The Battle of Missionary Ridge was disastrous to the Confederate Army of Tennessee and sent them limping into northwest Georgia. Reaching the mountain pass of Ringgold Gap, Confederate General Braxton Bragg, needed time to get his wagons and artillery; which were bogged down on the muddy roads through, so he called on Major General Patrick Cleburne to hold the pass from the Union army “at all hazards, and keep back the enemy until the artillery and transportation” are secure. Ringgold Gap was a narrow railroad cut used by the Western & Atlantic just outside the town of Ringgold, Georgia.
Cleburne’s men opened the battle with artillery about 3 am surprising Union Major General Joseph Hooker’s following force. Hooker tried to regain the initiative attempting to outflank the Cleburne’s position. Cleburne held his ground with two cannon and 4,100 men for five hours, not giving Hooker or his 12,000 soldiers any ground. The Confederate wagons and artillery having made it through the Gap, at about noon Cleburne managed a successful retreat. It was a costly fight for both sides, with the Confederates loosing 480 men and the Union 432.