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
Location522 Garland Ave. and S. 6th St., Fort Smith, Arkansas
Coordinates35°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
Area21.7 acres (8.8 ha)
MPSCivil War Era National Cemeteries MPS
NRHP reference #99000578[1]
Added to NRHPMay 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.

Fort Smith National Cemetery is in western Fort Smith, Arkansas, south of Fort Smith National Historic Site

On April 23, 1861, as the American Civil War was beginning, the post was abandoned by the U.S. Army forces stationed there; it was then subsequently occupied by a Confederate garrison. During this occupation, nearly 400 Confederate soldiers died and were buried at the fort's cemetery. On September 1, 1863, the fort was then retaken by Union forces. In 1867, the post cemetery officially became a National Cemetery when many of the remains from soldiers who had been interred on nearby battlefields were exhumed and reinterred at Fort Smith. 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]