Fort Scott National Historic Site is located in the southeast Kansas city of the same name. Fort Scott was an important western military base for the Union Army during the Civil War, but it also served as a frontier fort from 1842-1853, acting as a buffer between settlers and the Native American tribes. It was abandoned as a military base after 1853, but the Army was back when the Civil War started.
Many Union regiments passed through Fort Scott on the way to various campaigns in Arkansas, Missouri, and the Indian Territories of present day Oklahoma. The fort also was home to several regiments permanently assigned there for protection of the fort and the region around it. No battles were fought at Fort Scott itself, but there were several actions nearby. The fort served as an important supply base for the region and a large hospital was also established there.
After the war, the army pulled out of Fort Scott, but returned in 1870. The military pulled out for good in 1873. Restoration of the site and its buildings began in 1965, and in 1978 Fort Scott National Historic Site was established by the National Park Service.
Visitors to Fort Scott can learn about army life on the frontier in pre Civil War days, as well as life at the Fort during the war. One of the highlights is an actual Conestoga Wagon from the 1800’s. Most of these covered wagons that carried settlers and their possessions west were taken apart at journey’s end and the lumber was used in building new homes and farms. Also on display is a 12 pounder mountain howitzer, a scaled down artillery piece that could be disassembled and placed on mules for transportation.