Friday, January 29, 2010
The Second Fort Smith, 1838-1871
The original Fort Smith had been evacuated by the U.S. Army in 1824 in favor of new posts closer to the rapidly expanding Western frontier. But politics came into play and, over the objections of the army itself, the U.S. Congress appropriated money for a new Fort Smith. Army officers saw no need for the new fort, but since the money had been appropriated, they oversaw its construction.
The second Fort Smith was a magnificent piece of construction. A complex of brick and stone buildings surrounded by a five-sided stone wall with imposing bastions at its corners, the fort was one of the most beautiful of the growing nation's western posts. Because at the time no one could see the need for a major defensive work at Fort Smith, the engineers designing and building the post halted construction of the original plans and developed the citadel to serve a primary function as a supply post for troops assigned to the frontiers.
They could not then imagine the conflict that would soon divide North and South and split the United States in two.
To learn more about the second Fort Smith, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ARFS4.