Vandalism Shakes Chickamauga’s Historic Cemetery


Vandalism of the historic Gordon family tombstones, Confederate soldier tombstones and other gravesites at Chickamauga Cemetery have left Chickamauga residents in disgust. Thirty gravesites were vandalized during the Dec. 14-16 weekend at the cemetery, which is behind Chickamauga First Baptist Church.

Culpepper, who is a Civil War expert, said he was notified on Monday, Dec. 17, that several tombstones at the cemetery had been destroyed. It was not until Wednesday that he learned that Gordon family’s tombstones had were among that those vandalized.

“It’s hard to put a stop to it (cemetery vandalism),” Culpepper said. “It’s hard to catch the culprits, but there is a $1,000 reward put up by the city of Chickamauga leading to the arrest of these people. And believe me, when we catch them, we are not going to slap them on the hand. They may be kids, but somebody is going to pay for this. This is just not Chickamauga. I will do whatever to put these original stones back. They need to be.”

“Vandalizing a cemetery is about the sorriest thing you can do. These are people’s lives. … Here it is Christmastime, a special time of the year… You don’t mess with family and hallowed ground,” Culpepper said.

According to Culpepper, a $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can give information to lead to the arrest of these vandals.

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