U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) Stencil
This small metal stencil was used by an individual soldier to mark his personal belongings. Still visible on this stencil are his initials -- R. T. He was an African-American soldier who served in the 57th USCT. This regiment was almost entirely mustered from enlistments by ex-slaves from Arkansas. The 57th USCT was sent to Fort Smith early in 1865.
This stencil was found during an archeological excavation in the 1980s. The archeologists were working in the area of the garrison's second bastion, also known as the Quartermaster Building.
Did You Know?
The only known image of Judge Parker in his courtroom is this one from the federal courthouse on Sixth Street which dates from the 1890s. There are no photographs of the courtroom located in the former military barracks.