Read more Chattanooga History Columns
- Gaston: Paul John Kruesi was Edison's right-hand man
- Robbins: The old Richardson's house and the Civil War
- Gaston: James Williams was a man of the world
- Raney: Mason Evans, the 'Wild Man of the Chilhowee'
- Gaston: The legacy of Adolph Ochs endures
- Martin: Ed Johnson said, 'I have a changed heart,' the day before his lynching in Chattanooga on 1906
- Thomas: The inventiveness of Judge Michael M. Allison
- Moore: Chattanooga's first Chinese community
- Summers, Robbins: Chattanooga's Tuskegee Airman - Joseph C. White
- McCallie: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 says so!
- Gaston: John McCline's Civil War - from slave to D.C. parade
- Raney: Exploring Chattanooga businesses in the Green Book
- Elliott: Remembering the Freedmen's Bureau in Chattanooga
- Gaston: Nancy Ward was a beloved, respected Tennessean
- Martin: Prohibition - the noble experiment
- Elliott: 'A shameful, disgraceful deed': The destruction of the Sewanee cornerstone
- Gaston: Robert Cravens was ironmaster, Chattanooga area's first commuter
- Robbins: Dr. T.H. McCallie's Christmas 1863
- Robbins: Journalist writes of a trip to Missionary Ridge in 1896
- Summers, Robbins: Mine 21 disaster - gone but not forgotten
- Elliott: Collegedale incorporates to avoid Sunday 'blue laws'
- Gaston: 'Marse Henry' Watterson's journalism fame began in Chattanooga
- Robbins: Orchard Knob battle recalled in 1895
- Elliott: Chattanoogans joined in an 'orgy of joy and gladness' on Armistice Day, 1918
- Thomas: Noted service, speakers are marks of Rotary Club of Chattanooga since 1914
- Summers and Robbins: Remembering noted Tennessee author North Callahan
- Raney: 'I auto cry, I auto laugh, I auto sign my autograph'
- Gaston: Sequoyah's alphabet enriched Cherokees
- Robbins: A look at Sam Divine's life during the Civil War
- Robbins: Memories of a Confederate nurse
- Robbins: More notes from Bradford Torrey's 1895 visit to Chickamauga Battlefield
- Robbins: Journalist in 1895 details visit to Chickamauga Battlefield
- Elliott: Telephone exchange firebombing was distraction for grocery store robbery
- Gaston: Worcester brought Christ's message to Cherokee at Brainerd Mission
- Robbins: 1896 travel diary: 'A Week on Walden's Ridge'
- Gaston: Elizabeth Strayhorn, WAC Commandant at Fort Oglethorpe
- Robbins: The history of the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park
- Moore: Do you own a Sears Roebuck home?
- Summers and Robbins: Camp Nathan Bedford Forrest in World War II
- Gaston: Hiram Sanborn Chamberlain remembered
- Elliott: Daisy the center of tile, ceramic manufacturing in Hamilton County
- Gaston: FDR inaugurates the Chickamauga Dam
- Summers, Robbins: Interned WWII Germans had it easy at Camp Crossville
- Elliott: A war correspondent on Lookout Mountain
- Gaston: Chickamaugas finally bury hatchet in Tennessee Valley
- Gaston: Chickamaugas in Chattanooga
- Robbins: The history of the Riverbend festival
- Raney: Sadie Watson, the first woman elected in Hamilton County government
- Moore: Remembering Chattanooga's Hawkinsville community
- Elliott: Welsh coal miners transformed Soddy after the Civil War
- Gaston: Chattanooga's best-kept secret
- Elliott: Cabell Breckinridge loses his horse
- Raney: Martin Fleming is the people's judge
- Gaston: The amazing career of Francis Lynde
- Martin: Hamilton County's Name Sake: Alexander Hamilton
- Summers, Robbins: The crosses at Sewanee
- Bledsoe: The fiery truce at Kennesaw Mountain
- Moore: Talented architect's life cut short by tragedy
- Rydell: Chattanooga's place in soccer history
- Robbins: Tennessee Coal, member of the First Dow Jones Industrial Average
- Raney: In the barber chair
- Lanier: Becoming the Boyce Station Neighborhood Association
- McCallie: John P. Franklin: Living history among us
- Barr: Chattanooga's first railroad: The Underground Railroad
- Summers, Robbins: Charles Bartlett was a Pulitzer Prize winner, Kennedy confidant
- Rainey: 'We have seen it'
- Elliott: Feinting and fighting at Running Water Creek and Johnson's Crook
- Gaston: The Spring Frog Cabin at Audubon Acres
- Raney: Wauhatchie Pike was moonshine motorway
- Robbins: Oakmont was home of venerable Williams clan
- Summers and Robbins: Rebirth of the Mountain Goat Line
- Elliott: Bad investments led to Soddy Bank failure in 1930
- Summers and Robbins: Pearl Harbor attack left football behind
- Gaston: Jolly’s Island namesake had long ties with Sam Houston
- Return Jonathan Meigs, Indian Agent
- Moore: Did you know about St. Elmo's other two cemeteries?
