When we left Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we headed south and stayed in Chatanooga. We knew very little about Chatanooga and rather surprised by what we discovered!
Firstly, the setting is dramatic. It's on a huge bend in the Tennessee River. It's over looked by the dramatic and perfectly named "Overlook Mountain". The city itself is rather run-down. The change from the prosperity of Virginia and North Carolina was dramatic. The location of Chatanooga is a cross-roads of the United States. Amazon and others have large distribution depots here. There are large rail yards.
I knew there had been intense fighting here during the Civil War. The confederate Army gave siege to the Union Army at Chatanooga in 1863. Grant and Sherman were both here. They reinforced the Army and were eventually triumphant. From here, Sherman began his "march to the sea". Atlanta was sacked. The Confereracy was split in two and Sherman destroyed everything that could be of any military value to the South. Brutal stuff.
We took "The Incline" to the top of Lookout Mountain. Steepest railway in the world. Great Views from the top. We enjoyed a computerised presentation about the Civil War "Battles of Chatanooga". There's National Park Memorial to the men who fought here.
After lunch went to the "Chatanooga Choo-choo.". The former railway station has been converted into the hotel and restaurant complex. The booking lobby has been beautifully restored. One of the nicest spaces I have ever seen. Architecture at its very best. We visited the National Cemetery. Presumably, this began during the Civil War. However, this place is the final resting place for many veterans and not only soldiers killed in battle.