The Battle of Ringgold Gap was fought November 27, 1863, in northwest Georgia during the American Civil War. The Confederate victory by Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne gave the artillery and wagon trains of the Army of Tennessee safe passage to retreat through the "Ringgold Gap" mountain pass and caused high Federal casualties.
The disastrous Confederate rout at Missionary Ridge on November 25 dealt a staggering blow to the Army of Tennessee, in terms of manpower and morale, and forced the haggard army into a retreat into northwest Georgia. The army soon came upon the mountain pass known as the Ringgold Gap. To give time for his artillery and wagon trains to get through the gap, Confederate General Braxton Bragg decided to send orders to his rear, supervised by Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne, to defend the pass "at all hazards" from the Union army.
At 3 a.m., Cleburne readied his men and waited until the Union force was almost upon them before opening fire with artillery and rifles. Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's force was taken utterly by surprise, but he tried to use his numbers to regain the initiative. He attempted to outflank the Confederates both on the right and on the left, but the Confederates held their positions. For five hours the slaughter continued, Cleburne's 4,100 soldiers against Hooker's 12,000, with Hooker gaining little ground. Cleburne's men stayed to about noon, then retreated, successfully allowing the wagons and artillery to pass through the gap unharmed.
A small pocket park in Ringgold Gap commemorates the battle. A monument to soldiers from New York who sustained heavy casualties stands near Tiger Creek at the Ringgold Water Treatment Plant. A new monument in honor of Major General Patrick Cleburne and his men is located in the small pocket park. The nearby Western and Atlantic Depot still shows scars from the damage it received from artillery fire during the battle.
- Kennedy, Frances H., Ed., The Civil War Battlefield Guide, 2nd ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998, ISBN 0-395-74012-6.
- National Park Service battle description
- "Battle of Ringgold Gap" at www.us-civilwar.com
fr:Bataille de Ringgold Gap