ECW Weekender: Fort Scott, Kansas (Virtually)

(Click here to go straight to the Virtual Tour)

Fort Scott, established in 1842, was a frontier military outpost in Kansas, and it was garrisoned by the U.S. Army through 1853. In 1855, local settlers were allowed to purchase the abandoned military buildings and two years later the civilian community at Fort Scott.

That community experienced the violence of “Bleeding Kansas” in the years leading up to the Civil War, and then served as the U.S. Army district headquarters, quartermaster supply depot, training site, and recruitment post during the war. (The army rented buildings from the civilian owners.)

Both sides recognized the strategic importance of Fort Scott for control of Kansas and the Midwest region. The Battle of Dry Wood Creek, fought across the state line in Missouri, brought Confederates under Sterling Price near the outpost, but Price was more interested in controlling Missouri than the fort. His decision allowed James Lane and Lane’s pro-Union partisan militia to organize at Fort Scott and start a Jayhawker movement in Price’s rear. At other points in the war, Fort Scott was used as a general hospital and a military prison.

After the Civil War, Fort Scott grew exponentially, competing with Kansas City for the large railroad hub west of the Mississippi River. Fort Scott National Historic Site was established in 1978 and currently protects 20 historic buildings and interprets the frontier, Bleeding Kansas, and Civil War history.

There is a nice and informative interactive virtual tour of the fort and some of the museum buildings. Check it out this weekend and happy exploring!

Click Here: Fort Scott Virtual Tour

Visit the NPS site website for more details about Fort Scott and updates for visiting in-person: https://www.nps.gov/fosc/index.htm

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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2 Responses to ECW Weekender: Fort Scott, Kansas (Virtually)

  1. John Pryor says:

    Excellent post for those whose feet stop at the Appalachian foothills!

  2. Tony Robertson says:

    Fort Scott also played an important role in the formation & support of the Union Indian Home Guard regiments. It also served to support their refugee families and military efforts to reclaim Indian Territory from CSA control.

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