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Specters of the Chickamauga battlefield

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

On September 18-20th 1863, confederate and union forces fought ferociously in the battle of Chickamauga. After two days of fighting, the confederates won, but not without losing over 20 percent of their forces, with over 18,000 confederates casualties, and 16,000 on the union’s side. By the end of the fighting, the field surrounding the battle had been left red with blood, and it ended as the second bloodiest battle of the civil war. The fighting has not only left behind equipment, weapons, and over 4,000 dead on the field, but also grieving souls.

Old Green eyes:

The most famous spirit to haunt the battlefield is the ghost of a decapitated confederate soldier referred to as “old green eyes.” He supposedly lost his head to a cannonball during the bloody fight, and his comrades buried just his head. His ghost frantically searches the field for his lost body, never being able to find it. This legend surprisingly began shortly after the battle took place, with sightings dating as far back as 1863.

The lady in white:

Like many women during the civil war, the lady in white had to say goodbye to her husband when he went off to fight, only to never see him again. He died on the field in Chickamauga, and his wife spent her afterlife searching for his lost body. She has been spotted several times roaming the battlefield in a white, flowing dress. She’s seen at all hours, roaming, checking all the graves before disappearing into the woods.

The headless horseman

The sources on who this particular ghost was vary from person to person, but most agree that this specter is the spirit of Lt. Colonel Julius Garesché, who died from a cannonball and was then trampled by cavalry. Interestingly Garesché was actually killed in the battle of Stones river near Murfreesboro, not Chickamauga. Regardless, the ghost of a headless man riding a horse is often seen late at night trotting through the woods of the old battlefield.

The entire battlefield itself is also home to strange lights in the distance which locals believe are the lanterns that the wives of the dead soldier carry. There are also strange noises late at night such as moaning, the firing of rifles, and soldiers marching. Not to mention the constant feeling of being watched alone in the woods. There are also darker legends. In the 80’s a Satanist cult camped on the battlefields and the KKK supposedly still meets there. According to some rumors, a Boo hag resides there alongside these spirits.

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