The History of Catoosa County
Born from the Cherokee Indian nation, Catoosa County was created on December 5, 1853 with land taken from neighboring Walker and Whitfield counties. The name is derived from the Cherokee word "catoosa," meaning "between two hills."
Ringgold was designated as the county seat one year after the county was created. It was named for Major Samuel Ringgold who died of wounds received in the Mexican War, Battle of Palo Alto in 1846.
The Ringgold Depot was significant in transporting Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and is one of the few remaining antebellum railroad depots in the state. It was the backdrop for the Great Locomotive Chase in 1862. From here General Sherman led his troops through Ringgold Gap to begin his campaign against Atlanta and the heart of the South.
Built at the turn of the century, Fort Oglethorpe was home to the 6th Cavalry and was considered to be the best Cavalry post in the United States. In 1946 the military installation was sold by the government to a local group of civilians as a ready made town. Today, the original Cavalry post buildings on Barnhardt Circle are used as private homes.
Located in Fort Oglethorpe, the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park is the oldest and largest park of its kind. Eight historic areas constitute approximately 8,000 acres of Civil War battlegrounds. The year 1863 found Union and Confederate troops clashing near Chickamauga Creek in what proved to be, for the number of men involved, the bloodiest battle in American history. It serves as a reminder of our eventful past.
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