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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Officer’s Quarters

 
 
The Officer’s Quarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
1. The Officer’s Quarters Marker
Inscription. You are now standing on what was once Officer’s Row at the second Fort Smith. From 1846 to 1865, two large buildings stood on the western edge of the parade ground and provided housing for officers and their families. Unlike the cramped quarters of the enlisted men’s barracks, there was a degree of privacy here. Large front and back porches, yards, and gardens surrounded by picket fences provided further domestic comforts.

Fire destroyed both Officer’s Quarters in 1865 and 1870. In 2000, the National Park Service placed the concrete pads here to show the approximate locations and floor plans of both buildings.

The Cistern
Following the Civil War, the U.S. Army constructed a dome-shaped cistern between the two officer's quarters. This underground storage tank is 22 feet deep and holds 55,000 gallons of water. The cistern, enlisted men's barracks and the commissary are the only structures remaining from the second Fort period (1838-1871).

Captain Samuel Sturgis,
Commander at Fort Smith, 1859-1861,

Officer's wives and children shared the trials and tribulations of military life with their husbands and fathers. At Fort Smith, Sturgis' son, Jack was badly burned when two other boys accidentally exploded twelve pounds of gunpowder. Jack carried a facial scar until his death as a lieutenant
The Officer’s Quarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
2. The Officer’s Quarters Marker
at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.
 
Erected by Fort Smith National Historic Site National Park Services, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 35° 23.299′ N, 94° 25.834′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in Sebastian County. Marker is on Parker Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 Parker Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Defending Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederates Occupy The Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Wall (within shouting distance of this marker); Belle Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Meeting of Nations (within shouting distance of this marker); Officer’s Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Executions at Fort Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); The Gallows (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Smith.
 
Categories. Military
 
The Cistern image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
3. The Cistern
Following the Civil War, the U.S. Army constructed a dome-shaped cistern between the two officer’s quarters. This underground storage tank is 22 feet deep and holds 55,000 gallons of water. The cistern, enlisted men’s barracks and the commissary are the only structures remaining from the second Fort period (1838-1871).
Captain Samuel Sturgis-Commander at Fort Smith, 1859-186 image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
4. Captain Samuel Sturgis-Commander at Fort Smith, 1859-186
Officer’s wives and children shared the trails and tribulations of military life with their husbands and fathers. At Fort Smith, Sturgis’ son, Jack, was badly burned when two other boys accidentally exploded twelve pounds of gunpowder. Jack carried a facial scar until his death as a lieutenant at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.
The great front porches image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
5. The great front porches
“The great front porches were common rendezvous for the officers, their families and friends, and were used to delight in being there to watch the soldiers drill, hear the bugles’ shrill call, and listen to the fine concerts by the army band on the parade grounds. The hospitality of the officers and their wives was unstinted, and many delightful functions were enjoyed by friends from the town and surrounding country.” Mary Rutherford Cravens recalling “Social Life in the Garrison.”
Cistern image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
6. Cistern
The Officer’s Quarters foundation. image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
7. The Officer’s Quarters foundation.
The Officer’s Quarters foundation. image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
8. The Officer’s Quarters foundation.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 486 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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