Springs is located on the east side of Cove Road in the
town of Chickamauga, Georgia and a short distance to the
south of the intersection of Cove Road and Crittenden Avenue.
The area appears on the Kensington, Georgia quadrangle of
the U. S. Geological Survey maps.
Wartime view of Crawfish Springs.
Crawfish Spring was the first name for the modern community
of Chickamauga, Georgia. The name is derived from an abundant
supply of crawfish that live in the spring. During the present
study one was noted that, although partly eaten by a raccoon,
it was from ten to twelve inches in length. Before Indian
removal, a group of Cherokees lived in this area, and the
courthouse for their Chickamauga District was located near
the spring. The spring later became the focal point of James
Gordon's 2,500 acre plantation.
Before the Battle of Chickamauga, Surgeon Glover Perin,
the U.S. Medical Director for the Army of The Cumberland,
met with General Rosecrans concerning location for field
hospitals. As soon as the Federal army had crossed Lookout
Mountain, Surgeon Perin made immediate disposition to have
medical supplies forwarded, and began looking for suitable
places for hospitals prepared for the reception of wounded.
While reflecting on the local geography, his primary considerations
were suitable roads to transport the wounded and available
water. "The ridge that divides the valley of Chickamauga
from that of Chattanooga," he later wrote, "was traversed
in several places by wagon roads. It was by these roads
that our wounded must be conveyed to the rear. The wagon
road down the Chickamauga Valley was near the base of this
ridge, on the south side, where there were but few springs
... Our wounded were to be provided for at these springs
... After consulting with the general commanding, I selected
Crawfish Spring as the main depot for the wounded. Division
hospitals for the Twentieth and Twenty-first Corps, together
with two divisions of the Fourteenth Corps, were accordingly
established at this point."
The choice of Crawfish Spring for the main Federal hospital
depot made the Gordon house a focal point throughout the
battle of Chickamauga. The 14th Army Corps, led by General
George H. Thomas, spent most of the night marching by the
spring. "The head of the column reached Kelly's farm about
daylight on the 19th, Baird's division in front," General
Thomas wrote, "and took up a position at the forks of the
road, facing toward Reed's and Alexander's Bridges over
the Chickamauga ... A narrow field commences at a point
about a fourth of a mile south of Kelly's house ... The
eastern slope of Missionary Ridge, between Glenn's and Kelly's,
is cleared and mostly under cultivation. This position of
Baird's threw my right in close proximity to Wilder's brigade,
the interval I intended to fill up with the two remaining
brigades of Reynolds division on their arrival. General
Brannan, closely following Baird's division, was placed
in position on his left, on the two roads leading from the
State road to Reed's and Alexander's Bridges.
Fighting began in the area of Jay's Mill and soon spread
south over a wide front with multiple points of action extending
almost as far down as Lee and Gordon's Mills. While the
fighting was indecisive, the action produced many casualties.
While there were regimental aid stations set up in the field,
Crawfish Spring was established as the central hospital
depot for the entire army. "The wounded of the 2nd division
were removed to a temporary hospital immediately in the
rear," Surgeon Jabez Perkins, serving on the 20th Army Corps
Medical Staff from the 10 th Kentucky Infantry Regiment
[Federal], "and those of the1st and 3rd divisions to the
vicinity of Crawfish Spring, on the right and rear of our
line of battle. At this point we occupied a large brick
building [the Gordon House] with a number of out-houses
for hospital purposes, and to these were added such hospital
tents as were in our possession. In addition to the wounded
of the Twentieth Corps, a large portion of the Fourteenth
Corps were brought here, it being the nearest point at which
they could obtain water. By eight o'clock in the morning
every place of shelter was full, and a large number were
yet unprovided for."
Crawfish Spring -- site of the main Federal Army hospital
complex during the battle of Chickamauga.
brigade became engaged with the enemy from which several
were wounded. Surgeon R. G. Bogue, 19th Illinois Infantry
in the Second Division of the 14th Army Corps, stated. "They
were removed to Widow Gordon's house at Crawfish Spring,
their wounds dressed and they were put to bed. About 4 o'clock
P.M., the troops having nearly all passed beyond this point,
I had all, except two who were very severely wounded loaded
into ambulances and moved toward the left as the battle
had been in progress in that direction for several hours.
I thought the hospitals would be established in that direction.
After going about one mile, I met wounded men in large numbers
being taken back toward the spring. Still moving further
toward the left, I met Assistant Surgeon D. Bache, U.S.A.,
assistant medical director of the department of the Cumberland,
who informed me that all wounded were to be sent to the
spring, as there would be the great depot for them."
The summer had been extremely dry, and the most reliable
source of water in the area was Crawfish Springs. This was
the major reason that it was selected as the central Federal
hospital area. Many of the Federal soldiers who passed this
way in September 1863 commented in a highly favorable way
on the quality of the water that bubbled out from the rocks
at this spring. Colonel John Sanderson remarked that "the
spring here is a magnificent one, affording an abundant
supply, for man and beast of the entire army, of cool, soft,
delicious water." The spring, he further stated, "runs out
of a hill and forms a very large creek."
Spring is a curiosity of itself," John Beach, historian
of the 40 th Ohio Infantry Regiment, wrote after the war,
"a great column of water bursting out from the base of a
hill, and well worth a visit from Chattanooga. About the
spring was located the hospital for the right wing of our
army as Cloud Spring was selected for the same purpose for
the left wing on September 19, 1863."
Another soldier who was at the spring on September 19, 1863,
was George H. Putney, of the 37th Indiana Infantry Regiment.
"After going some distance," he stated, "we came to Crawfish
Springs. There we were permitted to fill our canteens, which
we gladly did, as we knew the importance of water in a bottle.
What a beautiful spring of water that was and is! Think
of going from that pure life-giving fountain of clear, cold
water, springing up in great abundance, to a great and dreadful
battle where smoke and dust and toil and wounds and death
hold high carnival. That is war!"
was] after an all nights' long and weary march," Dr. William
B. Graham, regimental surgeon of the 101st Indiana Infantry
Regiment, stated, "that we were ushered into the bloody
battle of Chickamauga. We were allowed just time enough
to make coffee and drink it, when the call into line was
sounded; and we were at once on our way to the field of
carnage. I was at once stationed in a small ravine immediately
in the rear of the brigade, with orders to care temporarily
for the wounded, put them in ambulances, and send then to
the Field Hospital. I had been attending to this duty but
a short time, when I received orders to immediately ship
all the wounded back to the hospital at once, as our line
was broken, and the enemy was coming, which I did, and mounted
my horse and rode back to the hospital. I immediately met
Dr. C. N. Fowler, the Brigade surgeon, who told me that
Col. Doan, commanding my Regiment, had sent an orderly for
me to come to the regiment, and ordered me to go at once,
which I undertook to do. You can imagine how difficult it
would be for me to find my regiment after it had constituted
a part of a broken line of battle."
