History in Catoosa County

Image of Civil War camp in Catoosa County

When I attended school at Ringgold, history was not one of my better subjects (it was one subject among several in this category). I could never fully understand what the Egyptians, Henry the Eighth, and the Louisiana Purchase had to do with me. I couldn’t remember the dates, spell the names, or get interested in places that were always too far away to worry about.

Very little was ever said about the history of our own county. I think that the teachers were interested in local history but few people knew anything about it. The old diaries, letters, and other documents that might have been of help were buried so deep in dresser drawers, back bedroom closets, and attic chests that it was (and still is) almost impossible to find them, much less see what they contain. Mrs. Susan B. McDaniel and the Ringgold High School Class of 1953 made the first step toward bringing our history together with her book, "The Official History of Catoosa County."

I became interested in local history while trying to trace back the family of my Great-grandfather. He came to Catoosa from South Georgia under rather mysterious circumstances and in somewhat of a hurry. He was a Confederate rifleman at Chickamauga, so I developed a considerable interest in the local aspects of the war. I have collected bits and pieces of local history wherever I could find them and have written down much of what I heard around the service station stoves. Most of the latter however can’t be printed. I thought that others might be interested in what I have collected and felt that the best way to present it might be in the form of a book.

Offhand, I can think of nothing that qualifies me to be a writer of books. English and spelling, like history, were not among my better subjects. Still, I felt that there might be enough people interested in local history to justify the attempt. At times I may stray into the history of the surrounding area but this is an attempt to tie our history in with that of the rest of the country. Much of the material has been published elsewhere, as the footnotes show, but I have included it so as to bring as much of our history together into one package as possible.

The reader should not try to read this book like a novel. A little history at a time goes a long way. I hope it is enjoyable but still more, I hope it will stimulate enough interest to encourage others enough to expand on it and fill in the gaps wherever they may exist.

Contact

William H.H. Clark

Colonel, U.S. Army (retired)
P.O. Box 8
Ringgold, Georgia 30736
(706) 965-7438
bclark@catt.com