Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, 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 sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

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.       


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  
Blogger Zepharia Andres said...

I haven't been told anything yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. See the link below for more info.


June 9, 2016 at 11:27 PM  

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