- Summers: Orme - Marion County's almost lost community
- Davis: Spooky revival at Sharp Mountain in 1873
- Robbins: The story of Longholm
- Raney: Women labored to help the U.S. win World War I
- Even in the city, the 'wheel' changed everything
- Murray: Confederate dilemma after Chickamauga
- J.B. Collins — Newsman extraordinaire
- Robbins: The Story of the Lyndhurst Mansion
- Chattanooga artist and wife lost on the Lusitania
- Chattanooga History Column: Battelle, Alabama and the Battelle Institute
- John Ross, a founder of Chattanooga
- Hamilton County casualties in World War I
- Chattanooga Power Couple
- 'Somewhere in France'
- The Ray Moss family
- Battery B from Chattanooga
- Ulysses S. Grant, Clark B. Lagow, and the Chattanooga Bender
- Songbirds Museum Timeline
- Hamilton County World War 1 roster
- The Soddy Girl and the Memphis Belle
- Blues icon Bessie Smith was the Empress of Soul
- Women's Army Corps at Chickamauga
- Emma Bell Miles' life at the top of the 'W'
- The Tivoli Wurlitzer is one of Chattanooga's priceless assets
- Chattanooga in struggle for freedom during Civil War
- October 1918, Chattanooga paralyzed by Spanish flu epidemic
- Eli Lilly and the Ditch of Death
- One hundred years ago, Chattanooga goes to war
- The legacy of Anna Safley Houston
- Harriet Whiteside was ahead of her time
- Southern Adventist University
- Chattanooga native's writings aided Civil Rights movement
- Zion College, Chattanooga's only African American College
- The North Shore's hidden past
- Mayme Martin -- Businesswoman and community leader
- Thomas Sim's epic struggle for freedom
- Top of Cameron Hill was price of rerouting interstate
- Cameron Hill has rich history
- Temperance movement included Harriman university
- The sweetest music this side of Heaven
- Conquistadors at Chattanooga
- Chattanooga and the 'General'
- Chattanooga's first Thanksgiving, 1863
- Chattanooga's greatest flood caught city unaware
- Opening the Cracker Line
- European trip in 1900 enlightens Sophia Scholze Long
- Sophia Scholze Long spoke out when others were silent
- Little South Pittsburg and its big silent movie stars
- Lot attendant recalls hottest job in Chattanooga
- Chattanooga's Forest Hills is final resting place for known, unknown
- Burritt College -- Pioneer of the Cumberlands
- Chattanooga's nicknames trace city's evolution
- The 25th annual meeting of the Tennessee Press Association
- Clemons Brothers Furniture Store
- The Short Life of the USS Chattanooga
- Ellen Jarnagin McCallie lived a truly remarkable life
- Dr. Jonathan Bachman was a revered city father
- Second guessing the Confederate failure on Missionary Ridge
- Nancy Kefauver, ambassador for the arts
- William Gibbs McAdoo kept his Southern roots
- Chattanooga's Secretary of the Treasury
- Howard Baker remembered as a statesman/photographer who snapped history
- Tivoli's last picture show
- The history of one of Chattanooga's oldest businesses
- Chattanooga's roller derby skaters
- Myths of Coca-Cola in Chattanooga
- Chattanooga's neighborhood grocery stores
- The tale of the Scottsboro Boys
- The people's history of Chattanooga
- Howard School is Chattanooga's reminder of Reconstruction
- Elevator operator, painter, mystery man: meet Rice Carothers
- Raulston Schoolfield made enemies amid his rise to power
- Website lets users peer into Chattanooga's past
- The flood of 1917
- Chattanooga's 'wickedest woman' buried at Forest Hills
- History of Cummings Highway
The Battle of Chickamauga, one of the most important of the American Civil War, was fought on Sept. 18, 19 and 20 of 1863. On the 19th, the fighting became particularly intense on the southern end of the engagement in the fields of the Viniard farm.
