They will present talks about the life of the soldier 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

They will also conduct rifle-firing demonstrations Saturday at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., and on Sunday at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Part of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, the 16th Alabama Regiment participated in the 1863 Chattanooga Campaign. As part of Gen. Patrick Cleburne's division, the 16th Alabama assisted in defending Ringgold Gap in November 1863. Cleburne's success at Ringgold permitted the Army of Tennessee to retreat to Dalton, Ga., after the Battles for Chattanooga.

For more information, visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/chch.

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