Fort Smith National Cemetery

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Fort Smith National Cemetery
Fort Smith National Cemetery Jan2011.jpg
Fort Smith National Cemetery in 2011
Fort Smith National Cemetery is located in Arkansas
Fort Smith National Cemetery
Fort Smith National Cemetery is located in the US
Fort Smith National Cemetery
Location 522 Garland Ave. and S. 6th St., Fort Smith, Arkansas
Coordinates 35°22′57″N 94°25′43″W / 35.38250°N 94.42861°W / 35.38250; -94.42861Coordinates: 35°22′57″N 94°25′43″W / 35.38250°N 94.42861°W / 35.38250; -94.42861
Area 21.7 acres (8.8 ha)
Built 1867
MPS Civil War Era National Cemeteries MPS
NRHP Reference # 99000578[1]
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.[2]

Noteworthy monuments[edit]

Notable interments[edit]

Grave of Issac Parker, the "Hanging Judge"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "NRHP nomination for Fort Smith National Cemetery" (PDF). Arkansas Preservation. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 

External links[edit]