The act creating Catoosa County authorized the new justices of the county's inferior court to select the county seat. Kenneth Krakow reports that Ringgold was designated county seat on on March 16, 1854. While still located in Walker County, Ringgold had been incorporated as a town by an act of Dec. 27, 1847 (Ga. Laws 1847, p. 32). The town was named for Samuel Ringgold, who was mortally wounded in 1846 at the Battle of Palo Alto -- one of the first battles of the Mexican War.
The act creating Catoosa County authorized the justices of the county's new inferior court to select the county seat and provide for construction of the courthouse and other public buildings. Catoosa County's first courthouse was a two-story brick building constructed in 1856. Shortly after its completion, the local Masonic Lodge asked permission to built a third story onto the structure for use as a meeting hall. This action reportedly saved the courthouse from destruction in 1864. After the Battle of Ringgold, victorious Union forces set fire to the courthouse -- but when Sherman rode up and saw that the building was also a Masonic hall, he ordered the fire put out. The old courthouse continued in use until the present courthouse was completed in 1939.
162.7 Square Miles
Catoosa County was created from Walker and Whitfield counties on Dec. 5, 1853 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1853-54, p. 286). Georgia’s 100th country was named for Catoosa Springs, which were located near Ringgold. “Catoosa” was a Cherokee word that may have meant “small mountain.”