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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

People of Second Fort Smith (1838-1871)

Steamboat on Arkansas River with fort in background

Fort Smith during Confederate occupation

Fort Smith NHS Collection

In 1838, fourteen years after the first fort was closed, a new garrison was built at Fort Smith. A massive defensive fort was never needed, and Fort Smith eventually served as a supply depot. After the Civil War, the fort had served its usefulness and was ordered closed in 1871.

Did You Know?

Park staff and volunteers demonstrating using lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the cannon's primer

The soldiers who came to Fort Smith in 1817 were still using some 18th century technology and drill. The cannon was discharged using a lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the primer, which originally was loose powder or a turkey quill filled with powder.