Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Old MIlitary Road was used to move native-Americans during the infamous "Trail of Tears". There is an interesting article about the early roads in Arkansas that includes a brief mention of this road which ran from Batesville to Norfork. Here's a map detailing the various routes used to relocate Native Americans. Benge's route is the one that runs through Izard Conty.
Here is paragraph from W.E. McCLeod (1869-1951)
"The other branch of the Military road extended westward from Jackson to Northfork and on to Batesville and Ft. Smith. This was a road used ln the removal ot the Indians to the west, and by immigrants into Northwest Arkansas. It is another road called the Military road, though it was only a branch of the main road, What a wondertul story these old roads could tell if they could speak. It would be a story of silent, sorrowful Indians as they treked their way to a land they knew not, and of thousands of hope- tul immigrants as they wended their way in canvas covered, ox drawn wa- gons, on horseback and on foot to make new homes in the south and west. The roads described were great immigrant routes, particularly in northeast Arkansas; but there were several others a little later which were important in the settlement and development of this section of the state. Soon after 1836 a road was opened from Izard county eastward through Lawrence County, (then including Sharp) to Greene county, This road went by the new towns of Smithville and Powhatan, where there was a fine ferry across Black River. Smithville was and is situated on this road where it intersected the branch of the Military mentioned above, and its favorable location accounts for its continuance to this day as one of the best off railroad towns in the country, The two roads are now graveled highways."
I'll have some shots of the Strawberry River eventually.