CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) — It is one of the more breathtaking views in the South, but along with the views it is also a walk back into time.

The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is located just outside of the downtown area on Lookout Mountain. Its history dates back to a key battle in the Civil War as both Union and Confederate forces fought for control of the city and the Tennessee River.

In the end, the Union forces would prevail in November of 1863 giving U.S. troops control of what was considered the “Gateway to the South.” According to the National Park’s website, a Confederate soldier commented that the South’s defeat was “the death-knell of the Confederacy.”

In September 1889, 10,000 Union and Confederate veterans returned to Chickamauga Battlefield to reflect and remember the battle. During the Blue and Gray barbecue, the idea to create a national site was born.

A short time later on Aug. 19, 1890, the battlefields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga became the nation’s first official military park. President Benjamin Harrison signed the designation into law five years before a similar status was conferred on Gettysburg. Twenty-six years later, the National Park Service would be established.

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To read more about the Military Park visit www.nps.gov/chch/index.htm.