This park unit was the first of four national military parks. It was established to preserve and commemorate the battlefields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga which were important to the Civil War in 1863. Chattanooga was the key rail center to the heart of the Confederacy. After battles were fought in the area, the Union army was forced to retreat into Chattanooga where their supply line was cut off. Reinforcements were sent and the Confederates were pushed back by a series of attacks over hills and up over Lookout Mountain. The Confederates retreated into Georgia and the Union controlled Chattanooga and later used it as a base as Sherman marched to Atlanta.
This park is maintained in its historic condition except for removal of brush and overgrown trees. Thus it can be studied in its almost original state. There is no battlefield park of this size and quality in the world. There are monuments and markers placed throughout the park.
An important stop of this unit would be the visitor center in order to get a history of the area and the battles. Audio-visual programs and exhibits help guide the visitor to a better understanding of this historic area. A park map will help to guide one to the points of interest while touring this military park.