Photo Credit: Licenseshare alike Some rights reserved by Cyndy Cox
Forts Gibson and Towson Established
In April, 1824, Fort Gibson was established by Colonel Matthew Arbuckle of the 7th US Infantry. This post was located on the Neosho or (Grand River) a short distance above its mouth. The next month another military post known as Fort Towson, was established in the valley of the Kiamitia a few miles above where it empties into the Red River.
Fort Gibson which was first known as Cantonment Gibson, was garrisoned almost continuously for nearly seventy years. It was named in honor of Col George Gibson, who was at that time and for many years afterward at the head of the subsistence department of the US Army. It occupies a beautiful site, was the station of regimental headquarters, was situated near the Cherokee, Creek, and Osage Indian agencies and was a center of social as well as official life. Visitors to the Indian country in the olden times never failed to call at Fort Gibson. Many noted men of the last century were guests within the walls of its hospitable quarters. Among these might be mentioned Washington Irving, George Catlin, the painter of Indian portraits, John Howard Payne, the author of Home Sweet Home and others equally well known. Fort Gibson was the center of great activity during the Civil War, having been a Confederate stronghold during the early part of that conflict later becoming the center of Union. operations in the surrounding region
Fort Towson which was named after Colonel afterwards General Nathan Towson was a smaller post than Fort Gibson It was occupied as a military post for a period of thirty years being abandoned in 1854 During the Civil War it was re occupied as a military post by troops of the Confederate Army.” (Source: A History of Oklahoma, Joseph Bradfield Thoburn, Isaac Mason Holcomb, pp. 32-33)