Forts & Military Roads
Updated December 05, 2004
Many of the earliest roads led to frontier forts, which meant that they often became significant wagon roads used in the westward expansion. I have encountered many references to "the Old Military Road" where the context defines only the general area -- but if the Forts in that area can be located it is possible to narrow the field of candidates, or even determine an approximate path in many cases. Rather than attempt to compile a complete list of forts myself, I've consulted Forts in North America. It is an extensive site with descriptions of many forts, including some dates and specific locations. Although this 1845 map doesn't show the inter-fort roads, it does show the major forts and the areas occupied by a number of Plains Tribes at the time of the "Permanent Indian Frontier".
Braddock's Road A 1755 expansion of Nemacolin's Path which the British General Edward Braddock used to transport troops from Fort Cumberland [Maryland] across the Allegheny Mountains to the French Fort Duquesne near Pittsburg.
Camp Supply Road Old military Road through what is now western Oklahoma, from the junction of the north and south forks of the Red River, swinging westward almost to the Texas line, then back to the northeast to Camp Supply and northward into Kansas.
Camp Supply to Ft. Sill Secondary military Road linking the two stations.
Camp Supply to Ft. Reno Secondary military Road linking the two stations.
Forbes Road Built north of Braddock's Road during the French and Indian Wars, under the direction of the British General John Forbes, also to Fort Duquesne. After the war it was extended eastward to Philadelphia.
Ft. Bascom to Ft. Dodge Old military road that crossed the Oklahoma panhandle through the southeast corner of present-day Texas County and northeastward through Beaver County into Kansas.
Ft. Gibson to Ft. Smith Secondary military Road linking the two stations.
Ft. Sill to Ft. Towson An old military road linking Ft. Sill, Ft. Arbuckle, Ft. McCulloch, and Ft. Towson to Little Rock, AR.
Ft. Sill to Ft. Smith An old military road from Ft. Sill through Camp Arbuckle and Ft. Coffee to Ft. Sill.
Ft. Smith to Ft. Towson Military Road from Ft. Smith through Ft. Towson to the Texas border.
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