February 2018 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Fort Smith, Arkansas - from Wikipedia
Fort Smith is the second-largest city in Arkansas and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 86,209. With an estimated population of 87,443 In 2012, it is the principal city of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 298,592 residents that encompasses the Arkansas counties of Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian, and the Oklahoma counties of Le Flore and Sequoyah.
Fort Smith has a sister city relationship with Cisterna, Italy, site of the World War II Battle of Cisterna, fought by United States Army Rangers commanded by Fort Smith native William O. Darby. The city also has a mutual friendship-city relationship with Jining, China. 
Fort Smith lies on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state border, situated at the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers, also known as Belle Point. Fort Smith was established as a western frontier military post in 1817, when it was also a center of fur trading. The city developed there. It became well known as a base for migrants settling of the "Wild West" and its law enforcement heritage.
In 2007, the city of Fort Smith was selected by the United States Department of the Interior as the site of the new United States Marshals Service National Museum.
This area was occupied for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, attracted to the advantageous site near the rivers. They used the waterways for transportation and trading, and to supply fish and water for their villages. The French claimed this area as part of their New France and La Louisiane. Some colonial fur traders traveled the Arkansas and other rivers to trade with the native American tribes.
The United States acquired this territory and large areas west of the Mississippi River from France in the Louisiana Purchase (1803). Soon after, the government sent the Pike Expedition (1806) to explore the areas along the Arkansas River. The US founded Fort Smith in 1817 as a military post. It was named after General Thomas Adams Smith (1781–1844), who commanded the United States Army Rifle Regiment in 1817, headquartered near St. Louis. General Smith had ordered Army topographical engineer Stephen H. Long (1784–1864) to find a suitable site on the Arkansas River for a fort. General Smith never visited this town or the forts that bore his name.
A stockade was built and occupied from 1817 until 1822 by a small troop of regulars commanded by Major William Bradford. A small settlement began forming around the fort, but the Army abandoned the first Fort Smith in 1824 and moved 80 miles further west to Fort Gibson. John Rogers, an Army sutler and land speculator, bought up former government-owned lands at this site and promoted growth of the new civilian town of Fort Smith. (Some genealogists claim him as an ancestor to 20th-century Oklahoma comedian Will Rogers.)
Due to the strategic location of this site, the federal government re-established a military presence at Fort Smith during the 1830s era of Indian Removal, primarily of tribes from the American Southeast to west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma.
In 1838 the Army moved back into the old military post near Belle Point, and expanded the base. They used troops to escort Choctaw and Cherokee, from their ancestral homelands in the Southeast; they were the last of the tribes to leave. Remnants of the Five Civilized Tribes remained in the southeast, and their descendants in some cases have reorganized and been federally recognized. The Cherokee called the forced march the Trail of Tears, as many of their people and African-American slaves died along the way. The army enforced the removal of these peoples to the reserved Indian Territory, where the federal government granted them land. Many displaced Native Americans fell out of the march and settled in Fort Smith and adjoining Van Buren, Arkansas on the other side of the river.
The US Army also used Fort Smith as a base during the Mexican War (1846-1848). As a result, the US acquired large territories in the Southwest, and later annexed the Republic of Texas, which had been independent for some years.
Sebastian County was formed in 1851, separated from Crawford County north of the Arkansas River. In 1858, Fort Smith was designated as a Division Center of the Butterfield Overland Mail's 7th Division route across Indian Territory from Fort Smith to Texas and as a junction with the mail route from Memphis, Tennessee, an important port on the east side of the Mississippi River.
During the early years of the U.S. Civil War, the fort was occupied by the Confederate Army. Union troops under General Steele took control of Fort Smith on September 1, 1863. A small fight occurred there on July 31, 1864, but the Union army maintained command in the area until the war ended in 1865. As a result, many refugee slaves, orphans, Southern Unionists, and others came here to escape the guerrilla warfare raging in Arkansas, Missouri, and the Border States. The slaves were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. Federal troops abandoned the post of Fort Smith for the last time in 1871. The town continued to thrive despite the absence of federal troops.
