North vs. South in the Smoky Mountains

By Bennie McCann © 2008, All Rights Reserved

History is always interesting, but sometimes just reading about life decades or centuries ago isn’t enough. Think about it for long and you'll soon begin wondering what it was like to live during a certain period. If only there was a time machine that could take you back to a specific date or event. Instead of learning about history from a textbook or movie, you could see history firsthand. Sound interesting?

If you’re a fan of the Civil War, you won't need a time machine. You’ll feel like a time traveler when you witness a battle re-enacted just as it happened back in the days of Abraham Lincoln. Don your blue or your grey and head to Mills Park in Gatlinburg in June for a truly incredible experience.

The Battle of Burg Hill

One area of Gatlinburg turns into a battlefield when over 150 people from the Southern Guards Battalion re-enact the Battle of Burg Hill. This was the only Civil War battle fought in Sevier County.

The battle began when the Confederates were mining gunpowder ingredients in this area and the Union soldiers came to stop them. While more than 200 people were involved, there were no lives lost here. This re-enactment is a great chance to get a firsthand look at what it was like to live in the camps and participate in the skirmishes that took place during one of our nation’s most trying times.

Participants wear replica uniforms from the Civil War period and carry weapons that look and sound like the real things. Hear the battle cries and gunfire as well as the cheers from the crowds when the north and south fight it out right before your eyes. This two-day event is a lesson in history you won't soon forget.

Mills Park - Picnic Areas and More

Whether you’re bringing a school group or friends and family, Mills Park is a great place to spend the day. The scenic drive there will be enjoyed by everyone. The park is equipped with picnic tables and grills as well as sinks and restrooms. There are also covered pavilions available for rent. Pack a picnic lunch or throw some burgers and dogs on the grill and you’re set for an afternoon of education and excitement.

After satisfying your appetite, take advantage of the many opportunities Mills Park has to offer. For the athletes there’s a football field, basketball court, softball field and 400-meter track. Looking for a little less exhilaration? Try the walking and jogging trails or the 9-hole disc golf course. You can even test your arm in the horseshoe pit. There’s definitely something for everyone. And best of all… admission is free.

Whether you call it the Civil War, the War Between the States or the War of Northern Aggression, catch a glimpse of history when you watch the Battle of Burg Hill come alive this June in Gatlinburg. The sights, smells and sounds will make you think you’ve traveled back to the 1800s. Who knew learning could be this much fun?

Bennie McCann is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in family vacation getaways near Pigeon Forge, TN. Visit out main website today at to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.