Brotherton Cabin Reconstruction, Catoosa County

There were once about 24 working farms on the land that now comprises the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Three were reconstructed as commemorative interpretive aids sometime before the incorporation of the property as the first National Military Park by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890*. This single-pen farmhouse, or cabin in the parlance of the National Park Service, is a reconstruction of the home of George Washington (September 1806-4 October 1869) and Mary Carter Brotherton (16 December 1812-24 March 1900) and their children.

*- Source: Hanson & Blythe, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Historic Resources Study, National Park Service, Atlanta, 1999.

An interpretive panel at the site notes: At the time of the Battle of Chickamauga, George and Mary Brotherton and their children lived in a log house here. In the surrounding fields they grazed cattle and grew corn and hay. To escape the battle, some of the Brothertons and other local families took refuge in a ravine about a mile from here. There they endured hunger and cold, and prayed for their boys serving in the Confederate army.

Tom Brotherton, one of the sons, played a key role in the battle. Because Tom “knew every pig trail through these woods,” General Longstreet, commander of the Confederate left wing, employed him as a scout. Tom served with pride, telling his brother Jim, “It’s a sorry lad that won’t fight for his own home.” Jim Brotherton also fought for the South.

After the battle, Adaline Brotherton, the youngest daughter, returned to the cabin in search of food. Finding four of their cows who had miraculously survived the battle, she prepared milk for the refugee families. However, the hundreds of wounded Union and Confederate soldiers she saw here aroused her sympathy, and she gave the milk to them.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park + National Register of Historic Places

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