The Federal reserve force at Crawfish Springs included the
19th Illinois Infantry Regiment of Stanley's Brigade. One
of the men in the regiment, Corporal James Fenton, later
recorded his memories of that day. "At early dawn on the
morning of the 19th of September, the advance of General
Thomas's Troops, after all night march and a part of the
day before, reached Crawfish Springs, tired, thirsty, and
all covered with dust from a road nearly shoe-top deep with
a thick splurgy dust that was partially damp from a slight
rain the night before. The equipment and faces of the soldiers
were black with this dust, it just raised enough to cover
everyone a dark color. Every soldier in that nights march
knew that the Confederate army was moving on the other side
of the Chickamauga to gain the road that led to Chattanooga.
The fences had been set on fire to give the enemy the impression
we were lying in the battlefield. On reaching Crawfish Springs,
the 19th Illinois, the advance of Negley's division was
detached from the line, Companies I and K were deployed
in front of the Spring, the rest of the regiment in reserve.
Instantly the enemy opened [upon] us with a battery from
the other side of Chickamauga River. This was the opening
of the great battle; almost at the same time, our cavalry
and mounted infantry were heard disputing the enemy at the
fords and bridges away to our left, on the battle ground
proper. Crawfish Springs gushes out at the foot of a small
bluff, a sheet of the finest water, some 50 feet wide and
over a foot in depth; being dammed up at the Lee and Gordon
Mill on the Chickamauga it made a beautiful lake up to within
150 yards of the spring proper. Bridges's battery now took
a position on a sloping garden in front of a fine brick
house [the Gordon-Lee House] back from the spring, and replied
to the Rebel battery. Our battery, on account of its exposed
positions, was roughly handled and a gun dismounted and
a caisson blown up and several killed and wounded. Another
battery soon took its place and this duel was kept up for
some time ... We lying down on the skirmish line to the
right of Company K, close to the road would be asked by
these troops [going to the front] where that firing was
and we pointed out to the left ... the troops, tired, hungry,
and thirsty, covered with dust were not allowed to break
ranks to get water. In some regiments in spite of officers,
men rushed down and waded across the sheet of water, dragging
a canteen or a large cup, to get a drink. That was the last
water hundreds of them saw ... Both sides rushed in troops
by brigades and divisions. It was charge and countercharge,
until past noon, and some of the most desperate fighting
of the war was taking place. We lying on the skirmish line
at Crawfish Springs listened to the roar of battle and saw
the great clouds of powder smoke rising over the field,
but could not see the battle. We looked at one another but
not much was said. Some would say that is the Rebs charging
and soon would hear our men charge, as the yells were quite
Dr. Graham continued to try to find his regiment. "I rode
back at random, however," he wrote, "and rode through the
break in the line, and succeeded in being shot at several
times, when I realized where I was, and retreated at once.
I rode a swift horse, and my retreat was rapid. As I rode
back I saw a squad of soldiers of our army, and I rode towards
them, and one of them, John Powell, of the 75th Ind. Vols.
raised his gun to shoot at me, thinking I was a rebel; when
a comrade told him not to shoot, as it might be one of our
own men. When I rode up, he stepped up to me and told me
the circumstances of how near he came to shooting at me.
I then rode back to the hospital, and reported to Dr. O.
C. H., our Division Surgeon, as good a man, by the way as
ever wore shoulder straps, and who is now numbered among
the brave dead, and he told me to report to the General
hospital at Crawfish Springs, and do what I could for the
wounded there, and pay no attention to any order from any
the afternoon, about half-past three o'clock," Surgeon W.
W. Blair wrote, "our situation seemed somewhat hazardous,
and, upon the medical director's advise, I had the entire
encampment moved to a point more directly to the rear of
where the battle was then raging. Later that evening, Surgeon
G. Perin, U.S.A., directed that the wounded should all be
taken to Crawfish Spring or its vicinity, and I accordingly
returned to the ground I had left but a few hours before."
Throughout the night, the screams and cries of the wounded
and dying could be heard on the battle-field. The fate of
the wounded was such that many men preferred to be killed
outright. When a man was hit during combat, his first source
of assistance was the comrade next to him. If the wound
was slight it would be bandaged and the fighting would go
on. If more serious, but still leaving the man able to walk,
he was expected to make his way to the regimental aid station
in the rear. Before an action, men from each regiment were
assigned duty as stretcher bearers. It was their job to
carry the wounded who could not walk. If the man was wounded
during an attack he was left where he fell. He could only
hope that he would not be hit again by shells or rifle bullets
flying overhead. If he survived these dangers, he was still
subject to being trampled or run over by friendly or enemy
soldiers or by horses and wagons passing back and forth
in waves of panic or controlled frenzy. If still alive after
that, he would hope that the litter bearers would arrive
before he bled to death, died or thirst, or succumbed to
Litter bearers from each regiment collected all who could
not walk and delivered them to an aid station located just
beyond enemy musket fire. Those who could not be evacuated
under fire were brought out under cover of darkness, or
as soon after the battle as possible. At the aid station,
assistant surgeons examined the wounds, applied dressings
and ligatures where needed, and sent the men by ambulance
to the field hospital. Again, those who were able were expected
Wilbur Hineman, the historian of Harker's Brigade, walked
through the thick dust on the LaFayette Road for more than
three miles to Crawfish Springs after being shot through
the right elbow during the after-noon. He reached the spring
at dusk, and reported to the hospital tent of his division.
The brigade surgeon called to him to wait as he bandaged
the stump of an amputated arm. Hineman sat down and contemplated
his surrounding. "A field hospital just after a battle,"
he later wrote, "is the most grewsome and harrowing picture
presented by the changing panorama of war. Words seem to
have no meaning when one attempts to portray the awful scenes
of suffering and death. All through the hours of that long
night, but the light of blazing fires, the surgeons and
their assistants moved about among the hundreds that lay
upon cots or upon the ground around the tents, stanching
the wounds and administering food and cordials and water
to the suffers. Often a pulseless, motionless form was borne
away and laid in the fast lengthening row of those to whom
death had come."
effort was made to place the men under shelter," Surgeon
Glover Perin, Medical Director of the Army stated, "but
particularly to provide them with covering, as the night
was cold. When this could not he done, the men were arranged
in rows near each other and lines of camp-fires were built
at their feet."
night was extremely cold for the season," Surgeon Perkins
stated, "yet those compelled to remain out were rendered
comparatively comfortable by large fires and such bedding
as we could command. An abundance of nourishment in the
form of beef soup, coffee, etc., was provided for all, and
their wounds were dressed as rapidly as possible under the
Extensive fires were kept up all night," Surgeon W. W. Blair
wrote, "and my medical officers and attendants labored faithfully
to alleviate the unutterable suffering with which we were
Dr. Graham reported to the hospital center at Crawfish Spring.
