Chickamauga: Snodgrass Hill


“Snodgrass is arguably the most famous family name on the Chickamauga battlefield,” says historian Lee White. “George Snodgrass was 53 years old at the time of the battle and lived with his third wife, Elizabeth, and seven of his children. One son, Charles, served in the Confederate army along with several other local men; however, like many other local boys, his devotion to the Confederacy wasn’t very strong, and he deserted in the summer of 1863.

“George made his livelihood by farming and was evidently fairly successful, having a respectable-sized farm and home along with respectable real and personal estate. When the sounds of battle were heard to the east on September 18 and 19, George refused to leave his home until stray bullets began to strike the house and the surrounding area—only then did the family flee to refuge in a nearby ravine, where several other families joined them.”

Other family names still dot the Chickamauga landscape: Brotherton, whose farm served as the epicenter of Longstreet’s assault; Glenn, whose farmhouse burned down during the battle; Reed, who lost a dear member of the family during the battle; Kelly, who’d be forced to live in their kitchen building after their home was burned by Confederate artillery; Viniard, driven to such desperation by the carnage that he later joined the Union army. The cost of war impacted more than just the armies–it left an indelible mark on the families who lived there.


Text adapted from material in Lee White’s Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamaugapart of the Emerging Civil War Series.


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5 Responses to Chickamauga: Snodgrass Hill

  1. Gary l Love says:

    was really intriuged by this battle site for my Grandfather name was Snodgrass

  2. My husbands last name is Snodgrass, his dad told us he had no other family? So we have no clue as to whether or not we have any other relatives ? Could be related I suppose? Sherry snodgrass

  3. Robert Anderson says:

    I have a photograph of the Snodgrass house that my great uncle took in 1931 when he visited the battlefield . Story is that my ancestor fought for General Thomas at this site in 1863. There are two cannons and the house looks the same in the modern photos as it did in 1931 so it must have been the one built in the 1890s and the current one is a replica of that.

  4. Pingback: Podcast Additional Resources: “Decisions at Chickamauga” | Emerging Civil War

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