Historic Markers Across Georgia

Actions at Ringold

Marker ID: CHT 18
Location: on Tennessee Street near Mountain Street, Ringgold, GA
County: Catoosa
Coordinates: N 34° 55.035    W 085° 6.521
  34.91725    -85.10868333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMA7Y6
Actions at Ringold Marker  


On September 11, 1863 Federal forces from Van Cleve´s Division of the 21st Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland invaded Ringgold from the west. At the same time, Colonel John T. Wilder´s Mounted Infantry Brigade invaded from the north. A few Confederate cavalrymen made a token resistance and fell back through Ringgold Gap. As Van Cleve´s men rushed into Ringgold, they encountered civilians who were attempting to get out of the town ahead of the advancing army. Many of the people had placed their belongings on a train. "I well recollect the confusion and dismay there was in their town," J.A. Reep, a member of the 19th Ohio Infantry Regiment, later wrote, " when our forces came into the place. Everyone was moving their possessions, when our arrival interrupted the work by capturing a train of cars, and a large amount of stores of various kinds and character. Among our captures made here, was a large amount of Southern mail, both to and from the army. The town was strewn with letters, opened and unopened. They were lying in heaps or scattered at random in dooryards, on sidewalks, along fences and hedges."

"On arriving in the suburbs," T.J. Wright, 8th Kentucky Infantry Regiment [Federal] wrote, "our progress was obstructed by light paling fences. As each company neared one of these gardens or yards a shout and simultaneous rush against these fences laid them flat as if swept by a tornado. The terrified inhabitants were fleeing in every direction for safety from our noisy boys."

Colonel John T. Wilders´ brigade of mounted infantry attacked Ringgold along the road from the north, coming in on Tennessee Street at the same time that Van Cleve´s men were coming from the west. Wright noted that they "continued to fire at the armed rebels, whose flight through the streets was hastened by Col. Wilder´s mounted infantry who came charging and yelling down the Knoxville road trying to cut off their retreat." In his official report, Colonel Wilder blamed the untimely advance of Van Cleve´s men and the milling about as the reason of his mounted troops being unable to cut off the retreating Confederate cavalry.

Van Cleve´s men returned to their unit in the vicinity of Lee and Gordon´s Mills. Wilder pursued retreating cavalrymen through the gap and fought a brief skirmish with Confederate cavalry under General Nathan Bedford Forrest at Dick´s Ridge. Forrest fell back to Tunnel Hill, where he was reinforced by four regiments of Tennessee Cavalry. The Confederates then drove Wilder out of the area.

Five days later, on September 17th, the Federals again came to Ringgold. This time, however, they received a surprise for the Confederates had received massive reinforcements. Longstreet´s newly arrived men easily drove them back to the west. During the next two days thousands of Confederate soldiers passed through Ringgold coming from Catoosa Station, they passed through the gap, through Ringgold and continued on to fight in the great Battle of Chickamauga.

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail - Actions At Ringgold


Actions at Ringold


This marker is part of the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail, Actions at Ringold #18 - Actions at Ringold

For more information on the Battle of Chickamauga:
Civil War Historic Markers Across Georgia - Battle of Chickamauga
Wikipedia - Battle of Chickamauga