"I at once repaired to the general hospital" he stated.
"It was evening, and I found the whole neighborhood covered
with wounded and dead. I hitched my horse and went to work.
I soon found Sergeant Miller of Co. D, 101st Ind. Vols.
wounded in the hip by a minnie ball which I extracted. I
worked until far into the night. In my rounds I found C.
S. W. Petijohn in one of the hospitals, shot through the
right lung. I spoke to him and asked him what was the trouble,
and he told me he was shot through the breast. I examined
him and found a wound passing through the lung, and at every
inspiration the blood would bubble out at the wound. He
said, Dock, for God's sake do something for me, for I cannot
stand it much longer. I thought so too. I studied a moment
and thought nothing would do him much good, but decided
to give him a drink of whiskey. I procured a half teacup
full and brought it, and held up his head and he swallowed
it. I then dressed his wound and left him, thinking he would
be dead in the morning; but I found him better, and he said
then, and many times to me since the war, that the whiskey
saved his life."
the morning of the 20th," Surgeon Perin, Medical Director
of the Army, stated, "the movement of the army to the left
continued. Our hospital to the right becoming more distant
and communication with them precarious ... Communication
with Crawfish Spring, the main hospital depot, was cut off;
the position, too, was becoming quite unsafe."
one o'clock ... ," Surgeon Perkins, with McCook's 20th Army
Corps, stated, "our right having been given way, the enemy
got between us and our hospital at Crawfish Spring. General
Mitchell, with a large cavalry force, was guarding the spring,
but it was evident that he would be compelled to abandon
this position. I was on the left at the time, and cut off
by the enemy from our hospitals on the right. Surgeon Luther
D. Wateman, 39th Indiana Volunteers, and Surgeon Griffiths,
however, made their arrangements as judiciously and as rapidly
as possible for leaving, and Colonel Boyd, our
corps quartermaster, being present, with commendable promptness
collected a large number of empty wagons, which having been
partly filled with straw, were with the available ambulances,
loaded with wounded, and conducted across Missionary Hills
to the Lookout Valley road and thence to Chattanooga."
Dr. Graham had planned to return to his regiment on the
battlefield. "Later on," he recalled, "I went to get my
horse and it was stolen. I was busy all the next day at
work in the hospital. That was Sept. 20th . In the afternoon
we were informed that our army was whipped, and that if
we escaped being captured, we should fly at once. Some left,
but quite a number remained. I think I should have left,
but for the constant importuning of some of our wounded
boys not to leave them."
these officers labored faithfully," Surgeon Perin, Medical
Director of the Army, stated, "to remove all the wounded
from Crawfish Spring, it was found impracticable. Medical
officers were, therefore, detailed to remain, and provisions
were distributed in such a manner as to insure for the benefit
of the patients during the confusion that must result immediately
after a battle ... About one thousand five hundred of the
graver cases were left on this part of the field ... Great
care was taken by the surgeons-in-chief of divisions to
detail medical officers with the necessary dressings, medicines,
etc., to remain, and provisions were usually divided out
among the men to prevent possible suffering from hunger.
In the retreat, every vehicle, baggage wagon, and supply
train, as well as ambulances, were filled with wounded."
request of Doctor Blair," John J. Hight, the chaplain of
the 58th Indiana Infantry Regiment, wrote on September 20,
"I started early with our Regimental ambulance, driven by
John Everett, to hunt up our wounded in the various hospitals.
We first visited Van Cleve's and Palmer's. At the former
we found several of our men and took them to our own hospital.
We then went to Reynolds and Davis. By this time the battle
was already raging. I had hoped that the quiet of the Sabbath
would not be broken. When I arrived at our hospital, I made
out a list of the killed, wounded and missing, as far as
I could gain the necessary information. Soon wounded men
from our Brigade began to arrive. All reported that our
men were being driven. None of the 58th were brought in.
Two pieces of artillery, which were at the brick house [the
Gordon-Lee House] near Crawfish Springs, were taken to the
left. The cavalry went out and returned. About eleven a.m.
the cavalry formed immediately in front of the hospital,
thus indicating that Gordon's Mills had been abandoned by
our infantry. It was plain that the day was lost, utterly
and irretrievably lost. What must I do? If I remain with
the wounded, and fall into rebel hands, I can not hope for
proper treatment, for the rebels utterly despise Yankee
preachers. As for leaving, I could not think of doing so
without orders, unless I went to the Regiment, and they
were driven I knew not where. So I saddled my horse, and
'waited for something to turn up.' I suppose it was when
Doctor Phelps, of General Crittenden's staff, rode up and
ordered that every man and thing, that could be, should
be moved towards Chattanooga by the hill road. It was pitiful
to leave our brave and suffering men in the hands of the
rebels. 'You are not going to leave us, are you?' asked
the silent and suffering Captain Davis of Company A. 'Can
you not get an ambulance, and take us?' said Sergeant Keeler,
of Company B, meaning himself and the old sharpshooter,
Gilbert Armstrong. I went to see, but never returned to
communicate the negative. I never expected to see them again.
All who could walk were sent forward. The wagons were loaded
up and the train started. Doctors Holtzman and Downey, Steward
Brunch, Anthony Lindsey and John A. Baldwin remained to
care for our wounded. The cavalry left our front and took
up the valley, parallel to the hill road and next [to] Lookout
Mountain. It was a motley train and crowd that moved along
the hill road between Crawfish Springs and Missionary Ridge.
There were M.D.s in abundance. There were musicians carrying
drums and saxehorns, with the usual red rag to tell the
tale of their devotions to the wounded. There were parsons,
with straight coats and sad faces. Of Negroes there were
every shade and size, but the accustomed grin was gone!
The order was 'Close up! Close up!' but the long train moved
slow, like 'That memorable caravan that moves to the pale
realms, where each shall take his chamber in the silent
halls of death.' There was no haste and no confusion. You
might hear almost anything you pleased. All kinds of tales
were floating along the line. It was said first that we
were 'going up here to a valley, where water was plenty.'
But we continued on our winding way until we reached Chattanooga.
It must have been midnight when the remains of our hospital
sought rest on the ground near the Brown hospitals."
will be remembered," W. R. Carter, regimental historian
of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry [Federal], wrote, "that at
the opening of the battle of Chickamauga the principal hospital
for the reception of the wounded was established at Crawfish
Spring, and no better place could have been selected. The
Lee Mansion and all outbuildings were used, beside tents.
Just a short distance from this old homestead, a large,
magnificent spring gushes out from under a ledge of stone,
and from this famous 'Crawfish Spring' thousands of our
wounded quenched their thirst. Around this mansion numerous
large, stately oaks are found, whose outspreading branches
protected our wounded from the hot rays of the sun ... The
turn of affairs on our left cut us off from all communication
with McCook, who was in command on the right, and Mitchell
was left to make his way as best he could toward Chattanooga.
The scene around the hospital at Crawfish Spring when we
left was one of peculiar sadness, and to be seen was never
to be forgotten. Hundreds of our men who had been taken
from the battlefield badly wounded had answered to the last
roll call amid the boom of cannon and as the living demanded
all the time and attention of those in charge, the dead,
for the time being, were laid out in rows, side by side,
awaiting the burial party ... There were several sharp attacks
made upon Mitchell's cavalry before leaving Crawfish Spring,
but each was repulsed, and at 5 p.m. it left for Chattanooga.
Just here I want to relate an incident that occurred at
the time of our withdrawal from Crawfish Spring. It serves
as a reminder of that true friendship that existed among
soldiers. When the ambulances and wagons had been loaded,
there yet remained thousands of our wounded comrades, and
in the absence of orders, our boys began to dismount and
place a wounded soldier in his stead, and in this way hundreds
could have been brought from the red field of Chickamauga.
When our commander found out that we were letting our wounded
soldiers ride, he made all dismount and return to the hospital,
giving as his reason that if we should be attacked the wounded
would be greatly in the way, some scarcely being able to
sit on the horse when quietly marching along, while our
dismounted men would also be of little service. We fell
back toward Chattanooga, bringing off two guns which had
been abandoned by the troops of McCook's Corps. Mitchell
marched his command six miles toward Chattanooga and bivouacked
for the night in line of battle. The next morning the whole
command was placed in line of battle across the Chattanooga
Valley road, and during the day the enemy's cavalry moved
up and several light skirmishes occurred, but no severe
attack was made. This valley was full of stragglers, all
going at a 'two-forty gait' toward Chattanooga."
Second [Tennessee] Cavalry [Federal] was stationed on Rosecrans's
right," Lieutenant John W. Andes, Company K, later wrote,
"there being but one single regiment on our right. We occupied
the ground at Crawfish Spring, a large spring, the basin
of which is about 100 yards in circumference, and deep enough
to swim a horse. A large creek ran off from it, to the banks
of which our wounded, a large portion of them, were carried
during the day, several hundred tents having been put up
there. Before night the tents were filled with wounded and
dying soldiers. Hundreds were laid out on the leaves and
the sedge grass of an old field just by, and hardly out
of range of the enemy's shells. Our regiment was the last
to leave the field on Sunday evening (September 20). As
we were leaving we were closely pressed by Confederates,
and those who escaped the enemy's bullets had no time to
render assistance to the wounded. I shall never forget the
piteous cries of hundreds of our men as we would ride by.
Some with an arm off, some with a leg and others seriously
or mortally wounded, when they realized that they were about
to fall into the hands of the enemy, their appeals were
heart-rending. While some were thus pleading with all the
eloquence of despair, others were dying. Such are some of
the realities of terrible war. To add to the horrors of
the occasion, the exploding shells had set fire to the leaves
and sedge grass, and hundreds of poor fellows were in danger
of burning to death. We were compelled to surrender the
position we held. At the time our regiment retreated, which
was about sunset, there was so much smoke it was impossible
to distinguish a friend from a foe, twenty yards away. The
whole atmosphere was impregnated with the odor of gunpowder.
As above remarked, the official reports show that this was
one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The killed numbered
thousands, while hundreds died after-wards from wounds received
upon the battle field."
General Wheeler's Confederate cavalry rode north along the
east side of West Chickamauga Creek to the area opposite
Lee and Gordon's Mills. The cavalrymen arrived at that point
around 3:00 p.m. Facing the Confederates were two Federal
cavalry brigades from the command of General Robert Mitchell.
General Mitchell had been ordered to protect "at all hazards"
the Federal hospitals and wagon trains at Crawfish Springs,
less than two miles west of Lee and Gordon's Mills. Most
of Wheeler's cavalrymen, dismounted, forded the creek north
of the mill. The 4th Alabama Cavalry Regiment, on the extreme
left of Wheeler's line, waded the waist-deep stream just
below the mill dam.
There was bitter fighting, but the Confederates pressed
on. "About 4 o'clock in the evening of the 20th," Dr. Graham
stated, "we saw the ragged Rebel line of cavalry charging
towards the hospital as fast as their horses could carry
them. The air was full of that familiar rebel yell that
we had heard so often; and their old sabers were swinging
and jingling by their sides, and altogether the outlook
was anything but encouraging. As soon as I saw the line
approaching, I took a hospital flag and ran over to that
side of the hospital, and stuck it in a hollow stump, thinking
when they would see it they would respect the hospital.
As I returned after putting the flag in position, I saw
the little drummer boy of the 75 th Ind. Mashing his drum
against the side of a large oak tree. He mashed it all to
pieces; and as I came up to him I asked him what he was
doing that for, and he said no rebel should beat his drum."
pursued half a mile further," the dismounted cavalryman
from the 4th Tennessee Regimant later wrote, "and ... drove
them beyond Crawfish Spring, the field hospital of McCook
and Crittenden's corps. This explained what we could not
understand at the time -- why we were making a fight at
a point so far detached from the line of our infantry. The
Federals had been driven from the line of the Chickamauga,
and this was the only water accessible to them, and their
killed and wounded on this wing of the army were brought
here ... When we came in sight of Crawfish Springs the immense
crowd of men, tents, vehicles, etc., caused us at first
to think that we had captured the whole Federal army. Dead
men in rail pens for protection, and wounded men in large
circus tents, and scattered about over the ground, with
the accustomed retinue of hospital assistants and not a
few skulkers from the fight, all made an immense mass. This
spring is one of the largest and finest streams of water
we have ever seen. Its volume is large enough to supply
a great city."
Gordon Lee, the four year-old son of James and Elizabeth
Lee, was at the Gordon house with his mother and grand-mother
during the battle. His constant cheerful and curious nature
made him a favorite with the federal soldiers there. The
four year-old showed just as much interest toward the Confederates
when they arrived. "There was true bravery manifested by
a small boy," Dr. Graham concluded, "and he met his captors
as bravely as any of us."
