Mountain residents have a unique opportunity to hear a bona fide expert on the Civil War speak at an event Friday, October 6, right here on Walden’s Ridge at McCoy Farm & Gardens.
Jim Ogden is the well-known historian of the Chickamauga Battlefield National Military Park, one of the four original National Military Parks created by Congress in the 1890s. In 1988, Chickamauga created an official historian position and Jim became the first and only one the park has ever had! He’s known to have “encyclopedic” knowledge of the Civil War, particularly about the battles in our area. He has also created six video presentations on related subjects for the C-SPAN video library. His topic will be "The Civil War on Walden’s Ridge."
Jim’s desire to be a ranger and his passion for his subject began in childhood and never wavered. In college he had to insist on the course of study he wanted to pursue – the Civil War and only the Civil War – and he persevered to complete his degree, creating his own curriculum and internship at Harper’s Ferry. In order to work at Chickamauga initially, he took law enforcement courses because that’s what the park wanted, and while patrolling, he enhanced his knowledge. Work in other parks followed, but Jim was finally given permanent assignment where he wanted to be: Chickamauga.
When our grandson visited from California, we took him to the battlefield at Chickamauga. He was captivated, especially by the guns and cannon, and by Jim’s enthusiasm. Jim answered every question, enthralling us with his depth of knowledge.
The event, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., will benefit the restoration and maintenance of McCoy Farm & Gardens. There will be delectable refreshments, and casual attire and comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The Blacksmith Shop will be open, along with the beauteous new Carriage House restrooms.
Enter the grounds from 1715 Anderson Pike or 1604 Taft Hwy. Park in the gravel lot off Taft or behind the Carriage House. The suggested tax-deductible donation is $30. Please RSVP by October 3 to Genie Robins at (423) 866-4060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim says that he tries to present information interestingly enough so that people will want to learn more on their own. He aims "to fascinate them with a story," and he doesn’t disappoint. Come and be fascinated.