FIRST -- Military Road to Fort Towson, Talimena Scenic Byway, Leflore Co. OK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 34° 47.803 W 094° 56.685
15S E 322089 N 3852224
Quick Description: The 1959 Oklahoma historical marker for the Fort Towson-Fort Smith Military Road, the first road to Fort Towson, along the Talimena Scenic Byway
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 12/6/2017 7:03:22 PM
Waymark Code: WMX77Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member model12
Views: 0

Long Description:
The 1832 Fort Smith-Ft. Towson Military Road, the first road in the area, now a part of the history of the Talimena Scenic Byway, Leflore Co. OK.

Visitors who want to walk on the Old Military Road between Fort Towson OK and Fort Smith AR can do so by taking a short trail to the old road just a few yards from the parking lot at the Old Military Road Picnic Area along the Talimena Scenic Byway.

Beneath the official plate-style historical marker from 1975 stands this smaller monument with a plaque from 1959. It reads:

"FIRST MILITARY ROAD
To Fort Towson near Red River

Old campground was here near spring

This road was constructed in 1832, by Captain John Stuart, 7th US Inf. It had been marked from Fort Smith to Red River, over this ground by woodsman, Robert Bean and Jesse Chisholm.

Oklahoma Historical Society, 1959"

From the Explore Southern History blog: (visit link)

"An Oklahoma Historic Road

Near the western end of the beautiful Talimena Drive National Scenic Byway, a park and interpretive signs mark the point where the historic Fort Smith to Fort Towson Military Road crossed Winding Stair Mountain.

The old road, faint traces of which can be seen in the park, was built by the U.S. Army in 1832. Connecting the frontier outposts of Fort Smith, Arkansas and Fort Towson, Oklahoma, the road was constructed by soldiers who labored in muddy conditions using hand tools and mule-drawn equipment.

For their labors, they received about 15 cents a day and the equivalent of half a cup of whiskey.

The military road was used to move supplies and men back and forth between the two important forts. It also became a vital route on the Trail of Tears when the Choctaw Nation was moved to this area of Oklahoma.

During the Civil War, Confederate troops regularly used the road during their movements in Indian Territory. Fort Towson was held by the South and troops from that point and other nearby camps followed the military road north through the Choctaw Nation during various raids and expeditions.

One of the most significant of these was the march north following the Red River Campaign that resulted in the Confederate victory at the Battle of Massard Prairie, Arkansas on July 27, 1864.

The road was also used by evacuees fleeing south from the intense and brutal fighting that raged across much of what is now Oklahoma.

Many Native American families were forced to flee their homes followed the road to safety.

The historic Fort Smith to Fort Towson Military Road remained in use by civilians after the forts were abandoned following the Civil War. Some portions are still in use today, but much of the route has been bypassed by modern highways.

The park is located on the Oklahoma section of the Talimena Scenic Drive. Visitors can see the trace of the old road and read the historic marker and several interpretive panels. There are also picnic tables and other facilities at the site."
FIRST - Classification Variable: Place or Location

Date of FIRST: 1/1/1832

More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited FIRST -- Military Road to Fort Towson, Talimena Scenic Byway, Leflore Co. OK 12/3/2017 Benchmark Blasterz visited it