Chickamauga Battlefield ghosts and hauntings, including Ol’ Green Eyes.
If Georgia has its own Loch Ness Monster, it may very well be “Ol’ Green Eyes,” a legendary creature that, according to numerous ghost hunters and tourists through the years, still haunts the massive national park at Chickamauga Battlefield. Green Eyes isn’t the only apparition roaming the grounds of Chickamauga, but he certainly is the most famous.
Civil War battlefields are some of the most haunted places on earth. With so much death, destruction and sorrow in one area, it’s no surprise that restless spirits still wander the land. Chickamauga Battlefield, in northwestern Georgia close to the Tennessee state line, was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, second only to Gettysburg according to historians.
The Civil War was approaching its end in 1863 when Union troops captured Chattanooga, Tennessee with their eyes set on Atlanta to the South. General Willaim Rosencrans was the Union commander who led the charge into Georgia in September of that year. But he met violent opposition along Chickamauga Creek from Confederate troops led my General Braxton Bragg and General James Longstreet. The two day battle ended with the Confederate army pushing the Union army back to Tennessee. 37,000 soldiers on both sides were killed.
The Battle of Chickamauga was a much needed morale boost for the Confederate army. But of course, their victory would be short lived as General Sherman eventually took the reins of the Union army and drove south to Atlanta, ending the war.
Years later, numerous people encountered strange goings-on at the old battlefield grounds. Some would hear the sounds of gunshots at night, or of soldiers marching, moaning and crying. This would not be a surprise, as the battlefield is believed to be filled with makeshift graves containing Union soliders. After the battle, many Union corpses were left lying in the field for weeks, only to be buried in unmarked graves.
One famous ghost who is said to wander the battlefield is the “lady in white” who is searching for her husband. But Green Eyes is the best known apparition, and has appeared in two different forms. Some believe Green Eyes is a soldier whose head was blown off during the battle, and now wanders Chickamauga looking for his body.
The second version of the story – and the one we used here – is that Green Eyes is a strange, otherworldy creature, half-man and half-beast. He’s been spotted walking on two legs and has long, stringy hair down to his waist. But he also has glowing green eyes and huge jaws with two sharp fangs sticking out. It is believed that this version of Green Eyes comes from a Native American legend from long before the Civil War. There were some reports of the creature wandering among the dead at Snodgrass Hill shortly after the Battle of Chickamauga.
Should you wish to travel to Chickamauga to encounter the creature for yourself, read some of the stories we’ve linked to below. There’s also some historical information on the battle itself:
Prairie Ghosts – Haunted Tennessee
This excellent article goes into more detail about the battle and the hauntings that followed.
Excellent historical overview of battle itself, including maps and numerous links.
Chickamauga National Military Park
Official site of the historic battlefield.
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