Fort Smith National Cemetery
Fort Smith National Cemetery
Fort Smith National Cemetery in 2011
|Location||522 Garland Ave. and S. 6th St., Fort Smith, Arkansas|
|Area||21.7 acres (8.8 ha)|
|MPS||Civil War Era National Cemeteries MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||99000578|
|Added to NRHP||May 20, 1999|
Fort Smith National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located at Garland Avenue and Sixth Street in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas. It encompasses 22.3 acres (9.0 ha), and as of the end of 2005, had 13,127 interments.
Fort Smith was a frontier fort first established in 1817, by Maj. William Bradford as a post to prevent hostilities between the Cherokees and the Osage. Despite the strategic importance of the post, the army closed it after a severe outbreak of disease which had taken the lives of several of the men stationed there by 1824. The initial interments were made in the area during this time.
In 1838, a new fort was constructed on the site, including an officer's quarters where General Zachary Taylor lived from 1841 until 1845. At this time, the original post cemetery was repaired, expanded, and improved.
On April 23, 1861, the start of the American Civil War, the post was abandoned by the forces that were there, and it was occupied by a Confederate garrison. During their occupation of the fort, nearly 400 Confederate soldiers were buried in the cemetery. The fort was retaken by Union forces on September 1, 1863. In 1867 the post cemetery officially became a National Cemetery and many of the nearby battlefield cemeteries had their remains re-interred there. The cemetery includes more than 1,400 unmarked graves, many of them of Union and Confederate soldiers.
- A memorial to Unknown Confederate Dead, made of marble. It also commemorates Brigadier General James M. McIntosh, who died at the Battle of Pea Ridge and Brigadier General Alexander E. Steen, who was killed at the Battle of Prairie Grove.
- A Vietnam Veterans memorial, constructed of granite and bronze, erected in 1998.
- Brigadier General William Orlando Darby, World War II veteran, leader of Darby's Rangers
- Jack Fleck, World War II Navy veteran and professional golfer
- Richard C. Gatlin, Civil War Confederate general
- James M. McIntosh, Civil War Confederate brigader general
- Isaac C. Parker, U.S. representative, frontier judge known as "The Hanging Judge"
- Hal Smith, United States Air Force veteran and MLB catcher
- Alexander E. Steen, Confederate general
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "NRHP nomination for Fort Smith National Cemetery" (PDF). Arkansas Preservation. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
- National Cemetery Administration
- Fort Smith National Cemetery
- Fort Smith National Cemetery List of Burials
- Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) No. AR-3, "Fort Smith National Cemetery, 522 Garland Avenue, Fort Smith, Sebastian County, AR", 42 photos, 3 photo caption pages
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fort Smith National Cemetery
- Fort Smith National Cemetery at Find a Grave