In adult life, Gordon Lee liked to tell about his participation
in the battle. "I was in but one battle," he would say,
"but that was the great battle of Chickamauga. I was in
the Union lines at the beginning and in the Confederate
lines at the end. I did not desert; but I was one of the
few who stayed where they were when the Confederates advanced.
Of course, no one can blame me for being annexed to the
Confederacy. I at least stood my ground, and that is more
than the brave soldiers of the North can say for themselves
in connection with this occasion. I secured no favors whatever
for my part in that fight, and for several years after this
military service I was spanked at home and flogged at school,
just as if I had not been a veteran."
Rebs were soon in and around and all through the hospital,"
Dr. Graham concluded, "robbing the wounded of their blankets
and cooking utensils, &c. I stepped up to one who seemed
to be in command and told him we had a great many wounded,
and but little to care for them with, and his men were taking
what little we had, and with a loud voice he ordered his
men to leave everything alone. This man I learned afterwards
was Gen. Jo. Wheeler. The next event worthy of note was
when one of Wheelers aides [and] two orderlies came into
camp, and ordered the Surgeons into line. They had their
pistols drawn, and they called for our hats, over coats,
side arms, &c. They said it was Gen. Wheeler's orders, and
rode away. There we stood coatless and hatless, and nothing
much was said, and what was said might not sound well to
a preacher. The next day we were paroled by Ben. McKinster,
Provo Marshall General of the state of Georgia, to care
for the wounded until they were sent through the lines;
and then we were to report to Ringgold, Geo. which we did
at the end of twelve days, and were at once shipped by rail
to Richmond, Virginia. We were taken by Atlanta and Augusta,
Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and Raleigh N.C., Petersburg, Virg.
Thence to Richmond and into the famous Libby prison."
Confederate General Joseph Wheeler reported on his capture
of the Federal hospital depot as follows: "I received orders
to move my available once to Lee and Gordon's Mills and
attack the enemy. We arrived at that place about 3 p.m.,
crossed the river, and vigorously assailed him. After a
short time he commenced retreating in confusion. We followed
as rapidly as possible, capturing about 1,000 prisoners,
20 wagons, and a large amount of arms and ordnance stores.
About dark we also captured five large hospitals, with a
considerable supply of medicines, camp equipage, and a great
number of wounded prisoners. The pursuit was continued till
two hours after nightfall, when we retired to feed our horses."
The area around the Gordon-Lee House and Crawfish Springs
continued to be used as a hospital for some time after the
battle. Between September 29 and October 1, an exchange
of wounded prisoners took place between the two armies.
When wagonloads of wounded confederates arrived in Crawfish
Springs, "the wounded 'Johnnies' were taken out," one of
the wounded Federal cavalrymen stated, "the ambulances turned
by driving around a loop, our men were put in and the procession
moved slowly to the north." The Federals were taken to hospitals
at Chattanooga. What happened to the returned Confederates
is not clear. A few may have continued to receive treatment
at the Gordon Lee House, but most were probably sent on
to the established Confederate Hospital complex around Ringgold,
In addition to the Federal dead and wounded, the Confederate
forces around Chickamauga also had a number of non-wounded
Federal prisoners to deal with for sometime after the battle.
At least one post-war account by a Federal prisoner captured
at Chickamauga indicates that the Confederates held hundreds
of captive Federal soldiers in Rock Spring. Adam S. Johnston,
79th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, stated that he was
captured at Chickamauga "by the Rebel Col. Humphrey's men"
and "sent to the rear seven miles, to Cheatham's headquarters,
or hospital, called Rock Springs." There he said that the
Confederates recorded every man's name, regiment, rank,
and place of residence, and then turned them over to "rebel
citizens [armed] with double-barreled shotguns, rifles,
pistols, sabers, old scythes ... and almost everything you
could mention." He then stated that the approximately 700
prisoners were formed into "double-square" and marched to
Upon the death of James M. Lee, the house and all business
enterprises passed on to his son, Gordon Lee. Shortly after
the death of his father, Gordon Lee, probably on the recommendation
of John T. Wilder, began selling lots near the spring with
the intention of establishing a town. To further the goals
of this project, Charles James, an associate of Wilder,
completed a railroad south from Chattanooga that passed
through the center of the planned town, crossing the creek
that flows from Crawfish Spring a short distance below the
dam that James Lee had constructed to provide running water
for his house. Some lots were sold, but the growth was not
as rapid as expected. As a result, Lee sold most of the
old Gordon plantation to the newly formed Crawfish Springs
Land Company. In addition to receiving the purchase price
for the land, Gordon Lee was also made a member of the company.
The officers of company were identified as: John T. Wilder,
President; S. F. Parrott, Superintendent; and Gordon Lee,
Secretary and Treasurer. The goal of the company was to
establish a modern manufacturing town to be called, in honor
of the battle, "Chickamauga ... "
Water Wheel at Crawfish Springs
described by James Holmes in 1897.
beautiful lake, two miles long, will be lighted by electricity,
as well as the avenue which winds about its border. For
those who indulge in aquatic recreation a steam launch is
now on its way from New York, with a lot of St. Lawrence
row boats, with all the appliances that belong to the best
resorts of the East. A dancing pavillion, 50 by 100 feet,
will be built on the margins of the lake, fitted with all
the modern appliances to entertain parties or excursions."
large park with drives to suit the grounds is now being
graded and graveled through a magnificent forest of oaks,
in which some of the residences are being built. More than
half the ground in the park is left for park purposes, thirty
acres being set aside for a mammoth stone hotel to be built
later on. Broad walks are being graded and graveled through
the grounds, and the most beautiful drives will be found
on its broad and well-graded streets. Large expenditure
has been made to throw all surface drainage and sewage into
the Chickamauga River, away from the springs, especial care
being taken to improve every possible sanitary feature of
this magnificent location." For further particulars interested
parties were urged to apply to the CRAWFISH SPRINGS LAND
CO., Chickamauga, Georgia.
The land company advertised rail advantages. "Hourly trains
will be run from Chattanooga, at minimum fares, from 6 in
the morning, until 11 at night. Special rates will be made
for all manufacturers, to whose works the tracks will be
laid. A beautiful Stone Depot, of elegant proportions and
finish will be built near the hotel. The plans are now completed.
A platform, 24 feet wide by 300 feet long, will be laid
alongside the track.
The proposed hotel was rapidly built, near the depot as
was advertised. The new hotel lived up to everyone's expectations.
