Chickamauga Creek

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Chickamauga Creek
Country United States
States Georgia (U.S. state), Tennessee
Mouth Tennessee River at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County, Tennessee

Chickamauga Creek most frequently refers to two short tributaries of the Tennessee River, which join the river near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The two streams are North Chickamauga Creek and South Chickamauga Creek, joining the Tennessee from the north and south side, respectively. A less well known Chickamauga Creek is in Northeast Georgia. It begins on the slopes of Tray Mountain in White County, GA then flows southward through the village of Sautee-Nacoochee to join the Chattahoochee River.


The two better known Chickamauga Creeks are part of the Georgia, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga Watershed.[1] The Chickamauga Creek in Northeast Georgia is in the Nacoochee Valley National Historic District and part of the Chattahoochee-Chestatee River Watershed in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northeast Georgia.

North Chickamauga Creek begins in an area called The Horseshoe, a portion of Walden Ridge, a branch of the Cumberland Plateau. The creek forms in southeastern Sequatchie County at the confluence of Standifer and Brimer creeks north of the community of Lone Oak, and runs entirely in Tennessee.[2] South Chickamauga Creek is a long and winding valley-floor stream in the northwest corner of Georgia. It flows north from Ringgold, Georgia, over the border into Tennessee and from there into the city of Chattanooga.[3]


Chickamauga Indians[edit]

Main article: Chickamauga Cherokee

The tribal band of the Cherokee which settled near the creeks in the late 18th century became known as the Chickamauga. Under the leadership of Dragging Canoe, they became a frontier adversary to early American expansionism west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Since 2007, the People of One Fire, an organization composed of Southeastern Native American scholars, has been systematically re-examining the many speculations about their cultures, published by non-Native American academicians.[4] According to this organization's research, the Native American town of Chickamauga was originally a Chickasaw community.[5] During the American Revolution, Chickamauga allowed Cherokee refugees to settle near their town. By the 1780's so many Cherokees had arrived in their region that the ethnic name "Chickamauga" was applied to the Cherokees by white settlers in eastern Tennessee. Therefore, the most plausible etymology for Chickamauga is that it is the Anglicization of the Chickasaw words, chika mauka, which mean "place to sit - look out." [6] The Chickasaw town of Chickamauga was located at the foot of Lookout Mountain.

The origin of Northeast Georgia's Chickamauga Creek is not known for certain. However, there were Chickasaw villages near the Nacoochee Valley until the late 1760s, when they were driven out by the Cherokees.[7] The Nacoochee Valley Chickasaws may have had culturally links to the Chickamauga Chickasaws.

Battle of Chickamauga[edit]

Main article: Battle of Chickamauga

During the Civil War, one of the bloodiest engagements of the war was fought near Chickamauga Creek over control of the railroad center at nearby Chattanooga. The conflict became known as the Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863. However, the creek itself had very little influence on the course of the battle.[8]

Union General William S. Rosecrans had established his army at Chickamauga, Georgia, 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Chattanooga. Confederate General Braxton Bragg had collected reinforcements and prepared to do battle, assisted by General James Longstreet.[9] After two days of fighting, Rosecrans and a large portion of his army fled the field in disarray.[10] The Battle of Chickamauga marked the end of the Union's "Chickamauga Campaign" in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ EPA Mapper
  2. ^ Headwaters Protected
  3. ^ Nature trails
  4. ^
  5. ^ Thornton, Richard L. (April 12, 2012) "Early History of the Chickasaw People. People of One Fire Brainfood
  6. ^ Munro, Pamela & Willmond, Catherine. (1994) "Chickasaw: An Analytical Dictionary." Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  7. ^ Thornton, Richard L. (April 12, 2012) "Early History of the Chickasaw People." People of One Fire Brainfood.
  8. ^ 1911 Encyclopedia
  9. ^ Battle of Chickamauga Creek at
  10. ^ North Georgia History

Coordinates: 35°05′21″N 85°16′07″W / 35.0892°N 85.2686°W / 35.0892; -85.2686