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COBBLED ROAD  Photo Cobbled walkways and roads were common to frontier posts. Forts were established on a grid system with a central parade ground and tree-lined walks and roads. From the new hospital this road passed the row of officer's quarters, went between the enlisted barracks and commissary, then traveled toward the shops and stables.


GOVERNMENT SPRINGS Photo This spring was one source of water at the post. Near here, west of the main post, are sites of the Sutler's Store and the United States Indian Agency.


HATSBORO Photo Sometimes call Rugglesville, this settlement contained stores and camps for traders who provided goods and services to the fort.   

NEW ADDITIONS Photo Kiosk, Shelters for the Conestoga Wagon and Cannon.          Top
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chaplain.gif (7363 bytes) #1 CHAPLAIN'S QUARTERS Unlike many frontier posts, Fort Washita was served by a chaplain. This building was probably constructed in 1842 as an officer's quarters and assigned to the Post Chaplain in 1846. It had two principal rooms, two shed rooms, a detached kitchen, and a fence surrounding the whole. In the 1930's it was rebuilt between existing chimneys as a family home. It is now used as the Site Office and Interpretive Center.

cooper.gif (8744 bytes) #2 D. H. COOPER CABIN This two room hewn log cabin was the residence of Douglas H. Cooper who served as Chickasaw/Choctaw Indian Agent in the 1850's. A friend of Jefferson Davis, he was appointed Colonel of the Chickasaw/Choctaw Regiment and was later a Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army. He died here on 29 April 1879 and was buried on the fort grounds. Many of the earlier log buildings were made of unhewn logs or had logs hewn only for the interiors.      Top


adjutant.gif (2546 bytes) #3 ADJUTANT'S OFFICE & SCHOOL * Constructed prior  to 1844 as one of the original log barracks, it was composed of two rooms, each with a fireplace, and a central hall. It rested on a rectangular pattern of sixteen piers. The Adjutant's Office served as fort headquarters. If the post had a chaplain, he usually served as school teacher. In 1847, privates from company "I" of the 6th Infantry Regiment were assigned the daily task of teaching school.     Top

bohanan.gif (7063 bytes) #4 "BOHANAN CABIN" Originally constructed near Durant, Oklahoma, by Edward Bohanan soon after the War Between the States. Bohanan was a Teamster employed at the fort prior to the War and later a member of the Confederate Indian Brigade commanded by General Cooper. Moved to the fort in the 1990's, it is similar to cabins used by fort officers. The cabin is now used for military-re-enactments and living history demonstrations.


ofcquarters.gif (4013 bytes) #5 OFFICERS QUARTERS *  Senior Officers and those whose families were with them had private quarters. Families brought a welcome relief from the drudgery of day-to-day life on a military post. If the officer had servants he also had to provide living quarters for them. A married captain with several children might have to give up a three bedroom house to a newly arrived unmarried senior captain or major. Though seemingly unfair the practice reflected life in the army.

laundress.gif (2432 bytes) #6 LAUNDRESS' QUARTERS * In the 1850s, Army Regulations allowed four washerwomen per company. They received one ration per day and a fee set by the Post Council. In 1854 the  monthly rate was 75 cents per enlisted man. Wives of enlisted men served as laundresses, and the fees they were allowed provided food and clothing for them and their children as enlisted men received no extra pay for  family allowances. This building was probably built in 1842 for use by soldiers and later converted to laundress quarters.    Top


westbarracks.gif (13326 bytes) #7 WEST BARRACKS Built in 1856 of locally quarried lime-stone, the upper floors contained company rooms and orderly rooms for the company sergeants. The ground floor contained kitchens, mess rooms, and storage for vegetables, meats and other perishables. When the fort was abandoned after the Civil War, the Colbert family used it as a home until it burned in 1917.    


southbarracks.gif (22753 bytes) #8 SOUTH BARRACKS Built in 1849, it was to be 120 feet long and 30 wide. Ten feet at either end was used for orderly rooms on the upper floor, leaving 50 feet for two company rooms. This was surrounded by a veranda. The ceilings are 14 feet. The interiors were finished with lathe and plaster walls. The company and mess rooms on the first floor were separated by double fireplaces. At each end of the first floor were rooms for food stuffs. Below the structure were the kitchens which had 7 foot ceilings. Wood for the building came from approximately 75 miles away while the stone was quarried locally.


canon.gif (6124 bytes) #9 CANNON PAVILION In 1853 only one battery of light artillery was assigned to the post. A second battery was added in 1854. Each was composed of two 6-pound brass guns and two 12-pound howitzers. In the pavilion is a "Napoleon" 12-pound howitzer which was widely used in the War Between the States. It had a maximum range of 1,680 yards.

boq.gif (6200 bytes)#10 BACHELOR OFFICERS' QUARTERS *
This structure, probably built in 1842, contained twelve assignable rooms and six detached kitchens, surrounded by a veranda. Unmarried officers were entitled to private rooms, though occasionally junior officers had to share quarters if the post was over-crowded.    


