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The Scenery at Chattanooga

The Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1233, p. 550.

November 28, 1863

The Scenery At Chattanooga.--Many must be familiar with the beautiful view at Eberstein, in the immediate neighbourhood of Baden-Baden, up the valley of the Murg, and over the forests in which it is by some supposed that the legions of Varus perished. Not by any means dissimilar, though far larger in its proportions, is the view discerned from Lookout Mountain, which looms up on our left, and from which you look right down into the Federal works around Chattanooga. Far in the distance, like a silver thread, winds the sinuous Tennessee River, while from the rock upon which you stand, called Point Lookout, not more than thirty years ago the Indian savage used to watch his opportunity of attacking the flat boats, as they descended the river--a wilder barbarian, but by no means a greater rascal, then the robbers of the Rhine, who three hundred years ago watched from their eagle's nests and craggy castles, with a view to exacting toll from the boats that floated down the stream. I have seldom looked upon a fairer scene. The intense blue of the sky, the glowing tints of an American autumn, the brilliant atmosphere and vivid light, and in the far distance the peaks of a hundred noble mountains, some of them riven, or, as the French would say,"tormented," and twisted into gaunt shapes and postures, are such as to defy description. Then the effects of light and shadow and the contrasts of colour are startling beyond anything I have ever seen, because in Europe there is no mountain scenery which is lighted by such a sky and sun as are familiar to all in North America. Here, the square, solid front of a mountain juts out in a flash of golden hue against the flank of another embosomed in woods and dyed in dark green and purple; there, floating shadows, the reflection of casual clouds, scud across the landscape, until they have coursed away far out of view. Night falls, and a sight more full of a painful interest than any of Nature's wonders strikes upon the eye. Two sections of a mighty nation, lately brothers, but now for ever divided by an ocean of blood, are lying in their long lines of battle, clutching the weapons with which they seek to renew their envenomed and fratricidal strife, and marking by their camp fires the narrow strip of darkness which divides them from each other. And here, among these lovely mountains, in scenes from which, a quarter of a century ago, the barbarian was ignominiously "crowded out," have civilised men come to boast their civilisation by imbruing their hands in the heart's blood of their brethren.--The Times' Southern Correspondent.

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