Catoosa County was originally part of Walker and Whitfield counties. Designated in 1853, the county borrows its name from a prominent landmark, Catoosa Springs. Ringgold, the county seat, is named for Major Samuel Ringgold who died in the first engagement of the Mexican War.
Within Catoosa County boundaries lies a large preserve at the site of the Battle of Chickamauga. During the Civil War, some 56,000 Union troops and 67,000 Confederates waged one of the war's bloodiest campaigns there, with more than 34,000 casualties about equally distributed on both sides. Although the Confederate forces finally prevailed, historians later declared Chickamauga "a victory from which the Confederacy never recovered."