Monday, February 22, 2010
The Union Fortifications of Fort Smith
The construction of these fortifications continued through the spring of 1864. Citizens often picked up shovels and axes to join in the work, as did details from the various regiments stationed at Fort Smith.
In addition to the main line that surrounded the town, Union engineers also threw up earthen embankments against the stone walls of the main fort and placed a battery at Belle Point in front of the fort to control the river approaches to the garrison.
Very little remains of these fortifications today. Some small sections of rifle pits can still be seen and in a few places vague traces of earthworks are still visible. For the most part, though, the Union defenses of Fort Smith vanished during the late 19th and early 20th century residential and industrial expansion of the city. To learn more about Fort Smith National Historic Site, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortsmith