The first Butterfield Stage route did not go into Kansas at all. It roughly paralleled the Old Military Road to the east. It ran south from the Missouri River to Fort Smith, Arkansas. General Sterling Price invariably used this route because the Federals controlled Kansas. The Butterfield Stage route went west from Fort Smith, Arkansas, passing through Fort Gibson, then joining the Old Military Road at Muskogee. From there on into Texas, they followed the same route. This stage route lasted only 4 years, before the Confederates took over it.