'Over the Plateau' leads off Civil War cruises - Sept. 7

'Over the Plateau' leads off Civil War cruises - Sept. 7

September 5th, 2013 by Staff Report in Chattnow Outabout

Passengers aboard the River Gorge Explorer can learn about Civil War history in four sesquicentennial cruises starting Saturday.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

CIVIL WAR SESQUICENTENNIAL CRUISES

• Saturday, Sept. 7: "Over the Plateau," 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Brings to life the troop movements of the Army of the Cumberland and looks at how soldiers endured the elements and traversed the rugged local terrain to play a key role in the Battle of Chickamauga in the late summer of 1863.

• Saturday, Oct. 5: "Sharpshooters and the Siege," 12:30-2:30 p.m. Naturalist John Dever tells the history related to the actions of Confederate sharpshooters in the Tennessee River Gorge during the siege of Chattanooga in October 1863.

• Sunday, Oct. 27: "Brown's Ferry Raid," 9:30-11:30 a.m. Jim Ogden, chief historian with the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, discusses the Federal strike against Brown's Ferry on the day of the 150th anniversary. The raid successfully established the "Cracker Line" and was the major turning point in the Battles for Chattanooga.

• Saturday, Nov. 23: "Sherman's Crossing," 1:30-3:30 p.m. Venture upstream from downtown Chattanooga to where the Army of the Tennessee and Gen. William T. Sherman crossed the Tennessee River at Chickamauga Creek and learn how the subsequent Battle of Missionary Ridge ended the Battles for Chattanooga in 1863.

Chattanooga's rich Civil War history will be explored from a new vantage point over the next few weeks. In addition to daily cruises highlighting historic points of interest and the area's scenic beauty, the Tennessee Aquarium's River Gorge Explorer has added special cruises commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

The first of these, "Over the Plateau," plotting troop movements of the Army of the Cumberland, will be offered Saturday, Sept. 7. Three more -- "Sharpshooters and the Siege," "Brown's Ferry Raid" and "Sherman's Crossing" -- will follow in October and November.

Civil War historian Jim Ogden says the river views can offer "a deeper appreciation of the Chattanooga area's complex terrain." Such terrain, he says, made the area a crossroads and gateway over time, resulting in some of the war's most significant fighting.

A cash bar with wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks is available during each cruise. The vessel has a maximum passenger load of 68.

Tickets are $18 to $24 for member children and adults. Nonmembers pay $29 per adult, $21.50 per child ages 3-12, $18 per child under age 3. To reserve seating, go to www.tnaqua.org/Events.aspx.