Two of Fort Smith's most notable historic figures were Judge Isaac Parker and William Henry Harrison Clayton, sometimes referred to as W.H.H. Clayton. In 1874, William Henry Harrison Clayton was appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas by President Ulysses S. Grant. Fort Smith was a bustling community full of brothels, saloons and outlaws, just across the river from Indian Territory. William Clayton realized a strong judge would be necessary to bring law and order to the region. He knew that Isaac Parker was a strong judge. But Judge Parker had been appointed Chief Justice of Utah Territory and confirmed by the US Senate. With the help of President Grant and US Senator Powell Clayton, former governor of Arkansas, William Clayton was able to gain the appointment of Judge Parker in the Fort Smith district.
Judge Isaac Parker served as U.S. District Judge 1875–1896. He was nicknamed the "Hanging Judge": in his first term after assuming his post, he tried 18 people for murder, convicted 15 of them, and sentenced eight of those to die. Six of these men were later hanged on the same day. Over the course of his career in Fort Smith, Parker sentenced 160 people to death. Of those, 79 were executed on the gallows. His courthouse is now marked as a National Historic Site, where "more men were put to death by the U.S. Government... than in any other place in American history."
William Clayton served as US Attorney under four different presidents and later was appointed as Chief Justice of Indian Territory. He was instrumental in achieving statehood for Oklahoma in 1907, after Native American claims were extinguished by distribution of communal lands under the Dawes Act and the break up of tribal governments. Together with Territorial Governor Frank Frantz, Clayton took a copy of the Oklahoma Constitution to President Theodore Roosevelt after the state was admitted to the Union in 1907. Governor Frantz and Judge Clayton both lost their territorial positions when Oklahoma became a state; a new governor was elected and the Roosevelt administration appointed a new judge.
During investment in the military prior to World War II, the Army returned to Fort Smith in 1941. It established the Fort Chaffee Military Reservation east of the city.
On April 21, 1996, a large tornado, part of the April 1996 Tornado Outbreak Sequence, destroyed and heavily damaged much of historic downtown Fort Smith around the Garrison Avenue Bridge. The storm tracked from eastern Pittsburg County, Oklahoma into Fort Smith and Van Buren, Arkansas. The tornado left four people dead in western Arkansas. Days later, the damaged Eads Brothers Furniture building in downtown Fort Smith was destroyed by one of the largest fires in the city's history.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 64.6 square miles (167 km2), of which, 61.7 square miles (160 km2) of it is land and 3.9 square miles (10 km2) of it (6.3%) is water.
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma - from Wikipedia
Fort Gibson is a historic military site located next to the present day city of Fort Gibson, in Muskogee County Oklahoma. It guarded the American frontier in Indian Territory from 1824 until 1888. When constructed, the fort lay farther west than any other military post in the United States; it formed part of the north–south chain of forts intended to maintain peace on the frontier of the American West and to protect the southwestern border of the Louisiana Purchase. The fort succeeded in its peacekeeping mission for more than 50 years, as no massacres or battles occurred there The fort site is now managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society as the Fort Gibson Historical Site. It is a National Historic Landmark.
Building the fort
Colonel Matthew Arbuckle commanded the 7th Infantry Regiment (United States) from Fort Smith, Arkansas. He moved some of his troops to establish Cantonment Gibson on 21 April 1824 on the Grand River (Oklahoma) just above its confluence with the Arkansas River. This was part of a series of forts which the United States established to protect its western border and the extensive Louisiana Purchase. The US Army named the fort for Colonel (later General) George Gibson, Commissary General of Subsistence. The post surgeon began taking meteorological observations in 1824, and the fort provided the earliest known weather records in Oklahoma. Colonel Arbuckle also established Fort Towson in southern Indian Territory. In the early years, troops constructed a stockade, barracks, other facilities, and roads. They also settled strife between the indigenous Osage Nation, which had been in the area since the seventeenth century, and the earliest bands of western Cherokee settlers.
