Saturday, February 21, 2009
Fort Gibson Historic Site - Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
Established in 1824 on what was then the far western frontier, Fort Gibson was one of the most important military posts in American history.
Originally established to maintain peace between newly arrived Cherokees and the Osage who already lived in the region, the original Fort Gibson was a log stockade built by Lt. Col. Matthew Arbuckle and the 7th Infantry Regiment. Beginning in 1836, the fort took on a new and sad role as the final stop on the Trail of Tears.
Over the next few years, thousands of Cherokee, Creek and Seminole ended their long and miserable forced migration to the west at Fort Gibson.
Fort Gibson served as a base for troops marching south during the Mexican-American War of the 1840s and then was occupied by Confederate forces early during the Civil War. Seized by Union troops who briefly renamed it Fort Blunt, the fort served as a base for Federal operations in the Indian Territory, including the Battle of Honey Springs and the Fort Smith Campaign.
It remained an active military post until 1890 and is now a historic site maintained by the Oklahoma Historical Society. Visitors can explore the reconstructed stockade of the original fort and view original structures, ruins and earthworks from the later post. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/okfortgibson.