In the spring of 1858, while seeking the benefit of a change of climate and relaxation from laborious duties, I met the late Colonel Whiteside at Chattanooga. Among the many interesting traditions associated with various localities in this beautiful region of country, he related one in explanation of the meaning of the word “Chickamauga,” and how it came to be applied to the two small streams which bear this name. A tribe of Cherokees occupied this region; and when the small-pox was first communicated to the Indians of this continent, it appeared in this tribe, and made frightful havoc among them. It was the custom of the Indians, at the height of the disease, to go by scores, and jump into the river to allay the tormenting symptoms. This of course increased the mortality, and the name “Chickamauga,” or “River of Death,” was applied to the two streams, which they have borne ever since. The remnant of the tribe was also afterwards called the “Chickamauga tribe.” We hope General Bragg will call his great victory the Battle of Chickamauga, and not “Peavine Creek,” or “Crawfish Springs,” as is suggested in Rosecrans’ despatch. He has certainly crawfished out of Georgia, but we prefer “Chickamauga,” or “River of Death.”—Southern correspondent.
Originally posted 2009-04-24 05:01:38.