Monday, May 10, 2010

Fort Scott National Historic Site, Kansas

Fort Scott is located in SE Kansas.  It was established in 1842 to enforce the promise given to the Indians that they would have a permanent frontier.  The soldiers job was to keep peace between white settlers and Indians.  They also helped to protect the settlers who traveled along the Oregon Trail.  Soldiers from the fort fought in the Mexican-American War from 1846-48.

In 1854 Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which brought about popular sovereignty- the people would decide the issue of slavery in their territory.  This act brought about the event known as “Bleeding Kansas” where violence and destruction prevailed.

During the Civil War the fort served as a major supply depot for Union armies in the West, a general hospital, and a place for the refugees- Indians, escaped slaves, and white farmers, many of whom joined the Union Army.  One of the first Africa American regiments-the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry- was the first such unit to engage the Confederate Army.

After the Civil War ended, the railroad began to lay tracks across the territory.  The railroad workers were faced with opposition from the squatters, so the military had to step in and protect the railroad workers – a rare time when U.S. troops took up arms against American citizens to protect the country’s business interest.

Be prepared to climb lots of stairs to see all the exhibits.

The tour is self-guided and helped along by using your cell phone to listen to information at 10 points of interest. 


above, hospital and visitor center.


above, originally the infantry barracks, but was later sold and became the pro-slavery hotel.  The anti-slavery hotel was just across the parade grounds.


above, stables that housed the Dragoon unit horses.


Bunk beds.  2 to a bed, so 4 soldiers slept here. 

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