Monday, September 20, 2010

Ft Smith National Cemetery

These are the gates that greet you as you enter the Ft. Smith National Cemetery in Ft Smith, AR.  They were originally erected in 1942.
The administration building that is located just inside the gates was constructed in 1904. It was originally the home of the superintendent. But now serves as the office and maintenance area.

This cemetery was established as a National Cemetery in 1867 on the site of the old Fort Smith military reservation.  Originally starting out with only 5.5 acres but has grown to included 21.7 acres at the present time.  The first known burial at this cemetery was Thomas Russell in 1819, who was a U.S. Army Surgeon. His burial was before the cemetery was upgraded to National Cemetery rating.

There are a number of notable people buried at this beautiful cemetery. Two Confederate Generals, James B. McIntosh and Alexander E. Steen.  Brigadier General William O. Darby a was a WWII veteran.   The oldest man in Arkansas, James McCann who was 115, resides here. Also buried at this cemetery is the famous "Hanging Judge" Parker

Judge Parker was a  lawyer by profession and served as circuit judge in Missouri prior to the Civil War. After the Civil War he served two terms in Congress. In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him United States District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. The area within his jurisdiction was for the most part frontier territory and Indian Territory, which today is the state of Oklahoma.  It is believed that during the 21 years that he acted as United States District Judge he presided over more than 13,000 cases.  Of those 13,000 cases 12,000 were criminal cases with 88 ending in a death sentence. All 88 sentencings were carried out by hanging on a gallow erected near the Ft. Smith Court House.

Here are a few of the non-standard stones that can be found here.

Gen. Richard
Caswell Gatlin
Born At Kinston NC
Jan 16, 1809
Died Sept 3, 1896

This is his wife and infant son, Alfred's box tomb. Sciotio died on January 3, 1852, several days after giving birth to Alfred.
In Memory of
Scioto Gatlin
WIfe of
Major E C Gatlin C.S.A.
Born April 26, 1827
Died January 3, 1852

Alfred Sandford Gatlin
Born December 27, 1851
Died January 11, 1852

Sacred to the Memory of
Capt. Charles H Humber
Jan. 2, 1858
On the backside of this marker is his wife.

Wife of
Capt C H  Humber
Born Mar 11, 183?
Died May 24, 1902

Mary H
Daughter of
Capt C H & Laura Humber
Died Sept 15, 1857
Aged 1 Yr & 10 Mos
Little Teetee

In Memory of
William B
Sept 1835
Feb 16, 1871

Our Mother
Harriet C
Wife of the Late
Capt L W B
Oct 24, 1864
Her children grew up
and call her blessed.

Here are a few links with more information.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures. One of the prettier and more underrated national cemeteries, in my opinion.