Indian removal
Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which led to a new mission for Cantonment Gibson. The Army designated the cantonment as Fort Gibson in 1832, reflecting its change from a temporary outpost to a semi-permanent garrison. Soldiers at Fort Gibson increasingly dealt with Indians removed from the eastern states to Indian Territory. These newcomers complained about hostility from the Osage Nation and other Plains Indian tribes indigenous to the region. Montfort Stokes, former governor of North Carolina, convened a commission at Fort Gibson to address these problems, and troops at the fort supported its work. The American author Washington Irving accompanied troops exploring the southern Plains west of Fort Gibson in 1832. This excursion and another journey in 1833 both failed to find any significant nomadic Indian tribes, but Washington Irving wrote A Tour of the Prairies in 1835 from his experiences.
General Henry Leavenworth in 1834 led First Dragoon Expedition on a peace mission to the west, finally established contact with the nomadic Indian tribes. The artist George Catlin traveled with the dragoons and made numerous studies. General Leavenworth died during the march, and Colonel Henry Dodge replaced him in command. The expedition finally established contact and negotiated the first treaty with the Indian tribes. Debilitating fevers struck and killed many men on this expedition, posing more of a danger than the Native Americans. A West Point officer assigned to the fort said the men felt that expeditions to the Plains in the 1830s were "a veritable death sentence." During these years, the soldiers at Fort Gibson built roads, provisioned incoming American Indians removed from the eastern states, and worked to maintain peace among antagonistic tribes and factions, including the indigenous Osage Nation and the Cherokee Nation, a people removed from the American South to the Indian Territory.
During the Texas Revolution against the weak Mexican government, the Army sent most of the troops stationed at Fort Gibson to the Texas border region. Their absence weakened the military power and pacification capacity at Fort Gibson, but the reduced garrison maintained stability in the region.
At the height of Indian removal in the 1830s, the garrison at Fort Gibson ranked as the largest in the nation. Notable American soldiers stationed at (or at least visiting) Fort Gibson include Stephen W. Kearny, Robert E. Lee, and Zachary Taylor. The Army stationed Jefferson Davis, later president of the Confederate States of America, and more than 100 other West Point cadets at the fort. The Army also assigned Nathan Boone, son of the famous explorer Daniel Boone, to the post. After leaving Tennessee, Sam Houston owned a trading post in the area; he later moved to Texas.
At a bitterly contentious meeting at Fort Gibson in 1836, the majority faction of the Muscogee (Creek) reluctantly accepted the existing tribal government under the leadership of Chilly McIntosh, son of William McIntosh, and his faction. Colonel Arbuckle tried to prevent intratribal strife within the Cherokee, but Chief John Ross and his followers refused to acknowledge the government that earlier "Old Settlers" had established in Indian Territory. After losing the Seminole Wars against the United States Army in Florida, many of the Seminole arrived in Indian Territory "bitter and dispirited." Officials at Fort Gibson prevented bloodshed and disunity among them.
Pacification and first abandonment
When Colonel Arbuckle left Fort Gibson in 1841, he reported that despite the arrival of 40,000 eastern Native Americans of decidedly unfriendly disposition, "I have maintained peace on this frontier and at no period have the Whites on our border or the Red people of this frontier been in a more perfect state of quiet and Security than they enjoy now." The removed Native American nations gradually lost their desire for American military protection.
Among the traders who operated at Fort Gibson was John Allan Mathews, who was the husband of the half-Osage Sarah Williams, daughter of William S. Williams.
In the 1850s, the Cherokee complained about the liquor and brothels at Fort Gibson. They tried to prevent the sale of alcohol to their people, who could not tolerate it physically.[citation needed] The Cherokee ultimately urged Congress to close Fort Gibson, and the War Department heeded their request. In June 1857, the Army abandoned Fort Gibson for the first time. The Cherokee nation received the deed to the property and improvements, and established the village of Kee-too-wah on the site. It became a center of traditionalists and eventually an independently federally recognized tribe of Cherokee.
