Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written eleven nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Springfield: The Seamy Side of the Queen City, Murder and Mayhem in Missouri, and The Siege of Lexington, Missouri: the Battle of the Hemp Bales.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Military Roads

When I hear the phrase "military road" or "the military road" in the context of regional history, I automatically think of the military road that ran from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, through Fort Scott to Baxter Springs and then continued along the western edge of the Ozarks to Fort Gibson in Indian Territory, because this is the historic military road with which I'm most familiar. I live close to it, and I've written about it or at least mentioned it in several of my articles and books. 
However, there was another military road that traversed the Ozarks and that predated the one in eastern Kansas. This earlier military road crossed the Mississippi River and entered Missouri near Cape Girardeau. It then continued west, angling slightly south, and crossed the St. Francis River near present-day Greenville in Wayne County. From there, it veered south, roughly following present-day Highway 67, and crossed the Black River in what is now northern Butler County, a few miles north and slightly west of Poplar Bluff. From there, it continued southwest through present-day Fairdealing and Oxly in what is now eastern Ripley County. It crossed the Current River into Arkansas at Pittman's Ferry near the present-day community of Current View. It continued from there to Pocahontas, Arkansas.
This trail was called the Military Road because it was improved and used by the army during the presidency of Andrew Jackson for the removal of the Indians from the southeastern states during the late 1830s. The road, however, actually followed an earlier Indian trail called the Natchitoches Path. Early settlers moving into southern Missouri and northern Arkansas used this same trail, both before and after it became known as the Military Road.       

1 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

There is an old military road that ran through Searcy, AR. I remember this because I went to college there and remember reading about it. I need to find more information about it.

December 7, 2012 at 4:37 PM  

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