Thursday, February 17, 2011
The River of Blood
Chickamauga was named for the Chickamauga River that runs through the battlefield. This river was named by the Cherokee people who were in the area long before the white man set foot there. Although the exact translation of the word Chickamauga is often disputed, it is widely believed that Chickamauga is upper Cherokee for "The River of Blood." It is believed that the Cherokee people named Chickamauga the River of blood because after the white man came they brought disease with them. Small Pox decimated the native population. It killed more natives than any guns and it is said that the Cherokee people who were infected with small pox went to the river to die. They named the river the river of blood because so many people died there. So death clings to Chickamauga like a wet cloth and the ghosts of the battlefield are so many they can't even be listed.
One of the most famous things that haunts the battlefield is thought to be older than even the natives. Old Green Eyes has been seen by innumerable visitors to the battlefield and his legend is well known throughout the Southeast. Old Green Eyes is a demon like creature with green eyes and sharp teeth. He has long claws and an almost human aspect about him. There is much debate over what Old Green Eyes is. Many believe he is a demon. Others say he is an elemental being of some kind. After the battle of Chickamauga, he was seen in the tall grass on Snoddgrass Hill feeding off the dead. The living still see him watching from the shadows with his glowing green eyes.