This spring Ringgold, GA will welcome a new park to its lists of historical sites to see. The Joseph T. McConnell Park is located on U.S. Highway 41 next door to the Old Stone Church. The park, financed by a 1 cent Catoosa County sales tax, will include a “picking” porch (or bandstand), covered picnic area, walking trail and handicap-accessible restrooms. The “picking” porch will be available to musical acts such as local student and church choirs.
The park is named after Joseph T. McConnell who was a local politician and Civil War hero. Mr. McConnell was born in 1829 in Georgia. By 1853, when Catoosa was formed as a county, Joseph was living in Ringgold earning a living as an attorney. He participated in the first county elections, running as a candidate for State Representative. He won the election and continued to serve Catoosa County in this capacity until 1861. On January 19, 1861, Joseph T. McConnell, voted for secession. He resigned his seat in the fall of 1861 to join the Confederate Army. By March of 1862, Joseph was a Col with the 39th Georgia Regiment as a part of Cumming’s Brigade. On December 1, 1863, he was killed during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Legend states that he was shot though the head near the Civil War tunnel overlooking what is now Tunnel Boulevard. McConnell is buried in the Macedonia Methodist Church Cemetery.
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