|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — “Spirit of the American Doughboy” — Fort Smith, Arkansas|
|Dedicated to the memory of our comrades who entered the service of their country from Fort Smith, Arkansas and who gave their lives in the World War. — Map (db m5544) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Barracks, Courthouse, Jail|
|The building in front of you is very much as it appeared in the 1890s. First built as military barracks, it was later converted for use as a courthouse and jail. Over time its appearance changed to accommodate different needs of the people using it.
Compare these photographs to the building you see today. Notice clues of its former appearance by examining bricked-in-windows, remnants of porch foundations, changing rooflines, and brick color variations. — Map (db m59026) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Bass Reeves - Lawman on the Western Frontier|
|Bass Reeves, a slave born in Arkansas and reared in Texas, rose to become one of the best known and effective deputy U.S. marshals to ride out of Fort Smith for Judge Isaac C. Parker. Recognized as one of the first African Americans commissioned as a federal lawman on the western frontier, Reeves was a master of disguise, expert with firearms, and over a thirty year career, arrested thousands of felons, including his son and minister. Newspapers reported that he killed over twenty men in the . . . — Map (db m58046) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Battle of Massard Prairie|
|On July 27, 1864 Confederates led by Gen. Richard M. Gano surprised an outpost of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry at nearby Caldwell's Place. The Federal force was routed with a loss of 25 killed and wounded, 127 prisoners and much equipment. The Confederates lost 34 men. — Map (db m52566) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Confederates Occupy The Fort|
|At the beginnings of the Civil War, “amid the firing of cannon and the cheers of the people,” a local newspaper reported, Arkansas State Militia raised the Confederate flag and took control of Fort Smith on April 23, 1861.
With the Confederate victory in South Carolina at Fort Sumter, the U.S. War Department ordered all southern forts abandoned. Despite pleas of concerned citizens, U.S. troops (later called Union troops) left Fort Smith just an hour before state militia . . . — Map (db m59024) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Defending Freedom|
|I never saw such fighting done as was done the negro regiment…The question that negroes will fight is settled; besides they make better soldiers in every respect than any troops I have ever had under my command. ~General Blunt after the Battle of Honey Springs, July 17, 1863.
Black infantry drilled on the parade ground in front of you. At various times during the Civil War, Fort Smith housed four regiments of U.S. Colored Troops (USCT). One was organized locally. Drills increased after . . . — Map (db m59021) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves|
|This statue was erected in 2012 as a result of growing awareness of the extraordinary service of Bass Reeves, an African-American former slave who became a highly respected Deputy U.S. Marshal. The deeds of African-American and Native American lawmen and citizens were often overlooked in standard history accounts for much of the 20th century. A fuller picture of the diversity of the people who contributed to the development of the United States is available at the Fort Smith National Historic . . . — Map (db m58047) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Executions at Fort Smith|
|During the twenty-four years the federal executions took place in Fort Smith, eighty-seven men died on the gallows. While Judge Isaac C. Parker sat on the bench, 160 people, including four women, were sentenced to hang. Just over half received a reprieve from execution through pardons, commutations, reversals or acquittals on appeal, or death in jail. The men listed below were hanged in Fort Smith.
August 15, 1873 John Childers
October 10, 1873 Six Killer, Tunagee alias Tuni Young Wolf . . . — Map (db m59023) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Fort Wall|
|Security has always been a concern for the U.S. military. The army designed the second Fort Smith (1838-1871) as part of line of forts from Minnesota to Louisiana to separate the territory occupied by Native American tribes from that settled by American citizens. To provide protection in the event of an attack, military engineers called for the construction of a fort with five bastions (gun emplacements), and a massive stonewall that was 12 feet high and 2 feet thick.
Fort Smith . . . — Map (db m59020) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Meeting of Nations|
|The Fort Smith Council was held in this building in September 1865. To establish relations following the Civil War, delegates of twelve Indian nations met with President Andrew Johnson’s representatives. Bitterly divided, Indians had fought for both sides in the war, but the United States now treated them all as defeated enemies. Tribes were told their rights had been forfeited, their slaves must be freed, and their property could be confiscated.
The Council ended with little resolved. . . . — Map (db m59025) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Miss Laura's|
|This property has been placed on the
of Historic Places
By the United States
Department of the Interior
Depart of Arkansas Heritage — Map (db m57923) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Officer’s Garden|
|"The walls were almost hidden by a wealth of vines and foliage, and the enclosed space was as green as nature and care could make it. Beautiful flower beds were kept well tended by the soldiers and added greatly to the beauty of the grounds." Mary Rutherford Cravens recalling Fort Smith in the 1850s A garden provided many benefits to the soldiers and their families at Fort Smith. Fresh vegetables in the garden behind the officer’s quarters provided a healthy addition to their daily . . . — Map (db m58615) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Old Commissary|
|This building, on the N.W. Bastion of the wall, was the commissary of the Fort build in 1839. Used until 1871 when the fort was abandoned as a military post from 1861-65. It served as a hospital, guard house, and refuge, now a museum.
Erected as a public service by
The Noon Civic Club — Map (db m57921) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Old Federal Building|
|The old part of the building was the Barracks of the Fort 1840-1871, Federal Court and Jail 1872-1887 presided over by Judge I.C. Parker, 1875-1887.
Erected as a public service by
The Noon Civic Club — Map (db m57922) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Reynolds - Davis Wholesale Grocery Company — 300 Garrison Avenue|
|This facade is all the remains of the five story building occupied from 1907 to 1955 by Reynolds - Davis Wholesale Grocery Company. The building subsequently served Checker Transfer & Storage Company from 1957 thru 1988 as well as other tenants throughout its long history.
