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Missionary Ridge is a geographic feature in Chattanooga, Tennessee, site of the Battle of Missionary Ridge, a battle in the American Civil War, fought on November 25, 1863. Union forces under Maj. Gens. Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and George H. Thomas routed Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg and lifted the siege of the city.
Missionary Ridge runs basically north-south for several kilometers and varies in width from a few meters to over 200 meters, with very steep, nearly vertical sides that rise over 100 meters from the ground surrounding it. Missionary Ridge was so named for the early missionaries who made their way along paths climbing the ridge on their way to Brainerd Village to the settlement of the Cherokee. It was also referred to as "Mission Ridge" in the early years.
The southernmost end of the Ridge extends into Georgia. The Ridge was slightly east of the city at the time of the battle but now, due to urban growth and annexation, it largely bisects the city. A 1/4 mile section of the Ridge was blasted away during construction of I-24. This is known locally as the "Ridge cut." The cut's sharp curves and steep grade are often a factor in accidents and congestion.
The Ridge today is an affluent residential area with many plaques and monuments to the battle, some of which are in the yards of residents, but most of the larger of which are surrounded by small reservations which are part of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, administered by the U.S. National Park Service. Crest Road follows the summit of the ridge for nearly its entire length.
Like many urban areas in the South, Missionary Ridge is notorious for its kudzu infestation. The city of Chattanooga has undertaken a trial program using goats and llamas that graze on the plant. In 2007, the goats grazed along the Missionary Ridge area in the east of the city