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Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Defending Fort Smith

Fort Smith National Historic Site

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Defending Fort Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2015
1. Defending Fort Smith Marker
Inscription.  Fort Smith was fired on only once during the Civil War. On July 31, 1864, Confederates staged a diversionary attack from across the Poteau River, hoping to capture the city of Fort Smith. Their strategy was to pull Union troops away from other city locations that they planned to attack. With one small cannon and a few Creek and Cherokee sharpshooters, the Confederate plan worked. Union troops responded with overwhelming firepower.

The Confederates failed to take the city, but they did drive thousands of refugees, shattered families, and runaway slaves into its already overcrowded fort. This taxed the Union's ability to feed and house the soldiers and civilians.

(background photo captions)
• Confederates attack Fort Smith
• Union gunners return fire across the Poteau River
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesNative AmericansWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is July 31, 1864.
 
Location. 35° 23.195′ N,
Defending Fort Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2015
2. Defending Fort Smith Marker
(Poteau River in the background)
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94° 25.96′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in Sebastian County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Parker Avenue and South 3rd Street. Marker is located on the Fort Smith National Historic Site grounds, near Belle Point on the west side of the fort. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 Parker Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Osage Nation (within shouting distance of this marker); Who Served Here? (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Major Long Surveys the Western Frontier (about 300 feet away); Establishing Fort Smith (about 300 feet away); Abandoned and Forgotten (about 400 feet away); Cherokee Nation (about 400 feet away); Request Denied (about 500 feet away); Chickasaw Nation (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Smith.
 
Also see . . .  The Battle of Fort Smith. Brigadier General Stand Watie, the famed Cherokee soldier who became the only Native American to rise to the rank of general in the service of the Confederacy, was selected to lead the main thrust. Meanwhile, a small party sent into the peninsula formed by the Poteau and Arkansas Rivers opened fire on the fort itself, prompting the garrison to roll out their cannon to suppress the sniping. (Submitted on September 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 29, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Dec. 7, 2021