About This Place
Tunnel Hill is a town in northwest Whitfield County, Georgia, United States,and southern Catoosa County, Georgia, United States . It is part of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,209 at the 2000 census.
Tunnel Hill was incorporated on March 4, 1848 as Tunnelsville, and changed its name in 1856. Both names refer to a nearby 1,477 feet long railroad tunnel through Chetoogeta Mountain, officially dedicated on October 31, 1849 by Etowah steel-maker Mark A. Cooper on behalf of the state-owned Western & Atlantic Railroad.
The tunnel was the first completed south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The rail line was operating during the late 1840s with passengers and freight being portaged over the mountain while the tunnel was constructed. Another tunnel next to it, completed in 1928, is still used by its eventual successor CSX Transportation. The original Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel is now paved for tourists to walk through, and has even more historic value as the Great Locomotive Chase passed through it in 1862. Throughout the American Civil War, the area homes around Tunnel Hill were used as part of a major hospital system. Wounded Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood was brought to the Clisby Austin House after the Battle of Chickamauga. His leg was buried in a family cemetery near the house. The Clisby Austin House also acted as the Headquarters of Union Gen. William T. Sherman while he made his plans for his attacks against nearby Dalton and Resaca, Georgia, which became the opening battles of what would later become known as his famous Atlanta Campaign. The general area of Tunnel Hill hosted many engagements and camps throughout the course of the war. All that is remembered today through an annual Battle Reenactment that is held in September each year. The dates of the various engagements are September 11, 1863; February 23, 24-25 1864; May 5–7, 1864; March 3, 1865