Last summer I went there with Jack Melton, publisher of Civil War News and The Artilleryman Magazine. Jack took a number of shots, and graciously allows me to share them here, courtesy of his Historical Publications, Inc.
In the Ringgold Pocket Park, the plaque explains General Cleburne’s famous proposal for the Confederacy to arm its slaves for military service, promising freedom when independence was won.
In October 2009, this fine 8-foot tall bronze statue of General Cleburne was dedicated in the Ringgold roadside pavilion. Sculptor is Ron Tunison.
In the 1930’s, the U.S. Department of Interior and the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) teamed up to create five roadside pavilions (“pocket parks”) along U.S Highway 41 to explain the Atlanta Campaign. A mile south of Ringgold is the first one, shown here. The others are at Dalton, Resaca, Cassville and New Hope.
Travelers along the route of the opposing armies are familiar with these historical markers, placed by the Georgia Historical Commission beginning in the 1950’s. All told, there are more than 1,800 of these plaques, explaining to passersby all across the state vignettes of Georgia’s history.
Ringgold is on the Western & Atlantic Railroad, and the depot building shown here is one of the oldest in Georgia. The stone walls still show marks of Union artillery fired during the battle of Ringgold Gap, November 27, 1863, when Cleburne’s troops held back Yankees pursuing Bragg’s army in its retreat from Missionary Ridge.