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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)
 

Defending Freedom

 
 
Defending Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
1. Defending Freedom Marker
Inscription. I never saw such fighting done as was done by 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 Confederate soldiers mercilessly massacred black troops who had surrendered at Poison Springs in 1864. Many of the troops were former slaves. Later that year, the 11th USCT, on duty in Indian Territory, battled Confederate cavalry in one of many skirmishes fought by Fort Smith troops. By war’s end about 10 percent of all Union troops were USCT regiments.
 
Erected by Fort Smith National Historic Site National Park Services, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 35° 23.275′ N, 94° 25.83′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in Sebastian County. Marker is on Parker Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 Parker Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Defending Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
2. Defending Freedom Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Wall (within shouting distance of this marker); Executions at Fort Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); The Gallows (within shouting distance of this marker); The Officer’s Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederates Occupy The Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Belle Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Meeting of Nations (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Clues from the Past (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Smith.
 
Categories. African AmericansMilitary
 
Defending Freedom Marker in the distance image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
3. Defending Freedom Marker in the distance
Defending Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
4. Defending Freedom Marker
Members of the USCT practice bayonet lunges at Fort Smith, 1864.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 489 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 2, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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