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'Battle of Missionary Ridge' Cyclorama (Chattanooga, TN)

On November 23, 1863, General Braxton Bragg ordered the Confederate Army of Tennessee to retreat from Lookout Mountain and take up a new defensive position on nearby Missionary Ridge. When attempts to turn the Confederate flanks failed on November 25, Ulysses S. Grant ordered a frontal assault on the position. This assault broke through the center of Bragg’s lines forcing the Army of Tennessee to retreat.

In 1855, two panorama companies simultaneously began work on panoramas of the Battle of Missionary Ridge (also called the Battle of Chattanooga): the Milwaukee-based American Panorama Company (APC), owned by William Wehne with artistic direction by August Lohr and Friedrich Wilhelm Heine, and Eugen Bracht's Berlin, Germany-based company. Both companies exhibited their panoramas for the first time in 1886: APC in February in Chicago; Bracht in September in Kansas City.

The American Panorama Company panorama traveled to San Francisco in 1887, where it was exhibited for many years and then disappeared. In 1886, the APC made a copy of its Battle of Missionary Ridge panorama which was exhibited in Cleveland, Ohio, for many years. As far as we know, it did not tour and we do not know the fate of this copy.

The Bracht panorama stayed in Kansas City until 1889-1890, when it presumably was photographed by H. H. Bennett who traveled to Kansas City in the late 1880s to create a unique photographic record of the Battle of Missionary Ridge Cyclorama. It later went on to be shown in Chattanooga, Chicago, and Nashville, where it was destroyed in a storm.

View Bennett's "Battle of Missionary Ridge" Cyclorama for a gallery of images. When viewed left to right and top to bottom, the images are in order as one would have viewed the cyclorama.

Choose from the links below to view each scene separately.

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