It was designed and built by William H. Floyd, a Chattanooga
architect, at a cost of $38,000.00. With plumbing, running
water, and electricity provided by Crawfish Spring, the
hotel was fully equal to anything that could be found in
Chicago or New York, much less Chattanooga. It was named
the Park Hotel. Although the records are scanty, it is likely
that the hotel was named in honor of James Park, the well
known local official in the Masonic Lodge and the Methodist
Church. The land company advertised the hotel as a part
of their publicity program. "Every room an outside room;
all of unusual size; well lighted, ventilated and furnished
in luxurious style. W. H. Stoddard, of Chicago, an authority
on hotels, says it is the most beautiful building, with
the best internal arrangements he has ever seen."
James T. Holmes, a veteran of the 52nd Ohio Infantry Regiment,
visited the area with a comrade named Swan while preparing
a formal history of his regiment. He made the following
comments concerning Crawfish Springs as it was then and
as he remembered it from his last visit in April, 1864:
"Then they poured out of the ground just as nature and the
action of the water had left it. An old wheel, which looked
as if it had belonged to some kind of mill, was then standing
by the spring. It was beginning to grow dusk and I did not
examine it particularly, as Swan and I had ridden up especially
to see the Springs. Now, there is a dam of stone masonry
just below the spring, which makes a lake some forty feet
in diameter and I should say eighteen or twenty feet in
depth. A wheel-house is built at the west end of the dam
and the power is used up to pump the water to the Lee mansion,
a little way above the spring, and to operate the dynamos
for the house and the hotel. Mr. Geo. Elliott told me that
the effect of building the dam had been to decrease the
power apparent flow of the spring by forcing the water through
channels which conducted it into the creek at different
points down the stream. It belongs to the Lee, or Lee and
Gordon, estate, and Mr. Lee, the son of the war-time head
of the firm, and grandson of Mr. Gordon, the other partner,
would tear down the dam if it promised permanent injury
to the Spring. The Spring is the strongest issue of water
from the ground I remember ever to have seen. It is a creek
from the source, perhaps twenty feet wide and from ten to
twelve inches deep. The water of the spring lake has a strange
blue color, in the lake, but is clear when dipped up."
As far reaching as the plans for the city of Chickamauga
were, the Society of the Army of the Cumberland had another
project that would have an even greater impact on the region.
These men, in addition to their membership in the Society
of the Army of the Cumberland, were also members of the
national Federal veterans organization known as the Grand
Army of the Republic. They were fully aware that veterans
from other Federal units who had fought at Gettysburg had
a high view of the importance of that battle. A few weeks
after the battle a local attorney, David McConaughy, in
conjunction with the governor of Pennsylvania purchased
a portion of the battlefield, including Culp's and Cemetery
hills and Little Round Top to form the Gettysburg Battlefield
Memorial Association. On April 30, 1864, only nine months
after the battle, this organization received a charter from
the state of Pennsylvania. Over the years that followed
there were many reunions of Federal veterans held at the
site, and the survivors of several regiments began erecting
imposing monuments to their units. At national meetings
of the GAR, the Society of the Army of the Cumberland veterans
frequently heard the boasting of the Gettysburg men. They
were equally proud of their accomplishments at Chickamauga
and Chattanooga and began to think that Chickamauga should
be, at least, recognized as the "Gettysburg of the West."
As was the case throughout his career, whenever John T.
Wilder had an idea he acted quickly to make it become a
Crawfish Springs marker.
Henry V. Boynton had been a Lieutenant-Colonel with the
35th Ohio Infantry during the battle of Chickamauga. In
the years that followed the war he became journalist with
a keen interest in history. He served as the Washington
correspondent for the Cinciannati Commercial Gazette, but
maintained membership in the Society of the Army of the
Cumberland, making frequent visits to Chattanooga where
the headquarters of the society was located. While in the
area during 1888, Boynton visited the Chickamauga battlefield
in the company of Frederick Van Derveer, his former brigade
commander. The two veterans walked over the fields where
they had fought with General Brannan's Division, trying
to find where Helm fell, where Longstreet struck, and where
Thomas held. Their difficulty in matching the present terrain
with their memory made them think of the monuments that
were being erected at Gettysburg. They felt that the various
elements of the Battle of Chickamauga deserved similar recognition.
Boynton felt that they could even go beyond what had been
done at Gettysburg by including Confederate veterans in
their plans. "The survivors of the Army of the Cumberland
should awake to great pride in this notable field of Chickamauga,"
he stated in a newspaper article. "Why should it not, as
well as eastern fields, be marked by monuments, and its
lines accurately preserved for history? Both sides might
well unite in preserving the field where both, in a military
sense, won such renown."
discussed the concept with Wilder, who gave it his full
approval. The Society of the Army of the Cumberland established
a park committee. This body met on February 13, 1889 at
Washington, but adjourned until the next day so that invitations
could be extended to any Confederate veterans known to be
in the city. The next day the joint conference consisted
of seven Federal officers and eight Confederates.. The group
agreed to incorporate a joint memorial association. Each
side was directed to name fifty leading veterans and non-veterans,
North and South, as incorporators.
had been made earlier that the annual reunion of the Society
of the Army of the Cumberland would be held at Chattanooga.
The United Confederate Veterans had only been organized a
few months earlier, but efforts were made to contact as many
of their members as possible and invite them to attend the
joint reunion and discuss plans for the park. Adolf S. Ochs,
publisher of the Chattanooga Times, was named as the local
committee chairman. Ochs was to young to have served in the
war, but his newspaper had made him a leading figure in local
affairs. Thousands of men from both sides gathered in September
for a session held in a large tent at Chattanooga. A Confederate
veteran from the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp at Chattanooga
moved that General William S. Rosecrans be elected chairman
by acclamation. The motion passed andin his brief acceptance
remarks Rosecrans stated: "It is very difficult to find in
history an instance where contending parties in after years
meet together in perfect amity. It took great men to win that
battle, but it takes greater men still, I will say morally
greater, to wipe away all the ill feeling which naturally
grows out of such a contest."
The next day, the veterans from both armies traveled to Crawfish
Spring, a place all of them remembered well from the battle,
for what has been termed the largest barbecue to ever be held
in the country. About five hundred yards from the depot a
ten acre field was set up for the event. Military bands were
present to provide entertainment and thirty tables, each 250
feet long, were set up to hold the food. J. R. Treadway of
Rome, Georgia had been hired to provide the 12,000 pounds
of meat -- coming from 428 hogs, cattle, goats, and sheep.