American Civil War
During the American Civil War, Union troops occasionally occupied the post. During the summer of 1862, Union soldiers repulsed a Confederate invasion of Indian Territory. They left the fort and withdrew to Kansas. In April 1863, Colonel William A. Phillips of the Indian Home Guard (Union Indian Brigade) reoccupied Fort Gibson and kept it in Union hands throughout the remainder of the war. The Army briefly renamed the post Fort Blunt in honor of Brigadier General James G. Blunt, commander of the Department of Kansas. The fort dominated the junction between the Arkansas River and Texas Road, but Confederates never attacked the fort, though an attack on the fort's nearby livestock grew to a heavy encounter in the battle of Fort Gibson. Its troops under General Blunt marched southward in July 1863 and won the Battle of Honey Springs, the most important in Indian Territory.
In the summer of 1864, a steamboat came up the Arkansas River with a thousand barrels of flour and 15 tons of bacon to resupply Union troops at Fort Gibson. Cherokee Gen. Stand Waite, largely cut off from the rest of the Confederacy, didn’t want to sink the boat. He wanted to capture it, along with the food and other supplies on board. The ensuing battle is the only naval battle to have been fought in Oklahoma/Indian Territory History.
After the American Civil War, the US Army retained Fort Gibson. American soldiers ultimately established enduring peace with the Indian tribes of the southern Plains only after 1870, but forts farther west increasingly took on the duties of securing that peace. For more than 50 years, Fort Gibson had kept peace in its area. The Army transferred most troops elsewhere in 1871, leaving only a detachment responsible for provisions in a quartermaster depot.
Cavalry mission
In 1872 the Tenth Cavalry reoccupied Fort Gibson. Soon after, workers were sent to the area to build the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad from Baxter Springs, the first "cow town," in Kansas, to the Red River crossing at Colbert's Ferry, Indian Territory, along the Texas border. This would improve transportation of cattle and beef to the east as well as shipping of goods from that area to the West. The cavalry from Fort Gibson was used to police the camps of local workers. Soldiers tried to manage threats from outlaws, white encroachment on Indian lands, intra-tribal disputes, and other issues. The size of the garrison varied with the workload.
The Kansas and Arkansas Valley Railway built track through the area in 1888, and the town of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma began to develop. In the summer of 1890, the Army abandoned Fort Gibson for the last time. Troops occasionally camped at the site when unrest brought them to the town of Fort Gibson, which took the name of the fort. After the military permanently departed, the civilian town expanded into the former military grounds of the fort.
Historic site
The Works Project Administration of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in the 1930s reconstructed some or all buildings at the fort, as part of historic preservation and construction work that the government sponsored during the Great Depression. In 1960 the National Park Service designated Fort Gibson as a National Historic Landmark.
The old fort was located in present Muskogee County, Oklahoma. It is located at Lee and Ash Streets in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Historical Society operates the site, which includes a reconstruction of the early log fort, original buildings from the 1840s through 1870s, and the Commissary Visitor Center, which has museum exhibits about the history of the fort. The site hosts special living history events and programs.
Fort Gibson National Cemetery lies a few miles away.
Baxter Springs, Kansas - from Wikipedia
Baxter Springs is a city in Cherokee County, Kansas, United States, and located along Spring River. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,238 and the most populous city of Cherokee County. Natural springs in the area had attracted indigenous peoples and later European-American settlers.