Battle lines surged back and forth across LaFayette Road. The Federals occupied the area west of the road, the Confederates on ground east of the road.
Late in the afternoon, the Rebels pushed the Federals back to the woods bordering the western fringe of the Viniard field. Union soldiers began to reform in the forest behind Col. John T. Wilder's Lightening Brigade, whose Spencer repeating rifles made it a formidable force. Wilder's withering fire stopped the Confederate advance.
Gen. Henry Benning's brigade led the Rebel forces. The intense Federal fire forced Benning's troops to seek shelter in a ditch that ran parallel to Wilder's line. Once in the ditch the Confederates were fairly well protected from Wilder's fire, but they couldn't move forward.
The stalemate between Wilder and Benning persisted briefly until Wilder ordered his attached artillery battery under command of Capt. Eli Lilly to move two of its cannons north to align them so that they could fire their deadly canister directly down the line of the ditch.
Benning's men held for a bit, but the slaughter was too great. The surviving Confederates fled east, back across the LaFayette Road. After the battle, Wilder said that it almost seemed a pity to kill men in such hideous fashion.
The deadly ditch affair wasn't the only harm that Lilly and his artillery did to the Confederates around Chattanooga. A month before on Aug. 21, Lilly set up his cannons north of the Tennessee River and shelled downtown Chattanooga, discombobulating a Sunday service at First Presbyterian Church. On Sept. 18, the day before the deadly ditch, Lilly's cannons and Wilder's troops prevented the Confederates in Gen. W.H.T. Walker's division from crossing Chickamauga Creek over Alexander's Bridge.
Lilly's three-year enlistment expired in 1864, and he resigned his commission. He later re-enlisted in the 9th Indiana Cavalry where he was ultimately promoted to lieutenant colonel.
His cavalry assignment took him south. There he ran afoul of the troops of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest at the Battle of Sulfur Creek Trestle, near Athens, Ala. He was captured and taken to a prison-of-war camp in Enterprise, Miss.
While a prisoner Lilly had the unusual experience of being armed by the commander to help guard the Mississippi camp against guerrilla forces from the Free State of Jones, an unlikely band of poor white Southern farmers and runaway slaves who stood against slavery. In January 1865, Lilly was released in a prisoner exchange and finished the war stationed at Vicksburg, Miss.
After the war, Lilly tried his hand at farming in Mississippi. When that failed, he returned to Indiana to work in the wholesale drug business and then to Illinois to open a successful drugstore. He soon saw that his chief interest was in medicinal manufacturing.
In 1876, he opened his own drug plant in Indianapolis, Ind., where he focused on producing high quality products. At the time there was a boom in patent medicines, i.e., the so-called miracle elixirs. In fact, this era saw the birth of Coca-Cola, which was initially introduced as a tonic.
Lilly's drugs were made as specific medications. One of his first successes came from mass producing quinine, a proven treatment against malaria. His company also developed gelatin capsules allowing medications to be dispensed in specific doses and figured out how to sugar coat and flavor pills and capsules.
By 1890, Lilly was a multimillionaire, and his drug company was one of the world's largest. At that point, he stepped away from the day-to-day management of the company and devoted his time to philanthropic enterprises. Lilly raised money for the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, which was completed in 1901, three years after his death.
Lilly's company continued to grow and became one of the pioneers in the development of insulin. During World War II, the company mass produced penicillin, which had been discovered in England in 1928.
Today's Eli Lilly and Co. is one of the world's pre-eminent pharmaceutical companies and a large charitable benefactor.
Dr. R. Smith Murray, a retired urologist, is a past president of the Chattanooga Area Historical Association. For more information, visit www.chattahistoricalassoc.org.