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Fort Arbuckle Cemetery
Murray County, Oklahoma

Lat: 34 31' 15"N, Lon: 97 14' 50"W
T1N R1W Sec 36

Contributed by Dennis Muncrief, Jun 29, 2003, [mudman@cableone.net]. Total records = 20.

The cemetery was located on post grounds at Sec. 36, T1N, R1W. Driving directions would be seven miles west of Davis, Ok to the intersection of S.H. 7 and Meridian Road. There is a marker and the old fort was located on the northwest corner of the intersection.

Fort Arbuckle was built in the unsettled Indian Territory to protect the Civilized Indians, Chickasaws and Choctaws, from the wild rampaging Kiowa and Comanche Indians. There were also visits by the wagon trains of Mormons and other emigrants making their way to the California gold fields using the Dona Ana and California Trails between Ft. Smith and Santa Fe which passed through this area.

Captain Randolph B. Marcy was charged with the choice of the locations and construction of the fort. The site near Wild Horse Creek and the Washita River was not only rich in natural beauty but there was also abundant timber, grass and water, all necessary for an army post. From the nearby mountains, lead was mined for making ammunition.

The fort was established on Apr 19, 1851 and named for the late General Matthew Arbuckle who had been in command of troops in Military Department of Missouri until his death on Apr 11, 1851. He died of cholera in Ft. Smith.

Major Joel Elliott was buried at Ft. Arbuckle when he was killed at the Battle of the Washita with Custer's 7th Cavalry. Only death dates are available. It was later determined, by an army grave relocation team in 1872, that 54 additional graves existed at Ft. Arbuckle and 26 soldiers were buried on Guy Sandy Creek who died of cholera. These additional graves were never located. The area was allowed to burn off and that destroyed the wooden grave markers and the location of the graves.

When Ft. Arbuckle was decommissioned in 1870, the names listed below were moved to Ft. Gibson, OK and re-interred at the National Cemetery. Fifty-four others were not moved. Ft. Sill, I.T. opened for business in the middle of Comanche country in late 1869 and Ft. Arbuckle closed permanently in June of 1870. Unless noted otherwise, most of the people listed below died of cholera or other epidemics. Some were killed in Indian battles and brought to Ft. Arbuckle for burial.

- Dennis Muncrief

Andrews, John, Pvt., Nov 16, 1866
Blinn, Clara Harrington, Nov 27, 1868, hostage killed at Battle of the Washita
Blinn, Willie, s/o Clara, Nov 27, 1868, hostage killed at Battle of the Washita
Borsess, John, Pvt., Nov 19, 1866
Butler, John, Pvt., Mar 29, 1868
Campbell, Jim G., Civilian, Apr 24, 1860
Carroll, M. L. Pvt., Nov 24, 1858
Clackin, Wm., Sgt. Oct 11, 1867
Dorsey, James Pvt., Feb 06, 1870
Elliott, Joel H. Major, Nov 27, 1868, killed at Battle of the Washita
Johnson, Orin, Pvt., Nov 28, 1866
Neville, John Pvt., Oct 12, 1869
Pe-A-Tah-Kak, Kickapoo, Mar 1854, executed for murder
Powell, William, Civilian, no dates
Reves, Joseph, Pvt., 1872
Robent, John, Pvt., Apr 28, 1866
Searles, James, Pvt., Sep 6, 1868
So-Kok-Wah, Kickapoo, Mar 1854, executed for murder
Taylor, Samuel, Pvt., Jul 07, 1867
Wheeler, H. Pvt., Apr 22, 1868

 

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