Bossier High School

The History

The site where Bossier High School now exists was once known as Fort Kirby Smith, just one of several defensive positions thrown together by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865) to protect Shreveport during the Red River Campaign. According to Gary Joiner's Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West, it was located to prevent an attack from the north, the east, as well as the southeast from Union aggression (pg. 38). After the surrender of Shreveport in 1865, Fort Kirby Smith was dismantled and abandoned. Today, a monumental plaque stands beside Coleman Street in Bossier City to commemorate the now vanished relic.

Bossier High School was constructed on the site of Fort Smith in the late 1930s by the Public Works Administration (PWA), one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's alphabet soup New Deal programs. The school was completed in 1940, and has served the youth of Bossier City for nearly 70 years as a center of academic and athletic pursuit. If one were to walk through the hallways and peruse the archive of yearbooks kept in the school office, the building seems to tell its own story: of the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War, the Civil Rights Movement and integration, and of course theVietnam War. In recognition of the historical value of the building, the US Department of the Interior placed Bossier High School on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.









The Legend

The ghost that is said to inhabit this site hearkens back to the Civil War. A lone Confederate soldier, described as being a young man still in his teens, is said to guard the halls and the Fort Kirby Smith Memorial Park. He is believed to be the ghost of a Confederate guard whose duty to his cause survived even his death. Many alumni of Bossier High School have spoken of either of their friends' or their own encounters with the young Rebel during their tenure at the school while on our tour. East Texas author Elaine Coleman wrote of the ghost at Bossier High School in her book Louisiana Haunted Forts.

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