The Chickamauga Chattanooga Military Park near Chickamauga, Georgia, is the place of many Civil War monuments, great and small.

While there are other Civil War battlefields and monuments throughout the American South, the park at Chickamauga has the distinction of having been chosen by veterans of the war themselves as a place to commemorate.

Colonel John T. Wilder was not only a passionate supporter of the Union cause; he was also one of the richest men in the North. This was at a time when you could buy your commission in the Union Army.

But this was not enough for Colonel Wilder. He not only outfitted his entire regiment out of his own pocket, he made sure that they had the newest and most distinctive repeating rifles in the entire world.

They had a 7 shot repeating capacity when the majority of the arms of the Union forces were still muzzle-loading single shot rifles. When he engaged the Confederate forces at Chickamauga, his forces were able to hold their position while the rest of the Union arm was in chaos and retreat.

The distinctive rounds from these Spencer rifles used by Wilder and his men can still found today on the grounds around the Wilder Tower to this day.

To memorialize this unique event, it was decided not place a simple monument or marker, but a tower based on the castle towers of medieval Europe. The tower stands to this day as an 85 foot remembrance to not only the passion of a rich man, but to the bravery of his hand picked unit.

Chickamauga Chattanooga Military Park

wild tower


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