A tornado ripped through downtown Fort Smith on the ill fated Sunday night of April 21, 1996. The storm destroyed this and numberous other buildings located along the west end of Garrison Avenue. The facade was preserved . . . — Map (db m57919) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Bastion That Never Was|
|When army engineers originally designed the second Fort Smith in 1838, they planned for it to withstand attack. A key feature in achieving this goal was a stone wall about twelve feet high and from two to three feet thick. This wall surrounded the buildings of the second fort. At the five corners of the wall the army intended to construct bastions, two-story fortified firing positions for cannons. Construction on this bastion began in March of 1839; by 1842 the foundation of the structure was . . . — Map (db m58434) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Commissary Storehouse|
|This is the oldest building still standing in Fort Smith. Originally built as part of a larger fortification, over the years its appearance and use changed dramatically. The building held supplies used by explorers and soldiers, played a crucial role in two wars, and served as an office for Federal Judge Isaac C. Parker.
Today the commissary is furnished with reproductions of supplies that the U.S. Army stored here in the 1850s. A number of post located farther west benefited from these . . . — Map (db m58493) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Fishback Block in 1872|
|In 1870, ground was broken for the three-story Fishback Block on the site of Jeremiah Kannady's blacksmith shop which manufactured Bowie knives for the Confederate Army. The builder, future Gov. William Meade Fishback (1831-1903), named the 7,000 square foot third floor ballroom after his wife, Adelaide Miller Fishback. Adelaide Hall quickly became the scene of grand balls, beautiful dinner parties, wedding receptions, public meetings and firey political gatherings. City Hall was relocated . . . — Map (db m57918) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Flagstaff|
|The U.S. Army built the original flagstaff at the second Fort Smith in 1846. As with many western military posts, the flagstaff stood tall so that its flag could be seen for miles. To attain a height of nearly 100 feet, the army joined two poles in the same way that ship masts were built. Historically, shroud lines attached to cross trees supported the area where the poles were joined, while guidelines and an underground wooden structure stabilized the base.
When the army closed Fort . . . — Map (db m58432) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Gallows|
|With the largest criminal jurisdiction of any federal court at the time, the Western District of Arkansas handled an extraordinary number of murder and rape cases. When a jury found defendants guilty in these capital cases, federal law mandated the death penalty. In Fort Smith, that meant an execution by hanging on a “crude and unsightly” gallows.
A visitor to the city in 1893 recommended constructing a new gallows to evoke the “sacredness and majesty of the law.” . . . — Map (db m59022) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Guardhouse, 1849-1871|
|The guardhouse, constructed in 1849, was a focal point of daily activity at the second Fort Smith. Not only did the men assigned to guard detail operated out of this building, but the officer of the day, who was responsible guardhouse was also the place of confinement for soldiers under arrest for such offenses as drunkenness, desertion, or fighting.
The Guard Mount, or changing of the guard ceremony, occurred here once a day usually about 9:00 a.m. At the time, the old guard detail would . . . — Map (db m58132) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Officer’s Quarters|
|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, . . . — Map (db m58618) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Parade Grounds|
|For more than thirty years during the mid-1800s, soldiers drilled on the large parade ground before you. Flanked by the officer’s quarters to the right and the enlisted men’s barracks on the left, the parade ground was the center of life at the fort.
“A broad gravel driveway around the grounds encompassed an inner circle and this was the parade ground… In the center… stood a tall flagstaff, from which dizzy height, “Old Glory,” flung its protecting folds to the breeze. . . . — Map (db m58125) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — The Women’s Jail, 1872-1888|
|After the U.S. Army closed Fort Smith in 1871, the guardhouse served the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. It remained in use as a jail, detaining primarily women suspected or convicted of federal crimes until 1888. At that time, the court moved quarters for female prisoners into the courthouse/jail building. Although not as numerous as their male counterparts, female prisoners were no novelty in Fort Smith. They committed the same crimes as men in the Indian Territory, . . . — Map (db m58128) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — 15 — Union Occupation of Fort Smith|
|On Sept. 1, 1863, U.S. troops under Gen. James Blunt seized Ft. Smith. It remained a Union post for the duration of the war. Fort Smith became a haven for white war refugees and former slaves, many of whom joined the Union army. Fort Smith troops fought in the 1864 Camden Expedition, but most local fighting focused on guerrilla units infesting the area. In the summer of 1864, Union troops withstood a series of Confederate attacks from the Indian Territory. Soldiers and civilians faced a supply . . . — Map (db m57916) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — W.J. Murphy - Eads Brothers Building in 1903|
|The first mention of this property is from 1838 when it was part of the brickyard that manufactured bricks to build the second Fort Smith. In 1877 the City Hotel was built here. In 1897, identical buildings were constructed to house the W.J. Murphy Harness and Saddlery Company at 410-12 Garrison. In 1901, Charles and Louis Eads established Eads Brothers Furniture Company in the former Rodgers-Wade building. In 1923, Eads Brothers purchased the Murphy building, removing the walls and combining . . . — Map (db m57917) HM|
|Arkansas (Sebastian County), Fort Smith — Welcome to Fort Smith|
|Founded in 1817 by the U.S. Army to contain a volatile Indian feud, Fort Smith later served as a major supply depot for western military posts, and finally as headquarters of the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. For over 80 years, the federal government used Fort Smith to establish and maintain law and order in the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma).
Fort Smith National Historic Site preserves the remains of these two military posts and the federal court. During . . . — Map (db m59027) HM|