• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) Stencil

thin, corroded piece of metal with small cut-out letters and numbers.  R.T. 57th Co.
Military Stencil
FOSM Collection

Military Stencil
57th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT)
c. 1865

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.

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Did You Know?

reproduction of keelboat on Arkansas River with first fort soldier reenactors

Fort Smith was established on Christmas Day, 1817. Approximately 70 Rifle Regiment soldiers arrived by keelboat after a long journey on the Arkansas River.