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Fort Washita, located in present-day Durant, Oklahoma, was established in 1842 in the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. Serving as the southwestern-most military post of the United States, Fort Washita was created to protect the recently immigrated Choctaws and Chickasaws from the Southern Plains Indians and non-native intruders who threatened to disrupt the stability in the area.
During the Civil War, the fort was abandoned by Union forces and occupied by Confederate troops from Texas. The Chickasaw Nation eventually gained the property back, and the prominent Colbert family owned it until the Oklahoma Historical Society acquired it in 1962. Today, Fort Washita is on the National Register of Historic Place, is designated as a National Historic Landmark and operates as a free museum open to the public.
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