The first part of the name "Chattanooga" derives from the Muskogean word cvto /chắtȯ/ – 'rock'.
The latter may be derived from a regional suffix -nuga meaning dwelling or dwelling place.
The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were Native Americans.
Sites dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period showed continuous occupation through the Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian/Muskogean/Yuchi (900–1714 ce), and Cherokee (1776–1838).
Without regulation, the flood would have crested at 52.4 feet (16.0 m).
The Chickamauga Mound near the mouth of the Chickamauga Creek is the oldest remaining visible art in Chattanooga.
The Citico town and mound site was the most significant Mississippian/Muscogee landmark in Chattanooga up to 1915.
Their journey west became known as the "Trail of Tears" for their exile and fatalities along the way.
The US Army used Ross's Landing as the site of one of three large internment camps, or "emigration depots", where Native Americans were held prior to the journey on the Trail of Tears.