I’m not much on ghosts as I have never seen a ghost. This ghost story intrigues me for some reason. My buddy, Jerry Smith has seen a ghost, so I thought I would write this story just for him.
The Army of Tennessee, with the help of a corps from General Lee’s army in Virginia, attacked the Federal Army of the Cumberland just south of Chattanooga. The name of the creek there is called Chickamauga Creek, which means ‘River of Death’ in the Cherokee language.
The battle was fought over the period of two days and resulted in 35,000 casualties. It was the second highest number of casualties next to the great battle at Gettysburg.
The Federal line broke on the second day and raced back toward Chattanooga. General George Thomas organized a defensive line at a place called Snodgrass Hill. Because of his stand here, most of the Federal army was given time to escape and Thomas earned his famous nickname ‘Rock of Chickamauga’.
According to stories passed down by the soldiers who fought there, a strange looking creature was seen walking among the dead and dying, just at dusk. The creature had glowing green eyes, long white hair, and huge misshapen jaws with protruding fangs. He also wore knee high boots and a long black cape.
Stories of the creature didn’t end with the battle. It was reported in 1876, the creature was still being spotted on the Chickamauga battlefield. Some believe the creature was there prior to the Civil War. According to Cherokee Indian folklore, the Chickamauga Cherokees were forced to move from the area because of the presence of witches.
In 1976, a park ranger was walking down a road near Snodgrass Hill when he met ‘Old Green Eyes’ approaching. He said that the creature turned and gave him a devilish grin as they passed each other on opposite sides of the road. The ranger didn’t believe in ghosts at the time of the sighting, but after the incident, he felt as though ‘Old Green Eyes’ was always watching him from the woods. Many employees and visitors to the park believe they are being watched from the forest today.
Two car accidents have been blamed on ‘Old Green Eyes’. According to the victims, the creature is standing in the middle of the road with those glowing green eyes. They both swerved the car to avoid hitting the creature and struck a tree.
I like the story, but I’m not sure I believe in ghosts. One thing is certain. I’m going to take my buddy Jerry up there and see if he can find ‘Old Green Eyes’ for me.
Blurry picture supposed to be of Old Green Eyes