oldhosp.gif (3275 bytes)#11 OLD HOSPITAL * The first post hospital was an unhewn log building containing two rooms and a detached kitchen. One of the rooms was a "dispensary" where the surgeon examined those on sick call. The other rooms served as a "ward" where the critically ill slept. Under normal conditions, the building could house only four men at a time.     Top

#12 GUARD HOUSE * This is the "nerve center" of an army post. Here the Officer of the Day monitors the coming and going of visitors and troops. The men assigned to guard duty are supervised by the sergeant of the Guard who assigns them to their posts and inspects the guard on a regular basis. Because the "Guard" is headquartered here, any man awaiting a Courts Martial or serving a short sentence for some misdemeanor would usually be confined here also, but this building was not principally a "jail."


commissary.gif (7933 bytes)#13 COMMISSARY * This was a storehouse and office for the Post Commissary Officer. It could hold 3,000 barrels and had underground rooms for perishables. Commissary supplies included all foodstuffs provided by the army for the men and officers. The Post Quartermaster might also have been housed in this building. The Quartermaster was responsible for assigning, building, caring for, and repairing living quarters for all enlisted men and officers. He also contracted with local brick layers, carpenters, masons, etc. and supervised the enlisted men assigned to that work.

oven.gif (4655 bytes)#14 BAKE OVEN A daily ration of 18 ounces of bread was a staple in the diet of soldiers. Built in the 1840s, the oven could bake 180 loaves at one time. Bakers were selected from companies on a rotating basis. They would burn wood inside the oven until only hot coals were left. When the coals were removed, the bricks held a temperature of 550 to 580 generating enough heat to bake the many loaves of bread.


#15 LIME KILN * This cylindrical hole, cut into the side of a hill, would be filled with alternating layers of limestone and fuel. As the fuel burned the limestone dissolved into powdered lime which might be used in "whitewash," as mortar, or sprinkled in privies and garbage dumps to accelerate decomposition of waste.     Top

#16 CORRAL A reconstruction, adjacent to the original location, is used by re-enactment groups.


#17 BLACKSMITH'S SHOP * Along the cobbled road leading from the main post to the stables were shops used by blacksmiths, carpenters, wheelwrights, and other craftsmen who were under contract with the Post Quartermaster. Enlisted men maintained the buildings, tools, equipment, and wagons, of the post, but sometimes contractors with special skills were required. [This often caused resentment among the men who saw contractors receive four to eight times their pay for the same work.]

#18 STABLES * The bugle sounded "Stable Call" twice a day. Enlisted men then fed and watered the horses, cleaned their stalls and added new straw. The horses were groomed in a set pattern for twenty minutes. Between the bugle calls "Tattoo" and "Reveille" a non-commissioned officer inspected the stables every two hours. These were probably used by two companies of the 1st Cavalry between 1858 and 1861. East of the stables is a reconstructed corral and tack room used now by military re-enactment groups.    Top


co.gif (11180 bytes)#19 COMMANDING
* Officers had the "luxury" of private living quarters. The Commanding Officer received the best housing on post. This structure had four fireplaces and a detached kitchen. Surrounding the building was a fence. Other officers and their families were entertained here by the Commanding Officer's wife. Senior sergeants were occasionally invited for dinner also.   


surgeon.gif (3395 bytes)#20 SURGEON'S
* Doctors stationed at Fort Washita lived in this cottage, a short distance south of the new hospital. Army Surgeons not only graduated from medical colleges but also had to stand rigorous examinations before Medical Review Boards to obtain an appointment to the army. "Medical Reports" prepared by the Post Surgeon not only give statistics (cases of cholera, influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis, etc.) but also contain very good descriptions of the buildings and surrounding countryside. Included in their reports will be the availability of game, wild fruits, and fresh vegetables. The Surgeon routinely recorded weather conditions looking for a relationship between the climate  and illness. Conditions recorded in 1854 are displayed in the interpretive center.


newhosp.gif (5310 bytes)#21 NEW HOSPITAL * Constructed of brick and stone, this hospital was completed in 1857. Only one story, it had eight rooms with a porch on all sides. Assisting the Surgeon was a Hospital Steward who was one of four or five Senior Non-Commissioned Officers assigned to the post. The steward was in charge of several Hospital Attendants or Orderlies.

#22 CEMETERIES The remains of soldiers who died before the War Between the States were removed to the National Cemetery at Fort Gibson in the 1870s. A stone cenotaph honors Brigadier General Belknap who was commander of the army in the southwest. A Chickasaw burial ground is located to the east of the military (later civilian) cemetery and between them is the Colbert family plot. West of the fort are graves dating from the Confederate occupation of Fort Washita.
                                    * Foundations Only


well.gif (4314 bytes)#23 WELL A source of adequate water for the men and animals was all important to the location of an army post. This well was dug by soldiers who then lined the walls with rock and stones. Other sources of water included barrels to catch rain water draining from the roofs of buildings and nearby streams or rivers such as the one located to the west of the fort and from which it gets its name: Fort Washita!

Images and text are from the new (1998) Fort Washita Tour Guide. The eight page guide was designed by Raymond Scott (deceased), former director of Fort Washita Historic Site, and is available at the Fort's Visitor Center.

Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., free.

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