Citico Mound, Chattanooga 1864 Whatever happened to Citico Mound?
by UTC archaeologist Nick Honerkamp 2015
"Out of sight, out of mind." The truth of this adage is never better demonstrated than with the story of the prehistoric Citico Mound.... a huge earthen mound. Measuring at least 160 by 120 feet and 20 feet high, the flat-top mound served as a platform for the home of a powerful chief several centuries ago.

from Tennessee Tombstone Inscriptions
Tennessee Records: Tombstone Inscriptions and Manuscripts
by Jeannette Tillotson Acklen, Nashville 1933, p 438

Citico Mound ca 1865 (Union munitions depot)
Citico Mound ca 1865 - Union munitions depot

Citico Mound was one of the most interesting places excavated by Mr. Moore. More than a hundred burials were located. The mound was originally 110 by 145 feet in size and it was more than 15 feet high. Just south of it may be seen the place where the dirt was patiently excavated by the Indians with wooden or flint spaces and stone hoes and carried in baskets to the top. The mound was built upon the remains of an older settlement. Fifteen feet below the original top surface of the mound is a bed of ashes and camp débris four feet thick, and a recent excavation unvovered a set of post holes on which rested a dwelling before the mound was built.

Almost all the burials uncovered by Mr. Moore were in a lower mound nearer the Tennessee River, now on the west side of Riverside Drive. Many shell gorgets, earrings, bone instruments, flint knives, arrow and spearheads and stone celts were here. Numbers of pipes representing birds and a child's rattle of tortoise shell, with pebbles inside, were other items of interest. Mr. Moore comments on the number of shell gorgets found in the graves of children. Some articles of copper and an iron celt, of Spanish make, were probably secured from De Soto.

In 1914 the greater portion of Citico Mound was leveled to make Riverside Drive. During the course of the work, C. K. Peacock saved from the steam shovel a beautiful piece of pottery, painted red in Mexican design. It is a handsome four-cornered bowl which would do credit to the makers of Rookwaood or other modern pottery. W. E. Myer, of Carthage, Tenn., secured a copper ornament in the shape of a crown. H. F. Wenning also secured valuable specimens.

It is unfortunate that a monument as interesting as Citico Mound should have been sacrificed to the building of a road. The mounds should be preserved whenever possbile. When entered for scientific purposes and research, they should be resotred to their original shape.

The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volume 1, by Zella Armstrong, Chattanooga 1931 pp 12-13

USA Union soldiers on top of Citico Mound ca 1865
USA Union soldiers on top of Citico Mound ca 1864
Federal forces used the Citico Mound, an ancient Native American burial mound,
as a recreational facility for convalescing soldiers during the US Civil War.

view of Chattanooga (west) from on top of Citico Mound
view of Chattanooga (looking west) from on top of Citico Mound

In preparation for the Removal, the lands and improvements of Cherokees in the region were appraised in 1836 in order to provide financial compensation for property that could not be transported west to Arkansas. Occupying a homestead near the mouth of Citico Creek was a Cherokee named Water Lizard. The homestead included a house of hewed timber, a log kitchen, smokehouse, corncrib, and stable. He farmed thirty acres of "low ground" and tended an orchard of 38 peach trees and three apple trees. In 1838, Anglo-American settlers on the north shore of the Tennessee River and Native Americans on the opposite bank lived very similar lifestyles, but were tragically separated by prejudice, power, and greed for new land that led to the "Trail of Tears".
- (original source unknown)

[son of Water Lizard in Capt. Hicks company, Killed @ Horseshoe Bend 1814?]

Matthew Canfield Read
archaeologists of Citico Mound

< MC Read 1867

                  CB Moore 1915 >
Clarence Bloomfield Moore

old Tennessee-American Water Company webpage (ca 2000)

tpkunesh sep2011