...we walked by a corduroy road two or three miles across the spit of land enclosed by the bend in the river.
Henry Y. Thompson
November 24, 1863
The road trace you see before you is rich with history. In 1805, the surrounding forest echoed with the sounds of chopping as a new road was being cut through the Cherokee Nation. For more than 30 years, wagons transporting mail and trade goods across the Southeast creaked, jostled, and jerked along this road. However, in 1838, heartache filled the air as Cherokee passed over this trace moving toward Brown's Ferry on a small portion of what became known as the Trail of Tears.
Twenty five years later, cannon blasts and yells of soldiers rang out in the distance. An English traveler climbed out of a boat at Brown's Ferry, bound for Chattanooga on this recently corduroyed, or log-lined, road. Henry Y. Thompson may have stopped on the road long enough to peer toward the fog enshrouded mountain in the distance, making him an eyewitness to the Battle of Lookout Mountain, famously called, "The Battle Above the Clouds."
Although not sketched on Moccasin Bend, the above rendering of a corduroy road during the Civil War shows how the ground beneath you possibly looked in 1863.