Place Category: Activity
Fort Washita was established in 1842 in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, as the southwestern-most military post of the United states. The mission of soldiers stationed there was to protect recently immigrated Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. Troops stationed here on a rotational basis during the 1840s included men from the 2nd Dragoons, U.S. Regiment of Riflemen, and the 6th, 7th and 5th Infantry Regiments. In the 1850s, soldiers from the 2nd and 3rd Artillery were at the fort on frontier duty. From 1858 to the beginning of the Civil War in 1961, members of the 1st Cavalry and 7th Infantry were present.
On May 1, 1861, the fort was abandoned by U.S. forces and was occupied the next day by Confederate troops from Texas. These southern soldiers used the fort as a headquarters for the remainder of the Civil War. After the war, the Chickasaw Nation was granted the old post grounds and buildings from the federal government. The Colbert family, prominent Chickasaws, owned the property until it was acquired by the the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1962. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
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