Fort Scott, now the Fort Scott National Historic Site, was established on the rolling prairie in 1842 and named for General Winfield Scott, who was insulted to discover he was the namesake of such a little outpost.
©National Park Service
Fort Scott was established to keep the peace on the plains.
Colorful dragoons, members of an elite mounted regiment trained to fight on foot or on horseback, were employed here to keep peace between the Indians and white settlers, but the fort saw so little action that it was abandoned in 1853. During the Civil War, the post was reactivated as a supply base, and later it protected workers building a railroad from Texas to Kansas.
The Park Service has restored several of the original frame-and-brick structures and reconstructed others. One of the original buildings is the 1843 hospital, which now contains the visitor center and a refurnished ward. The reconstructed infantry barracks contain a museum featuring fort history, information on Indians of the area, and archaeological discoveries from the fort. The dragoon barracks, also reconstructed, house exhibits of uniforms and other items related to the lives of soldiers at the fort in the 1840s.
Throughout the fort are fully furnished rooms, such as Captain Sword's parlor in the restored officers' quarters. Military life at the fort is re-created by interpreters in period costume, and the original plant life surrounding the fort is preserved within two restored plots of tall-grass prairie.
Fort Scott National Historic Site Information
Address: Old Fort Boulevard (one block west of the intersection of Highway 69 and Highway 54 east)
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Admission: $3; 16 and younger, free
Learn more about these other national historic sites:
Find out more about travel destinations in North America:
- National Monuments: Learn more about America's national monuments.
- National Memorials: Discover national memorials in the U.S.
- National Historic Sites: Read about American national historic sites.
- Kansas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Kansas as well as other recreational activities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.