Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Arkansas history

Today I'm cheating by posting facts about Arkansas Post, but I think they're sort of interesting...oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi, founded 1686, first capital, site of Revolutionary War battle (the Colbert Incident) and an amphibious Civil War battle (or War of Northern Aggression, if you are from south of the Mason-Dixon and prefer it). The path shows where main street would have been.

Arkansas Post was the first territorial capital (1819-1821). Little Rock was the second (1821-1836).
Arkansas Post, Arkansas was the first permanent French settlement in the lower Mississippi River valley and was the first territorial capital of the State of Arkansas. It was also the site of the only Revolutionary War combat in Arkansas as well as the site of an American Civil War Battle.
Arkansas Post was founded in 1686 by Henri de Tonti at the site of a Quapaw Indian village name Osotouy near where the Arkansas River enters the Mississippi River. The site was a strategic point for France, Spain, the United States, and the Confederate States at different times in history.
During the American Civil War the Post became an important strategic site as it was the confluence of two major rivers. In 1862 the Confederate Army constructed a massive earthwork known as Fort Hindman named after Confederate General Thomas C. Hindman. In January of 1863 Union forces conducted an amphibious assault on the fortress backed by ironclad gunboats and destroyed both the fort and the civilian areas of Arkansas Post.

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