Civil War park hopes to attract record visitors

Officials at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park are hoping for a record number of visitors this year and next.

William Farley, second from left, fires a mortar at Fort Johnson, near Fort Sumter, to commemorate the moment the first shots of the Civil War were fired 150 years ago in Charleston, S.C. on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Alice Keeney)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Officials at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park are hoping for a record number of visitors this year and next.

Park Superintendent Cathy Cook told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the possibility is real, given that it had just over 1 million people visit last year. Cook said the last time the nation's oldest Civil War military park had more than a million visitors was in 1998.

The park is planning events for later this year and next for the 149th and 150th anniversary of Chattanooga battles.

Events are already going on around the state. A weeklong anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh is planned this month and will include an event to remember the 23,746 soldiers who were killed, wounded or reported missing at the site.


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