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Contact: Jeremy Lynch, 479-783-3961
On Saturday, September 12, free programs will highlight the different aspects of garrison life in Fort Smith under during the Union occupation of 1863. Throughout the day, park staff and volunteers will present interpretive programs on the duties of the cavalry, artillery, infantry, commissary staff, and laundresses.
After the withdrawal of the Confederates, Union forces reoccupied Fort Smith on September 1, 1863. A battle took place a few days later at Devil’s Backbone where the Confederates hoped to recapture the fort by defeating Union soldiers who pursued their retreat. The southern soldiers lost the battle and the ability to recapture the fort. The fort remained under Federal control throughout the rest of the war, serving as a safe haven for refugees fleeing guerrilla activity.
9:30 Unveiling of the Battle of Devils Backbone diorama
10:00-10:30 Flag raising ceremony
11:00-12:00 Artillery/Infantry Demonstrations
1:00-1:30 Program on the Battle of Devils Backbone
2:00-3:00 Artillery/Infantry Demonstrations
4:00-4:30 Flag lowering
Fort Smith National Historic Site is located in downtown Fort Smith along the Arkansas River. To access the parking lot from Garrison or Rogers Avenue, turn south on 4th Street and right on Garland Avenue.
For more information about the programs, please call Fort Smith National Historic Site at 479-783-3961.