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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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  • 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 »

Grounds Stop III

 
Parking Lot Gazebo

Parking Lot Gazebo at Gateway D

NPS Photo

Gazebo at Parking Lot
N 35° 23.257’
W 94° 25.852

Fort Smith, founded in 1817 by the U.S. Army to contain a volatile Indian feud, later served as a major supply depot for western military posts, and finally as headquarters of the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. For over 80 years, the federal government used Fort Smith to establish and maintain law and order in the Indian Territory which is present day Oklahoma. Today, Fort Smith National Historic Site preserves the remains of the two military posts and the federal court.
 
 
Stop III

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.