Dr. Sarah Hill, historian, author of an award-winning book on Southeastern Cherokee women and independent researcher of Southeastern Indian history and culture, will be the guest speaker. She is currently writing a book about the removal of the Cherokee Nation from Georgia.
Dr. Hill spent several years researching the camps and forts used during Cherokee re-moval from Georgia in 1838 and wrote a document in 2005 for the National Park Service called Cherokee Removal: Forts along the Georgia Trail of Tears. Since that report was finished, she has found more information and will bring us up to date on this subject.
The Old Stone Church was built in 1850. During the Civil War it was used as a hospital by both the Union and Confederate armies. Bloodstains are still visible on the wooden floor; the pews, which were turned into water troughs for the horses, still bear the marks of the horses’ teeth. The building has been preserved and is now a museum and the home of the Catoosa County Historical Society. It contains Civil War and Native American artifacts and information.
In addition to the Stone Church, there are other interesting historic sites in Ringgold. The Whitman-Anderson House was built in 1858 and was used as the headquarters of General Sherman during the Battle of Ringgold Gap. The Ringgold Railroad Depot, also made of stone, has also been preserved. It was built in 1849 and is one of the few surviving antebel-lum depots in the state. Just two miles north of Ringgold along the RR tracks is a monument to the “General”, the locomotive captured by James Andrews and Union soldiers at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw). The monument is located at the site where the “General” ran out of fuel and the Union mission was foiled. Portions of the original Old Federal Road are also still visible near Ringgold.
The Trail of Tears Association was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. The TOTA is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the Southeast. The Association consists of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
Our meetings are free and open to the public. You need not have Native American ancestry to attend our meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this fascinating and tragic period in our country’s history.
For more information about the TOTA, visit the National TOTA Web site at www.nationaltota.org and the Georgia Chapter Web site at www.gatrailoftears.org. For further information about the May meeting, contact Leslie Thomas at 706-635-3864 or email@example.com.