Fort Towson
Fort Towson was a frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

 outpost for Frontier Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

s along the Permanent Indian Frontier
Army on the Frontier
The "Army on the Frontier" is a term applied to the activities of the United States Army stationed near the frontier settlements from the beginning of national existence until about 1890, the end of the settlers' frontier....

 located about two miles (3 km) northeast of the present community of Fort Towson, Oklahoma
Fort Towson, Oklahoma
Fort Towson is a town in Choctaw County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 611 at the 2000 census. It was named for nearby Fort Towson.-Geography:Fort Towson is located at ....


It was established in May 1824, under Col. Matthew Arbuckle
Matthew Arbuckle
Matthew Arbuckle was a career soldier in the U.S. Army closely identified with the Indian Territory for the last thirty years of his life.-Early life:...

, on the southern edge of Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 to guard the border with Spanish colonial territory to the south. It was named for Nathaniel Towson
Nathaniel Towson
Major-General Nathaniel Towson also known as Nathan Towson. -History:Nathaniel Towson was born in Towsonton, Maryland, which was then a small town north of Baltimore. Nathan farmed for much of his early life and left Towson to establish his family's recently acquired farm in Kentucky...

, Paymaster General of the Army. Originally called "Cantonment Towson," it was abandoned in 1829, but soon reestablished as "Camp Phoenix" to protect the Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

. It was renamed Fort Towson in 1831. After the construction of Fort Washita
Fort Washita
Fort Washita is the former United States military post and National Historic Landmark located near Nida, Oklahoma on SH 199. Established in 1842 by General Zachary Taylor to protect citizens of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations from the plains indians it was later abandoned by Federal forces at...

 70 miles (112.7 km) to the west in 1842, Fort Towson lost importance. It was garrisoned until 1854, when it was turned over to the use of the Choctaw Indian Agency (a precursor to the Indian reservation
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...


The Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 took over the fort at the beginning of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, as the Choctaw allied with them. The fort was used as the headquarters of Confederate General Samuel B. Maxey
Samuel B. Maxey
Samuel Bell Maxey was an American soldier, lawyer, and politician from Paris, Texas, United States. He was a Major General for the Confederacy in the Civil War and later represented Texas in the U.S. Senate.-Early life:...

. The last remaining Confederate Army troops were commanded by General Stand Watie
Stand Watie
Stand Watie , also known as Standhope Uwatie, Degataga , meaning “stand firm”), and Isaac S. Watie, was a leader of the Cherokee Nation and a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War...

, a Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 and longstanding principal chief of his nation through 1866. He surrendered to Union forces at Fort Towson on June 23, 1865, following the Battle of Doaksville
Battle of Doaksville
Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered the last major Confederate army, which took place in the small town of Doaksville in Indian Territory on June 23, 1865. There was no battle.-External links:*...

. The post was abandoned at the close of the Civil War.

The location of the fort is an Oklahoma Historic Site and was added to the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

(#70000531) in 1970.

External links

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