For thousands of years, indigenous peoples had lived along the waterways throughout the west. The Osage migrated west from the Ohio River area of Kentucky, driven out by the Iroquois. They settled in Kansas by the mid-17th century, adopting Plains Indian traditions. They competed with other tribes and by 1750 they dominated much of what is now the region of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
One of the largest Osage bands was led by Chief Black Dog (Manka - Chonka). His men completed what became known as the Black Dog Trail by 1803. It started from their winter territory east of Baxter Springs and extended southwest to their summer hunting grounds at the Great Salt Plains in present-day Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. The Osage regularly stopped at the springs for healing on their way to summer hunting grounds. They made the trail by clearing it of brush and large rocks, and constructing earthen ramps to the fords. Wide enough for eight horsemen to ride abreast, the trail was the first improved road in Kansas and Oklahoma.
During the late 1830s and Indian Removal, the Cherokee people were among the Five Civilized Tribes forced out of the Southeast United States. This area became part of their Cherokee Neutral Lands. A trading post was established at the springs. Some Native Americans and European-American settlers began to create a community around the post. The 19th-century settlers eventually named the city and nearby springs after early settler A. Baxter. He had claimed land about 1850 and built a frontier tavern or inn.
During the American Civil War, the United States government built several rudimentary military posts at present-day Baxter Springs, fortifying what had been a trading post: Fort Baxter, Camp Ben Butler and Camp Hunter. This was to protect settlers against the Confederate regulars and partisan guerrillas operating in the state.
On October 4, 1863, some 400 men of the pro-Southern Quantrill's raiders were passing on their way to Texas for the winter. They attacked Fort Baxter. Some of the garrison was away from the fort on assignment. The remainder, mostly United States Colored Troops, held the fort with few casualties. Quantrill's men later encountered an unrelated detachment of 103 Union troops out on the prairie. The Confederates overwhelmed them, killing nearly all the Union men, including many after they were captured.
After temporarily reinforcing the fort, the United States abandoned the Baxter Springs area later that year. It moved its troops to the better fortified Fort Scott, Kansas. Before leaving, US forces tore down and destroyed Fort Baxter to make it unusable for hostiles.
Most of the town's growth took place after the war, when it began to develop at a rapid pace. By 1867, entrepreneurs had constructed a cable ferry across the Spring River, which was operated into the 1880s. At that time, it was replaced by the first bridge built across the river.
Around 1868 there was a great demand for beef in the North. Texas cattlemen and stock raisers drove large herds of cattle from the southern plains, and used Baxter Springs as a way point to the northern markets at Kansas City that linked to railroads to the East. This led to the dramatic growth of Baxter Springs by the early 1870s as the first "cow town" in Kansas. By 1875, its population was estimated at 5,000.
The town organized the Stockyards and Drovers Association to buy and sell cattle. They constructed corrals for up to 20,000 head of cattle, supplied with ample grazing lands and fresh water. Texas cattle trade stimulated the growth of related businesses, and Baxter Springs grew rapidly. The town was regularly the rowdy gathering place of cowboys, and saloons, livery stables, brothels and hotels were developed to support their seasonal business. At the same time other settlers were building schools and churches, to support family life.
After railroads were constructed from the North into Texas later in the century, cattlemen no longer needed to conduct the cattle drives, or to use Baxter Springs as a way station to markets. The first railroad to enter Texas from the north, completed in 1872, was the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad As ranchers started shipping their beef directly from Texas, business in Baxter Springs and other cow towns fell off sharply.
Spring River from Riverside Park in Baxter Springs
The discovery of lead in large veins in the tri-state area revived the area towns in the early twentieth century from the economic doldrums. In the early days of Baxter Springs, lead had been found in small quantities along Spring Creek, but it was of poor quality. It was suspected that higher grade ore could be found, but only at deeper depths. The Baxter Springs City Council by Ordinance 42 enacted provisions that greatly limited any mining within city limits. Their actions protected the land in the city; nearby towns have suffered from mining-related environmental degradation.
Baxter Springs greatly benefited from the business and revenues generated by regional mining activity. Many of the mine owners and operators built ambitious houses here to reflect their success. In addition, in the early 1900s many mining executives built their business offices in Baxter Springs. By the 1940s, however, much of the high-quality ore had been mined, and the industry declined in the region. Some towns became defunct, and Hockerville, Lincolnville, Douthit, Zincville and others disappeared. The mining practices of the time caused considerable environmental degradation in the region. Federal and state restoration efforts have helped to improve the land since the late twentieth century.
