Ask Hamilton – Remembering WWI in Chattanooga


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Greetings Chattanoogans,

Hamilton Bush here, your resident history hound. As we find ourselves in the latter part of 2014, I am reminded that this year marks the 100th anniversary of an event that forever changed the course of history: The First World War.

The Great War spared no one from the effects of violence and slaughter – from 1914 to 1918, it led to the death of 9 million soldiers worldwide. Chattanooga, Tennessee, was not exempt from its toll. More than 10,000 men from our area went overseas, of which at least 204 died. Meanwhile, an outbreak of Spanish Influenza – a disease that would branch out from military camps throughout the U.S. – would cause as many as 5,848 civilian deaths in the Chattanooga area by the close of 1918.

Here we look back at our city during this turbulent time of sickness, death, and loss. Somehow, in the midst of this period of great darkness, the men and women of our city managed to keep hope alive.


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