Fort Davis, Oklahoma

Fort Davis Historical Marker

Fort Davis Historical Marker

Fort Davis, Oklahoma, was established to serve as a Confederate headquarters in Indian Territory and was named in honor of Jefferson Davis. The post was located on the south bank of the Arkansas River 2 ½ miles northeast of present-day Muskogee, Oklahoma. Under the direction of Brigadier General Albert Pike, the fort’s construction began in November 1861. Its purpose was to aid in the struggle to keep Indian Territory loyal to the south and prevent Union invasions into Texas from the north. When complete, the post included 13 wooden buildings, including barracks, commissary, stables, and other outbuildings. Garrisoned by troops from the Five Civilized Tribes, Texas, and Arkansas, it was officially named Cantonment Davis, though it was always more commonly known as Fort Davis.

However, its life was short-lived, as, after the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in March 1862, Brigadier General Albert Pike believed that his headquarters at Fort Davis were vulnerable to attack. Gathering his scattered forces, he retreated to a bluff on the south bank of the Blue River and started a new post known as Fort McCulloch.

On December 27, 1862, the fort was burned by Union troops led by Colonel William A. Phillips. Though nothing remains of the fort today, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

Forts Photo Gallery

Forts & Presidios Across America

More Oklahoma Forts

Oklahoma – Indian Territory