In 1926, the downtown main street was designated as part of the historic Route 66 transcontinental highway connecting Chicago and Los Angeles. The highway became known informally as America's "Main Street", because it used the main arteries of many cities. It stimulated growth along the highway and gained a prominent place in popular culture.
Since the late 20th century, the town has reserved the land of Riverside Park along the Spring River. This has renewed the community's connection and preserved access to the river and its green banks.
Fort Alcatraz - from Wikipedia
Alcatraz Citadel, also known as Fort Alcatraz, was the original military defense and prison on Alcatraz Island, off the coast of San Francisco, California, United States. The citadel was built in 1859 as a U.S. Army military defense, and began function as a war camp in 1861 and long-term military prison in 1868. During the American Civil War, the citadel and its batteries provided an important line of defense. The island continued to develop in the 1870s and 1880s, and in 1893, the first hospital on Alcatraz opened. A new upper prison was built in 1904, but after the citadel ceased function as a military defense in 1907 and the original citadel collapsed the following year, a $250,000 concrete military prison was erected between 1910 and 1912. In 1933-4, this was modernized and became the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. It housed some of America's most dangerous criminals between 1934 and 1963.
Early history
Native Americans, known as Ohlone (A Miwok Indian word), were the earliest known inhabitants of the Alcatraz island before it attained its niche in history as the most 

Model of Alcatraz, 1866-68
secure prison for notorious criminals. Even though they avoided the island as they believed that evil spirits resided there due to the bad atmosphere they got from the place, they were using it for deporting their criminals under the tribal law to live on the island in isolation. They also gathered eggs of birds and marine food from the island. Even after the Spanish discovered the Island in 1759, and started spreading Christianity, the natives who did not want to convert used the islands as their refuge.
19th century
However, the earliest recorded owner of the island of Alcatraz is Julian Workman, to whom it was given by Mexican governor Pio Pico in June 1846, with the understanding that Workman would build a lighthouse on it. Julian Workman is the baptismal name of William Workman, co-owner of Rancho La Puente and personal friend of Pio Pico. Later in 1846, acting in his capacity as Military Governor of California, John C. Fremont, champion of Manifest Destiny and leader of the Bear Flag Republic, bought the island for $5,000 in the name of the United States government from Francis Temple. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore ordered that Alcatraz Island be set aside specifically for military purposes based upon the U.S. acquisition of California from Mexico following the Mexican-American War. Fremont had expected a large compensation for his initiative in purchasing and securing Alcatraz Island for the U.S. government, but the U.S. government later invalidated the sale and paid Fremont nothing. Fremont and his heirs sued for compensation during protracted but unsuccessful legal battles that extended into the 1890s.
Following the acquisition of California by the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican-American War (1848), and the onset of the California Gold Rush the following year, the U.S. Army began studying the suitability of Alcatraz Island for the positioning of coastal batteries to protect the approaches to San Francisco Bay. In 1853, under the direction of Zealous B. Tower, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began fortifying the island, work which continued, and the citadel was completed in 1859, on a budget of $87,689. The first step in this direction, taken up in 1853, was the start of construction of a fortress or citadel at the top of sandstone rock outcrops. The island was encircled with steep walls built of stone and bricks abutting the rock faces, and buildings for accommodating defense personnel and offices and temporary launching jetty were also added. A lighthouse was built and 11 cannons were fixed. The main fortress took many years to build as the building material (granite) required for construction had to be imported from China.
