Road Construction I-540
Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »
Looking for a fun and educational way to learn about America's Civil War? Collect the National Park Service's Civil War to Civil Rights trading cards available, free, at select National Park Service sites in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
In 2012, the National Park Service trading card series consists of more than 500 trading cards from nearly 90 national parks in 31 states and the District of Columbia. View all the cards on Flickr.
Fort Smith National Historic Site offers a total of four different cards
Confederates Capture Fort Smith
On April 23, 1861, the Confederate flag was raised over Fort Smith without a single shot being fired. The citizens, however, were anything but united in war sentiment. Pro-Union supporters faced public opposition, discrimination, and threats. Many felt forced to remain silent or leave town in order to protect their families.
Defending Fort Smith
Fort Smith was only fired on once during the Civil War. Captured by Union forces in 1863, the city became a safe haven for former slaves and war refugees. Confederates tried unsuccessfully to recapture the city with cannon fire from across the Poteau River. Defending the fort, Union soldiers quickly fired back.
United States Colored Troops (USCT)
During the Civil War, two locally organized troops were trained and stationed at Fort Smith. The soldiers spent their days drilling and preparing for area skirmishes against Confederate troops. Brave and well disciplined, by the end of the war about 10% of all Union troops were USCT regiments.
Isaac Stand Watie Degataga
Born in Georgia in 1806, Watie became a successful Cherokee farmer prior to moving to Oklahoma with other Cherokees. During the Civil War he formed the Cherokee Mounted Rifles with fellow Confederate Cherokees. As brigadier general, he holds the distinction of being the last Confederate general to surrender in June 1865.
Did You Know?
A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.