Leg of the Gallant Hood.

Leg of the Gallant Hood

Field review by the editors.

Tunnel Hill, Georgia

The leg of Confederate General John Bell Hood has its own tombstone outside the west entrance to the Chetoogeta Mountain railroad tunnel. Hood did not lose the leg in the narrow tunnel by carelessly dangling it outside a train. Instead, the leg was sawed off after Hood was hit by shrapnel during the nearby Battle of Chickamauga.

After the amputation, Hood recuperated at a house just outside the tunnel. His leg was supposedly brought along with him in case he died. "They wanted to bury him as whole general," was how tunnel tour guide Judy Jones explained it. When Hood's doctors grew confident that he would survive, his rotting leg was buried.

General Hood.

A wooden "footstone" was erected over the leg's final resting place, and local Civil War re-enactors reported seeing the ghost of one-legged Confederate soldier walking through a nearby field, presumably looking for its missing leg. On the 150th anniversary of the amputation, the wooden marker was replaced by one made of granite. And yet rival leg detectives continue to cast doubt on the story, insisting that the general's leg was anonymously buried elsewhere, closer to the battlefield.

Tunnel museum manager Erin Johns said of the leg, "there's no way to know for sure where it is anyway," and so the tombstone remains.

Leg of the Gallant Hood

Address:
Clisby Austin Drive, Tunnel Hill, GA
Directions:
I-75 exit 345. Drive south on US Hwy 41 for four miles. Turn left immediate after the bridge over the train tracks onto Oak St. When it veers left, stay straight onto Clisby Austin Drive. Continue one-third of a mile, past the museum and across the little one-way bridge. You'll see a parking lot off to the left. Park there, then walk back, cross Clisby Austin Drive, and walk down a little gravel driveway marked "Clisby Austin House." You'll see the little tombstone on the left, in the trees, by the mailboxes.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Rebel Tunnel of Chetoogeta MountainRebel Tunnel of Chetoogeta Mountain, Tunnel Hill, GA - < 1 mi.
Atomic Mouse of GeorgiaAtomic Mouse of Georgia, Ringgold, GA - 4 mi.
Mormon Killed HereMormon Killed Here, Tunnel Hill, GA - 6 mi.
In the region:
Scrap Metal Eagle, Calhoun, GA - 28 mi.

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October 15, 2018

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