Army engineer James B. McPherson, later to become a prominent general during the Civil War, was one of the earliest commanders to serve on Alcatraz in 1858. The three-storied citadel took final shape by 1859 when gun positions, roads, guard houses and draw bridge over the moat (encircling the citadel) were all added. The citadel had housing capacity for 200 soldiers with food storage facility to last for four months in case of any long drawn attack. In 1859, the coastal defense system became a reality and Captain Joseph Stewart was commander of the island forces which included 86 men of Company H, Third U.S. Artillery, before departing from the island in 1861 on the outbreak of the Civil War. The military officers wore blue suits and white gloves.

Hopi inmates of Alcatraz citadel.
Lighthouse and citadel building, c. 1893
In 1861, the citadel commenced function as a prison, with tiny new cells being added to the basement, and in 1867 was extended, becoming a long-term military prison in 1868. The citadel on Alcatraz was crucial to defense during the American Civil War (1861–1865), having some 111 cannons encircling the island at peak, and was also used as a war camp. During the Civil War, the defense establishment at Alcatraz Citadel had the onerous task to defuse the possibility of any local war between the Union and Confederate supporters who were both part of the population of California, and to protect San Francisco. Ammunition in the form of 10,000 muskets and 150,000 cartridges was supplied to the fort, which made the Fort Alcatraz and the island most impregnable and thus leaving any plans of the Confederate soldiers of taking control of the San Francisco Bay and California State could be taken under its fold was thwarted. Alcatraz was officially designated as a military prison on August 27, 1861. In March 1863, when there was a threat that the San Francisco Bay would be captured by the Confederates, the schooner, which was to carry out the operation set sail; the U.S. Navy prevented the schooner from moving out and captured the crew along with ammunition and 15 confederates who were hiding in the galleys of the ship. Consequent to this, the importance of Alcatraz increased, more and more 
confederates and civilians were arrested for reasons of treason and kept in the military prison, and to accommodate the increased number of prisoners, a temporary makeshift wooden prison was built in 1863 to the north of the guardhouse. In 1864, with civil war showing no signs of abating, fortifications were provided in the fort in the form of 15-inch Rodman cannons and more "bomb-proof barracks” built. At the time of end of the Civil War in 1865, there were more than one hundred cannons in the island, which were never put to any aggressive battle, but used only once to provide gun salute in honor of President Abraham Lincoln at his official funeral procession held in San Francisco.
Alcatraz Island, 1895
As the civil war ended, the military prison housed Confederate sympathizers who celebrated Lincoln's death. During the Indian Wars that followed the civil war, Indians who went against the government were sent to the Alcatraz prison. On June 5, 1873, Paiute Tom was the first Native American who was imprisoned there on transfer from Camp McDermit in Nebraska. In the 1870s, Major George Mendell ordered the prisoners, aided by mules, to assist in changing the natural landscape of the island and creating a top level, dumping debris into the coves and bay.In 1882, the citadel was enlarged to provide more accommodation for the families of the military officers working on Alcatraz. Between 1873 and 1895, 32 Native Americans were imprisoned at the citadel on Alcatraz, including 19 Hopi men held in captivity there between January and August 1895 after being transferred from Fort Defiance. The island continued to develop in the 1880s and in 1898 the population of Alcatraz increased dramatically from 26 to over 450 due to the Spanish American War and placed a demand for new buildings. The original barracks evolved into Building 64 in 1905. The first hospital on Alcatraz opened in 1893.
As the number of prisoners to be housed in the citadel increased, more space was built in the form of the Upper Prison, which consisted of three wooden structures, each of two tiers, with the lower prison getting converted as a workshop. However, both Upper and Lower Prison cells, being made of wood, were frequently subject to fire hazards, and this led to change of the structural form of the barracks; concrete structures were built, replacing the wooden ones.
20th century

In 1904, an upper prison building was built at a higher level on the island and replaced the lower prison, with a capacity of 307 inmates.
Alcatraz was renamed as the "Pacific Branch, U.S. Military Prison” in 1907, and as the importance of the Island citadel became less and less obvious due to modernization of the naval facilities, infantry soldiers were shifted and prison guards brought in their place. It developed a reputation for its brutal methods of torturing prisoners, placing prisoners in pitch black cells for up two weeks.
