American lawyer, orator, legislator, poet and warrior Brigadier General William Haines Lytle was mortally wounded in September 1863 during the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga. Lytle was one of many leaders who died that day. No loss was felt as keenly, however, on both sides of the line. Word of this Union general’s death brought Confederate soldiers to what is now known as Lytle Hill to protect his body and pay respects to a man whose works many knew by heart. Lytle was a nationally recognized poet with a tremendous following in both the North and South.
The Lytle Monument
Lytle Hill was marked in 1894 with one of eight identical cannon shell pyramids commemorating commanding officers lost during the two-day Battle of Chickamauga, on land consecrated in 1890 by Civil War veterans of both armies as a major unit America’s first National Military Park: Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Sometime after 1936, however, the sheltered Lytle Monument lost the majority of its cannon shells either to more visible monuments in need of repair or, sadly, to human vandalism. Nevertheless, the site remains a special place on the Chickamauga Battlefield and the story of Poet Soldier William Haines Lytle is a beloved one.
The Restoration Partnership
The Cincinnati, Ohio General William H. Lytle Camp #10, Sons of Union Veterans and the not-for-profit Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park are working together to restore the Lytle Monument as a legacy gift to the nation in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga and Lytle’s death. These two partners plan to restore the monument, return the surrounding area closer to its 1863 appearance, renovate the access trail to the spot, and rededicate the Lytle Monument with public ceremonies planned for September 2013. The entire project is estimated to cost $65,000. Help Us Return 323 Cannonballs to the Lytle Monument! The project partners invite the public to share in this legacy gift to the American people through tax-deductible contributions that will return all 323 cannonballs that originally formed the Lytle Monument, and that will underwrite the engineering, construction and public programming associated with the project. Contributions are being accepted through the 501(c)(3) Friends of the Park. All gifts are welcome. A $200 gift will fund one cannonball. Donors are encouraged to fund as many $200 cannonballs as they wish. Gifts will be recognized on a project donor plaque installed prominently in the public Visitor Center at Chickamauga. Donors will receive written documentation of the charitable status of their gifts as well as project news updates and an invitation to the 2013 rededication.
By Mail: Checks should be made payable to Friends of the Park and mailed to the Friends’ address shown to the left. (Include all information needed for acknowledgment.) Online: Visit the Friends of the Park web site at www.chickchatt.org and use the Joining & Giving menu option to make a secure credit card donation to the Lytle Restoration. Use the Contact Us menu option if you need help or more information.