Fort Washita

Photo entrance to Fort Washita.

Intended to protect the Chickasaws from Comanche and Kiowa raiding parties, Fort Washita was constructed in 1842 on the site selected by General Zachary Taylor, a ridge above the Washita River overlooking the open prairie. Various companies of infantry, dragoons, riflemen, cavalry, and artillery were stationed at the Fort until it was abandoned by Union forces May 1, 1861. The Fort was occupied by Confederate forces the next day and served as a supply base and hospital during the Civil War. Later it was turned over to the Colbert family who lived in one barracks and used another as a barn. After acquiring the site in 1962, the Oklahoma Historical Society uncovered the remains of several military buildings and reconstructed the south barracks. A fire in 2011 destroyed the upper floors of the south barracks.  In 2016 the Chickasaw Nation partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to manage the site. Fort Washita is located 12 miles northwest of Durant on Highway 199.

Photo of the south barracks of Fort Washita taken sometime before the fire.
South Barracks Begore the Fire
Photo of General Douglas Cooper's Cabin
General Douglas Cooper’s Cabin
Photo of Civil Wat Reenactors
Photo of Civil Wat Reenactors – Fort Washita
Photo of Civil Wat Reenactors
Photo of Civil Wat Reenactors – Fort Washita
Photo of historical marker for Fort Washita.  Inscription reads "Fort Washita-Site Selected and named 1842 by General Zachary Taylor, later President of US.  Fort established 1842 by 2nd Dragoons, occupied by several rifle, infantry, cavalry, artillery companies.  Built to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians from plains indians and wagon trains moving west with the Mexican War and after gold was discovered in California.  Fort Washita became center of activity occupied during Civil War by Confederate forces.  Not occupied at any time thereafter by US Troops.  Oklahoma Historical Society