Fort Washita (1842-1865) - A U.S. Army post established in 1842 by Captain George A.H. Blake, 2nd U.S. Dragoons in Bryan County, Oklahoma. Abandoned by U.S. troops in 1861 at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. Occupied by Confederate troops throughout the war, finally abandoned in 1865. Never re-occupied by U.S. Troops.
Fort Washita History
The post was established in April 1842 by Captain George A.H. Blake, 2nd U.S. Dragoons in Bryan County, Oklahoma. Initial construction was crude and permanent construction began when two additional companies arrived but was not completed until 1849.
When completed, the post was an open plan western fort with a central parade surrounded by post buildings. Large two story barracks lined the south and west sides of the parade with a single story stone bachelor officer's quarters (BOQ) on the east side. The Adjutant's office and a school were placed at the north end. Officers row was built along a cobbled road to the north that ended with the new hospital (1857). The commissary and other support buildings were located behind the south side barracks.
The post was abandoned by U.S. troops on 16 Apr 1861 at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. Fort Washita was occupied by Confederate troops the day after Union troops left and they remained there throughout the war, finally abandoned it in 1865. Most of the fort was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin on 1 Aug 1865 and was never re-occupied by U.S. Troops.
The post property passed from the Indian Agent, General Douglas Cooper, to the Colbert family the early 1880s. In 1962 the Oklahoma Historical Society purchased the 117 acre site with a gift provided by the Merrick Foundation and began a restoration process. The south barracks restoration was completed in 1972 but it was destroyed by an arson fire in 2011.
Part of Fort Washita State Park, Bryan County, Oklahoma.
Location: Near Durant, Bryan County, Oklahoma.
Maps & Images
Lat: 34.102874 Long: -96.5463855
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 658
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 127
Visited: 20 Oct 2011
Fort Washita Picture Gallery
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