The Parade Ground
See our Webcam of this view.
For more than thirty years during the mid-1800’s, soldiers drilled on the large parade ground. Flanked by the officers’ quarters to the right and the enlisted men’s barracks on the left, the parade ground was the center of life at the fort.
The flagpole is a reproduction of the original installed by the Army. For Special events, we fly a 20'x35' 37-Star Garrison Flag. The rest of the year, we fly a 19'x35' 37-Star storm flag. The replica 37-star the final flag known to have been flown by the army here from 1867-71.The U.S. Army built the original flagstaff at the second Fort Smith in 1846. As with many western military posts, the flagstaff stood tall so that its flag could be seen for miles. To attain a height of nearly 100 feet, the flagstaff builders joined two poles in the same way that ship masts were built. Shroud lines attached to crosstrees supported the area where the poles were joined, while guidelines and an underground wooden structure stabilized the base.
Surrounding the Parade Ground to the north is the Commissary, to the east is the Visitor Center (former barracks, courthouse, and jail building), to the south is the Gallows, and to the west are the Officers' Quarters and Garden.
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Last updated: May 12, 2020