True, Ringgold is but one town out of many in the South that has suffered greatly because of the recent insane weather this spring. But Ringgold is a bit special for me. Just a few days ago I was writing about Ringgold…the Ringgold of May 6, 1864. On that day, the XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland was gathered in the green valley and on the hills around Ringgold. The next day the three Union armies that comprised General William Tecumseh Sherman’s invading force started southward to begin the Atlanta campaign.
Several years ago I went to Georgia on a research trip for a Civil War novel I was writing. Recently I’ve dusted off that last draft and set to editing and re-working the manuscript. It’s been a joy to creatively revisit the historical places like Ringgold where my characters lived and died during 1863 and 1864. So much of Georgia was touched by the Civil War, and Ringgold was one of them. It was there that Confederate General Patrick Cleburne (my favorite Southern general) fought a stubborn rearguard action after Rebel forces were defeated at Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga and forced southward through Ringgold Gap.
It was devastating to see the damage wrought by the tornado there two days ago and to think of the good people whose lives have been equally damaged. One video that captured the tornado as it bore down on Ringgold was taken by a local man who vocalized prayers for the citizens.
The good people of Ringgold are in my prayers, too.