View From Stringer's Ridge
~1900

     
SOURCE: Glass Plate Negatives Collection
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The first hostile shell against Chattanooga during the Civil War was fired from this vantage point.

It was a dud.

Hotchkiss Shell

It landed in the mud - unexploded, near the present day AT&T Baseball Field. It remains in Chattanooga with a local artifacts collector.

On June 7th, 1862, Brigadier General James S. Negley's forces bombed Chattanooga from this ridge. The Confederate forces had control of the city until General John T. Wilder's Union army took the ridge named for Captain William Stringer, who fought in the Seminole and Mexican American wars almost 20 years prior to the US Civil War.

Lt. John M. Armstrong saw it from his post within the battery’s earthen cannon fortifications. When the hostilities ceased the next day, Armstrong and a friend, Lt. James Lauderdale, dug the shell up as souvenir of the first battle of Chattanooga. After the war, Armstrong returned to Chattanooga and, years later, his daughter Zella Armstrong became the author of the city’s first written history. In her work — a two volume set — the shell is pictured with the caption: “The first shell thrown at Chattanooga in the bombardment June 7, 1862. The shell fell on Cameron Hill and buried itself in mud without exploding.” Chattanooga Times Free Press - Thursday, May 31, 2012 Pam Sohn
Image from original photo by: Angela Lewis

The above panorama was assembled from three glass plate negatives.

Preserved for All

In 2008, The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit organization that facilitates and funds the creation of parks and protected lands, launched a campaign that enabled 92 acres of the ridge to become protected as a public park.

In fall 2013, the park opened to the public.

 

 

View from Stringer's Ridge