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Fort Smith

Smithland Cemetery Road, Smithland, KY 42081, USA

Union forces constructed the star-shaped, earthen Fort Smith after Gen. Ulysses S. Grant seized Paducah in 1861. The fort was part of a larger complex designed to protect the mouth of the Cumberland River at the Ohio River. From this location, soldiers were sent down the Cumberland River to participate in the expedition against Forts Henry and Donelson, near the Tennessee-Kentucky border. As many as two thousand Union troops were stationed in Smithland during the Civil War. By 1864, the fort was manned by a contingent of the Thirteenth U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. Several of these men are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the fort.


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Google Satellite Map of Smithland, KY.

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From I-24 take exit 31 onto Route 453. Travel approximately 15 miles to Smithland. To chamber office, at caution light in Smithland, turn left; proceed 3 blocks; turn right onto Wilson Avenue. Smithland City Hall is located at 310 Wilson Avenue. To Fort Smith, at the caution light in Smithland, turn left; proceed 1 block and turn left; cross intersection of Wilson Avenue and proceed up steep hill into Smithland Cemetery. Follow the road to the water tower. Travel on foot on the trail to the right (west) of the tower approximately 50 feet; the fort is on the right of the trail.

Visitor Services

Information and walking tours available from the Smithland Chamber of Commerce (270)-928-2446

Regular Events

First weekend in May: Smithland Heritage Tour and Civil War reenactment

Plan Your Visit

Admission Fee



Daily: Sunrise to sunset



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