Day 5: December 26, 2012
Civil War & Dixie Highway

Comment via blog

Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

This is my second breakfast of the day. I ate somewhat lightly on the Delta Queen in anticipation of a stop at Aretha Frankenstein's but did not skip it completely in anticipation of Aretha's being too crowded. It was almost empty at 8:00 so maybe the day after Christmas is a good time to stop. I did not manage to put away all of this short stack of two pancakes but I did in about three-fourths.

There are two ways to leave Chattanooga on the Dixie Highway. The western mainline continues south on US-41 while something called the Rome Loop splits off onto US-27. South of Chattanooga, there is an awful lot of DH mainline that I've yet to drive and I decided that doing the stretch between there and Atlanta wouldn't help my cause all that much so I opted to drive the Rome Loop on this trip. The Loop goes right through the center of the Chickamauga battle field.

A very good and recently produced film on the battles at Chickamauga and Chattanooga is available for viewing at the Chickamauga visitor center. There is also a nice museum and an impressive gun collection. The museum includes at least one example of a sword (bayonet) that was beaten into a plow shear (sugar cane knife). The Fuller gun collection includes five more aisles filled just like the one pictured. The particulars of each gun are uniformly noted on a placard next to it.

Near the end of what was a clear Confederate victory, the 14th Army Corps stood "like an oak tree" which allowed other units to retire from the field with a degree of safety. The numerous acorns on monuments are symbolic of this. For his role, the 14th's commander, General George H. Thomas, in a high profile mixing of sticks and stones, became known as "The Rock of Chickamauga". The fellow about to step off of his pedestal is a member of the 10th Wisconsin Infantry. This was part of Thomas' Corps and there is an acorn on the front of the statue. I don't recall seeing other stone civil war soldiers breaking through their base's boundary like this but I haven't been looking. I guess I will now.

The Georgia Monument is the largest state monument at Chicamauga. The castle like tower, which does have a seasonally open observaton deck at its top, honors Colonel John T. Wilder. When construction began in 1892, the Wilder Monument was to have been 105 feet tall. There was a stock market crash in 1893 and the rough economy resulted in a reduction to a still impressive 86 feet. I've not been able to find the height of the Georgia Monument but presume the Wilder Monument is taller. The last picture is of an area near Snodgrass Hill where Thomas' 14th Army Corps made its stand.

I've driven through the city that gives the Rome Loop its name just once before. My great-grandparents drove through the town in 1920 on their way to Florida. In 2001, my girlfriend and I did the same while attempting to retrace their trip. Today I entered Rome from the north on US-27. The 1920 and 2001 entries were from the west on GA-20. In 2001, we tried to get a picture of something identifying each town Granddad & Granny were known to have passed through. We'd had a tough time finding something in Centre, Alabama, the town that preceded Rome, so took no chances and snapped a picture of the Rome city limits sign as we entered. Today I ventured a few miles off of my route to get a current picture of the sign.

Between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Rome, Georgia, the former Dixie Highway is almost all divided four-lane and not terribly exciting. There were a couple of interesting looking old motels but none that were interesting enough to make me stop in the wet for a picture. East of Rome, the Dixie Highway moves from the US-27 to GA-293. Even though I'd driven this bit before, it was more than eleven years ago and I was lightly excited to be on the winding two-lane. It looked promising but promising was just about all it was until just a few miles from the end.

The first thing that caught my eye was a field that looked like one of those after-the-battle Civil War era phots I've been seeing recently but with brightly colored elves and men with big white beards instead of dead soldiers. My photo looks back at the huge yard covered with deflated blowup Christmas decorations. The Statuary at Kingston is almost next to the flattened display with The Kingston Trading Company just beyond. The Statuary may or may not still be operating but there appears to be plenty of inventory on hand. Things for trade next door include a homemade (I think) "tank" and lots of hubcaps.

A little internet work at my Atlanta motel (more on that tomorrow) turned up a brew pub just two blocks away. Max Lager's features a wood-fired grill that produces, among many other things, some excellent pizza. The beer is also quite good. Restrooms are upstairs along with another bar and dining tables that are used when things get really busy. Large beer tanks stand right outside the men's room and there are more right around the corner. There is also proof of the attachment a brewmaster has to his beer. Actually, I have no idea whether that's the brewmaster asleep on the bench but it could be.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]