Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail
The Evans house was a double-pen log structure located on the corner of Guyler and Nashville Streets in Ringgold. Before the war the widow Evans took in boarders at the house to provide an income for her family. Two of these were nurses from the local Confederate hospitals.
Fannie A. Beers was a young woman from Pensacola, Florida, whose husband was serving in the Confederate Army. Fannie had strong feeling for the Confederacy and early in the war offered her services as a nurse. She went to work in the hospitals at Gainesville, Alabama, where the wounded from the Battle of Shiloh were being treated. This hospital was transferred to Ringgold and she arrived shortly thereafter.
"A room was found for me," Fannie Beers later wrote, "in a log house, owned by a old lady, Mrs. Evans, whose sons, except the youngest, a mere lad, were in the Confederate Army. It was nearly a quarter of a mile from the court house [that served as the hospital]. The road thither, lying through a piece of piney woods, was almost always blocked by drifted snow or what the Georgians called slush (a mixture of mud and snow). I must confess that the freezing mornings chilled my patriotism a little but just because it was so cold the sick needed closer attention."
Kate Cumming was a woman from Edinburgh, Scotland who also offered her service to the Confederacy as a nurse. On August 31, 1862, she came to Ringgold. "I arrived at Ringgold, Ga., in company with Mrs. May and Mrs. Williams," she stated. "We came here for the purpose of entering one of the hospitals at this post."
In her diary entry for September 1, Kate wrote: "We have changed our boarding house and are now stopping with a very nice lady by the name of Evans, who keeps and excellent table; has an abundance of milk, butter, and eggs; and only charges $1 per day."
On September 8th, Kate Cumming again mentioned the widow Evans in her diary. "We are much pleased with our kind hostess, Mrs. Evans. Some few days ago one of her sons, a Methodist preacher, came to see her. We had a good prayer meeting while he was here."
Kate worked with the wounded from the Battle of Chickamauga. "We traveled over some of the roughest roads I ever was on," she stated. "I thought, if this was the road our wounded had to come, they must indeed suffer; and, sure enough, we met what seemed to me hundreds of wagons, with their loads, going to Ringgold. We also saw many wound men wending their way on foot, looking wearied enough. We stopped and spoke to them; all were cheerful."
Like several Ringgold citizens, Mrs. Evans left her boarding house to hide in the woods when the Federal army invaded. When she returned after the Battle of Ringgold Gap, she found Ringgold under federal occupation. This situation continued for the rest of the war.