• 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 IV

 
Railroad Crossing

NPS

At the Railroad Crossing
N 35° 23.270’
W 94° 25.878’

If you had stood here in 1825, on your right would have been Arkansas Territory, and on your left, a vast domain traded to the Choctaw Nation for their ancestral lands in the east. Fort Smith’s location here at the edge of Indian Country was a major factor in its evolution and vitality. The history of the fort and of the town growing up around it was shaped by the forced removal of eastern tribes to Indian Country, the booming border trade in contraband goods, the white settlers’ relentless push for land, and the military’s efforts to maintain order. The Choctaw lands remained part of Indian Country until 1907 when Oklahoma became a state.

 
Stop IV
 
 
 

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.