Missionary Ridge is an affluent residential community, historic Civil War battle site and major geological feature in the downtown Chattanooga area.
* History: Missionary Ridge was named for the early missionaries who climbed along paths on the ridge as they made their way to Brainerd Village, a Cherokee settlement on the east side. Most of the larger Civil War sites are surrounded by reservation lands that are part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.
The Battle of Missionary Ridge took place on Nov. 25, 1863, when Union forces routed Confederate forces, lifting the South’s siege of the city. From late September until October of 1863, Confederate forces led by Gen. Braxton Bragg laid siege to the Union Army’s forces in Chattanooga under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, according to the website civilwar.com.
During this period, Ulysses S. Grant received command of the western Union armies and he moved them to reinforce Chattanooga, replacing Rosecrans with Maj. Gen. George Thomas. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman arrived in mid-November with four divisions, and Union troops began offensive operations that captured Missionary Ridge from the Confederate Army. The victory opened the way for Union supplies for Sherman’s 1864 Atlanta campaign.
* Best-kept secret: Tennessee’s only Frank Lloyd Wright home is in the 300 block of North Crest Road.
* Famous residents: U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver, a Madisonville, Tenn.-born Democrat, was elected to the 77th Congress in 1939 to fill the vacancy left by the death of Sen. Sam D. McReynolds, also a Chattanoogan. Kefauver gained fame as chairman of the Special Committee on Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, and was the nominee for U.S. vice president in 1956 on the ticket with Adlai Stevenson. Missionary Ridge resident Hugh Wasson was mayor of Chattanooga from 1947 to 1951 and the former president of Colonial Baking. Former U.S. Rep. LaMar Baker, a Chattanooga native, was a Missionary Ridge resident and a former member of the Tennessee General Assembly until his election to the U.S. House in 1971.
* Schools: Most homes on the south end of Missionary Ridge are zoned for East Ridge Elementary, Middle and High schools. On the north end of the ridge, school-age children are zoned for Hardy Elementary, Dalewood Middle and Brainerd High schools.