Established in 1842 as a military post for the United States, Fort Washita was used to protect recently relocated Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians. Southern plains Indians and intruders from the west posed threats to the Chickasaw and Choctaw, and the fort was a good defense. To this day, it still stands in what is now Durant, Oklahoma.
In 1861, U.S. forces abandoned Fort Washita and it was occupied by the Confederacy shortly thereafter. The southern forces used the fort as headquarters during the remainder of the Civil War. After the war, the Chickasaw Nation received the fort and buildings from the federal government.
In 1962, the Oklahoma Historical Society acquired the fort. Today it is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a national historic landmark.