The Legend of the Ghost Riders


The year is 1863. Following the bloody Battles for Chattanooga, the vanquished Rebel forces retreated deeper south away from the superior numbers of the now occupying Union Army. All retreated except for a small band of renegade fighters who refused to leave and who chose to strike out at Union forces wherever possible.

 

General Maeham - Ghost Ride 2010

General Maeham and a small group of men hid out at the foot of Lookout Mountain in the Blowing Springs area. From their newfound home base, they began a guerilla campaign of terror to disrupt operations of the occupying Union forces. Night raids on encampments, supply line attacks and train derailments became their specialties. They became known as the “GhostRiders” and despite their small numbers, (most historians agree there were no more than 30 GhostRiders), they were able to attack and vanish more rapidly than the larger Federal forces were ever able to respond. The terror campaign of the GhostRiders went on for most of the following year, until October of 1864. In the fall of that year, rogues and bounty hunters from the north streamed into the Blowing Springs area searching for the rebels and hoping for a fortune in bounty money.

 

GhostRider - Ghost Ride 2010

 

After 10 months of uninterrupted attacks on Union forces, the GhostRiders were finally caught in an open cornfield on their way from a derailment  of the Chickamauga train line running through Blowing Springs. A combined force of Union cavalry, infantry and a loose alliance of bounty hunters and mercenaries had received intelligence as to General Maeham’s position and had surrounded the rebels. Pinned down by superior numbers, General Maeham and his GhostRiders were able to fend off their attackers for 13 hours before being defeated late in the night on October 13, 1864.

 

GhostRider - Ghost Ride 2010

None of the rebels were left alive.  The Union forces suffered terribly with each rebel kill costing them 12 of their own men. Approximately 360 union troops, mercenaries and bounty hunters were interred in the cornfield while the GhostRiders were left to rot in the field of battle in retribution for their brazen attacks.

 

GhostRider - Ghost Ride 201013 years past, the war ended and the story of General Maeham and his GhostRiders was all but forgotten when locals began to hear strange sounds at night. Each October, Rebel yells began to ring through the night in Blowing Springs. The crack of musket fire and the boom of a cannon can be heard echoing from Lookout Mountain in the valley below.  Locals claim that these ghostly sounds have been getting louder and more intense as the years go by. Denial of a proper burial, they say has caused the GhostRiders to rise from their uneasy rest...