Alcatraz was barely affected by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake which devastated the city, and the prison population dramatically increased as prisoners were temporarily transferred to the island due to damage in the city. In 1907, Alcatraz Citadel ceased function as a military defense and became the Pacific Branch, U.S. Military Prison solely. When the original 1860s citadel collapsed in 1908, the Citadel was demolished in 1909 up to its basement over which the new prison was built by the military prisoners between 1909 and 1911 and named as “the Pacific Branch, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks for the U.S. Army”, which became popular as "The Rock". The prison was entirely rebuilt in concrete in 1910-1912 under the command of Colonel Reuben Turner on a $250,000 budget on the site of the remains and short-lived upper prison building. Many of the former underground tunnels and chambers of the original fort remain today and are still accessible. This building was modernized in 1934 when it reopened as a federal penitentiary, the notorious Alcatraz prison which held America's most ruthless criminals until 1963.
During the World War I, the citadel was used for incarcerating military prisoners as also German Prisoners of War, which necessitated building of a larger building structure by demolishing the old upper and lower prisons. A new cell house formed of four cell blocks with 600 cells was built, in 1912, which at that time was reported to be the largest reinforced concrete building in the world; the cells had toilet and electricity facilities.
In the new established order, facilities for education and rehabilitation of prisoners with minimum offence were also introduced which resulted in many reformed prisoners getting back to the army. Even though the prison was a military establishment, it had its fair share of prison escapes. 29 escapes were reported involving 80 convicts out of which 62 were caught and tried while the rest of the prisoners were not traced. In the prison escape of November 28, 1918, there were four prisoners who escaped in rafts, and they were seen at Sutro Forest. However, only one was caught and the others escaped.
Due to high costs of maintenance of the Alcatraz as a defense establishment, a well thought out plan was mooted to convert it into the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Also during this period crime rate had escalated in the country due to the great depression with prohibition further exacerbating the situation resulting in mobsters and gangsters operating freely indulging in looting, violence and killings, with the law enforcing agencies failing to cope with the situation; prison escapes had become the order of the day. The suggestion to convert the Military Prison into a Federal Penitentiary was welcomed by the President Herbert Hoover and thus the maximum-security prison was created. The proposal for transfer of Alcatraz to the Bureau of Prisons was initiated in October 1933 and after a vigorous adaption from the military prison throughout 1934, it opened in August 1934, ending some eighty years of U.S. Army occupation. With this change of guard, 32 hardcore prisoners remained at Alcatraz while the rest were shifted to the prisons at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States Penitentiary, Atlanta, Fort Jay, New Jersey and several others.
Architecture and fittings
The main mode of transport accessing the island was the General McPherson. Upon embarking at the port, the main grounds would be reached by a "long dreary corridor" known as the sally port and a drawbridge surrounded by a dry moat, 12 feet (3.7 m) below. It could hold up to 200 men during an emergency and enough supplies to last four months. Alcatraz Citadel consisted of a basement, which contained the kitchen, bakery, bedrooms, storerooms and jail cells, and two levels above ground which contained the military personnel quarters, servant quarters, parlors and a mess room. In-ground water tanks and water tanks were situated on the roof of the citadel. Other buildings included the Batteries of Rosecranz and Halleck in the north, the barracks building in the northeast, the Battery of McClellan and Fog Bell House in the south, the Battery of McPherson in the west and the Batteries of Stevens and Mansfield in the northwest and the lighthouse aside the main citadel. Battery McClellan was equipped with a 15-inch Rodman gun weighing over 25 tons, capable of launching a 330-pound explosive 4,680 yards when angled at 25 degrees. The Parade Grounds were located in the left centre. When the new concrete prison was built in 1910-2, iron staircases in the interior were retained from the old citadel and massive granite blocks originally used as gun mounts were reused as the wharf's bulkheads and retaining walls.

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