The men consumed 12,000 loaves of bread, 300 pounds of butter,
65 pounds of pepper, and 1,200 pounds of salt. Following the
meal there was a ceremonial smoking for peace. The men were
provided with pipes made from wood taken from Snodgrass Hill
and having stems made from river cane cut from the banks of
West Chickamauga Creek. Some 85 pounds of tobacco was used
in this exercise.
While the men smoked, there were speeches. The first to address
the group was John B. Gordon, former Major-General with the
Army of Northern Virginia and current Governor of Georgia.
He delivered a speech praising the valor of the veterans of
both armies and spoke of a spirit of reconciliation. He was
followed by former Major-General William S. Rosecrans, commander
of the Army of the Cumberland during the battle and currently
a congressman from the State of California. Loud applause
from the veterans of both armies greeted both speeches.
delegates who had been selected to organize the Park planning
commission met at a church near the battlefield. All present
were enrolled as members of the Chickamauga Memorial Association
and incorporators were selected "as nearly as possible in
proportion to the troops" each state had in the battle. John
T. Wilder was selected as president of the body and Joseph
Wheeler, the former Confederate cavalry commander was made
vice-president. Rather than simply putting up monuments as
the men had done at Gettysburg, the Chickamauga Memorial Association
determined to make their effort a formal national effort and
began drafting legislation to the effect that would be presented
to the Federal congress.
While the members of the Association discussed plans for the
park, the rest of the men walked out over the battlefield.
At first, they were small groups of men, usually those who
had fought together in the same company during the battle.
They sought out the places in which they had been engaged
and looked for the spot where remembered comrades had fallen.
The groups grew larger as the Confederate veterans encountered
Federal veterans who had taken part in the same action on
that part of the field. These encounters brought on spirited
discussion of the fighting, with both sides providing explanations
of why they were there and how they performed. In this way,
many long unanswered questions and several tactical mysteries
were cleared up.
At the end of the day, the delegates announced the formation
of the Chickamauga Memorial Association. Membership in the
group included the incorporators, the governors of the various
states with troops present at the battle, the president and
secretary of the Southern Historical Society, and the U. S.
Secretary of War. Voting membership was open to any veteran
or non-veteran for a onetime payment of $5.00. The announced
objective of the Association was to preserve the battlefield
and memorialize the valor of its soldiers.
During the following winter the intense public interest shown
in the project as the result of the Society of the Army of
the Cumberland's massive campaign led the Association to seek
Federal funding for the project. Henry V. Boynton realized
that an enlargement of his original idea that had only centered
on Chickamauga was practical and the concept was extended
to include the approach roads as well as Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge and other features of the Chickamauga
and Chattanooga campaign. Boynton drew up a bill addressing
these points and delivered it to Ohio Congressman Charles
H. Grosvoenor, who had served as a Federal colonel during
the battle at Chickamauga. The congressman introduced the
bill in Congress with a strong personal endorsement. The Bill
was passed by the House of Representatives after only 23 minutes
of discussion and rushed to the Senate on the same day. That
body, including seven members who had fought at Chickamauga,
quickly considered and passed the Bill without opposition.
As passed, the Bill provided an initial appropriation of $125,000.00
to implement the work. That night, Tennessee congressman H.
Clay Evans, a Wisconsin veteran and Wilder's right hand man
in Chattanooga, hand carried to Bill to President Benjamin
Harrison, who had served with William T. Sherman during the
Georgia campaign. Without hesitation, the president signed
the bill and it became law.
In this manner, the nation's first National Military Park
came into being. Five years later, Gettysburg gained the same
recognition. The members of the Society of the Army of the
Cumberland, however, were smug in their knowledge that Chickamauga
had been the first. Three weeks after the act was passed,
on September 8, 1890, the Secretary of War appointed a national
commission for the park made up of Joseph S. Fullerton, Alexander
P. Stewart and Sanford C. Kellog. Fullerton served as chairman
and conducted the negotiations regarding land acquisition.
Stewart, who had been a Confederate division commander during
the battle, was in charge of construction. Kellog, a regular
army man still on duty, served as secretary. Boynton was appointed
assistant in historical work. The duties of the commission
involved the opening and repair of roads for the park, the
definite placements of battle lines, and the acquisition of
property. Hundreds of veterans from both armies were closely
consulted for positions during the battle, and plans were
made for monuments to be erected by the states from which
the various units came.
Commissioner A. P. Stewart, a math teacher who was called
"Old Straight," addressed his duties with the same systematic
attention to detail that he had shown when he led his division
during the battle. He improved all the approach roads leading
to the park, building bridges and stone culverts as needed.
In March, 1893, he suffered an accident near Crawfish Springs
while inspecting the railroad bridge there. A special report
to the Chattanooga Times stated: "This afternoon [March 30,
1893] about 4 o'clock Gen. Stewart, while crossing the trestle
over Crawfish Springs lake was run upon by the rear of a freight
train on the Central of Georgia railroad and was struck in
the left shoulder, knocking him off the trestle. He fell about
twelve feet, landing on the right hand and side, sustaining
a collis fracture and badly lacerating ligaments in both shoulders
and wrist. His recovery depends upon the extent of internal
injuries. He is now resting quietly under the influence of
opiates." General Stewart recovered and went on to become
the first Park Superintendent of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga
National Military Park.
Although some of the monuments were not yet built and a few
more years would be required to acquire the Lookout Mountain
property, the Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge aspects of
the park were far enough to completion for Congress to declare
a formal dedication and grand opening, appropriating $20,000.00
to cover the expenses of the event that was scheduled for
September 18, 19, and 20, 1895. Preparations for this tremendous
celebration were made by Secretary of War Daniel S. Lamont,
with a joint committee of the two houses of Congress. Vice-President
Adlai E. Stevenson, nine United States senators, twenty-three
congressmen, numerous high ranking military men, several governors,
and many other high officials were present for the three day
day of September 18 was devoted to the dedication of state
monuments. These exercises were participated in by the governors
of the various states interested and their staffs, together
with the state monument commissions. At the same time there
were numerous regimental and several brigade reunions and
large assemblages of the national guard in connection with
these state distinctions. On the evening of September 18 the
Society of the Army of the Cumberland, within which the park
project had originated and under whose auspices it was brought
to the attention of congress, held its annual reunion. While
this enormous gathering of fully 10,000 was not a part of
the official dedication, but as the executive and congressional
representatives attended and participated with the governors
of many states and their staffs, and a large and most distinguished
company of Union and Confederate veterans and representatives
of all the army societies were present, it seems proper to
incorporate a statement of this notable assemblage which virtually
opened the national pageant of the park dedication."
dedication of the Chickamauga portion of the park took place
[on] Sept. 19 in an extensive natural amphitheater at the
foot of Snodgrass hill. Here a grandstand for the speakers
and official participants, having a seating capacity of 2,000,
had been erected and decorated with the national colors, while
seats were provided around the amphitheater for a vast assembly.
A conservative estimate placed the number of visitors in the
park at not less than 40,000 and probably 50,000 persons.
An immense audience gathered about the grandstand and on the
slopes of Snodgrass hill, while many were spread through the
park, preferring to visit the grounds of their former movements.
Upon the platform were gathered distinguished representatives
of the three co-ordinate branches of the government, noted
Union and Confederate veterans, representatives of all the
great army and patriotic societies of the nation, distinguished
citizens and fifteen governors of states with their staffs.
The regular orations were delivered by Senator John M. Palmer
of Illinois and Senator [former Governor] John B. Gordon of
Georgia. Following these speakers, Lieut. Gen. Schofield and
Gen. James Longstreet made brief addresses."
Crawfish Springs in 2002.
The founders of the park wanted to emphasize their wartime
accomplishments and stressed that this would be a National
Military Park, under the control of the War Department, as
opposed to a Natural Park controlled by the Department of
Interior. They had no way of knowing that this would produce
something of a conflict with visitation due to the fact that
the War Department felt that a Military Park should be available
for current military use. During the Spanish American war,
the park became Camp Thomas, a major staging area for troops
going to Cuba.
Wilder and the other Society of the Army of the Cumberland
investors in the land company knew that the greatest wealth
generated from mineral deposits is limited by the extent of
the deposits, and that even the largest deposits all eventually
get mined out. This being the case, diversity in commercial
activity at Chickamauga was encouraged. The most lasting alternative
that came into being was the Crystal Springs Bleachery. Before
the war a New England man moved south to establish a textile
mill. His name was Daniel Ashley Jewell, and he purchased
a cotton mill that was known as the Rock Mill. He later added
a bag plant and built a company store for his workers. The
small community in central Georgia that grew up around his
mill is still called Jewell. His sister subsequently married
a Colonel W.L.L. Bowen. Jewell and his brother-in-law reorganized
the bag company and it became the Bowen-Jewell Bag Company.
Soon after, Colonel Bowen's nephew, A. S. Bowen, joined the
company as a salesman. The company's best customers were the
large grain mills in east Tennessee. For this reason, it was
determined to move the company to the Chattanooga area in
In the process of familiarizing themselves with the local
political and business leaders, Jewell and Bowen came to know
several members of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland
and other influential men in the region. A number of these
individuals offered to invest in the enterprise as stockholders.
It was then decided to build a permanent mill in the area,
and Jewell and Bowen began looking for a suitable location
with a reliable supply of water. Chickamauga, with the two
springs -- Crystal and Crawfish -- seemed the ideal place.
The men had heard that Gordon Lee, the owner of the springs
was proud of his sharp business dealings and had sold Crystal
Spring several times, only to immediately repossess it as
soon as the first payment was missed. Bowen dressed himself
in his worst clothes and attempted to look like a less than
affluent rural man. He approached Lee and discussed buying
the land. When a price had been quoted, he told Lee to have
his attorney draw up the papers and he would return to work
out the terms of purchase. When he came back, he was wearing
his normal clothing and had his attorney with him. Rather
than seeking terms, he paid in cash, and Lee had no choice
but to give up the property.
A bleachery and cotton mill were built and these plants were
incorporated as the Crystal Springs Bleachery Company. The
first officers were D. A. Jewell, president; T. G. Montague,
vice-president, and A. S. Bowen Sr., secretary-treasurer;
and Arthur Yates, superintendent. The stockholders were made
up of some of the leading business men of Chattanooga.
The Crystal Springs Bleachery has had almost a century of
success. During the 1920s the main bleachery building was
constructed, new machinery installed, and production diversified.
Dyeing and mercerizing were added. When Mr. Bowen died in
1923, D. A. Jewell was elected to replace him. Upon the death
of Mr. Jewell in 1935, his son, D. A. Jewell Jr. replaced
him and ran the plant for twenty-eight years. He was succeeded
as company president by his brother, Houston Jewell. At his
death in 1967 C. Callaway Jr. was elected president. During
the late 1960s, when many of the South's textile mills merged,
it seemed advisable for Crystal Springs Textiles to do the
same. On April 1, 1969, Dan River Mills bought all of the
stock of current stockholders, and continued operations. Twenty
years later there was a trend to relocate southern textile
mills to Mexico and Central America due to the availability
of cheaper labor. It was feared that this would happen to
the mill at Chickamauga. Numerous local residents appealed
to Frank Pierce, former mayor, and he took over operation
of the mill in person. The mill is doing well with a variety
of clients, including Disney Land and Disney World.
The property joining the Crystal Springs Bleachery, owned
by the Davenport family, is called the Crystal farms. The
Davenport brothers were sons of a Confederate officer at Valley
Head, Alabama who migrated to the Chattanooga area after the
war. They, and their children operated a number of successful
business ventures in that area. One of the sons, Rodolphus
B. Davenport Jr., better known as "Rody", developed a successful
hosiery mill at the close of World War I in Chattanooga. In
1932, he had the idea, as a sideline, to open a small restaurant
that would offer a popular food item, the hamburger, for five
cents under spotlessly clean conditions. His wife suggested
the name Krystal Klean, which was shortened to Krystal, and
a small crystal ball was used as a decorative item on top
of the building. The first building was pre-fabricated of
chrome and steel in Chicago and assembled at Seventh and Cherry
Streets in Chattanooga. This small beginning proved to be
more profitable and longer lasting than any of the other Davenport
business activities. The company is still going strong today
and has more than 140 company owned restaurants and 44 franchises
located in Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee,
North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The area around Crawfish Springs is a municipal park, established
by the city of Chickamauga, Georgia. Now fitted with electricity,
picnic tables, and a gazebo, the spring area is open to the
public and is a popular site for concerts and weddings. It
open to the public at any time.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Archive and files, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military
Raymond Evans, The Civil War in Walker County
Views: While there are excellent views of the spring from
the grounds of the municipal park, the view from Cove Road
is seriously blocked the old water tank.
Although developed as a municipal park, the spring is within
the city limits of Chickamauga, Georgia and in an urban environment.
Structures, Sites and Features: The spring is a part of
a municipal park operated by the city of Chickamauga.
Wartime Features: This area was the staging area and hospital
depot for the Army of the Cumberland during the Battle of
Chickamauga. There were numerous Federal hospitals located
Terrain: The establishment and growth of the town of Chickamauga
had dramatically changed the terrain from its wartime appearance.
Sites: Gordon-Lee House
and Lee and Gordon's Mills.