Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fort Scott National Site

An hour drive north brought us to the city of Fort Scott and the Fort Scott National Historical Site.

Fort Scott was built in 1842, it's original purpose was to keep the peace between the white settlers and the Indians, by 1853 the frontier extended far enough west that the fort was no longer need and it was abandon by the army. In 1855 the fort and buildings were sold at auction and this became the start of the city Fort Scott. This also started what was known as the Bleeding Kansas era. In 1854 Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which stated that the people of the Kansas Territory by vote would decide if it became a free state or a slave state. Three political groups were in the Fort Scot area, the pro-slavers, free-staters and abolitionists. Two of the building from the old fort became hotels, one was nicknamed the Free State Hotel and the other the Pro-Slave Hotel ( these hotels were less then 50 yards apart), by 1859 over 60 people died in the disputes in this area. The violence ended in 1861 when Kansas entered the union as a free state.

What the fort looked like in 1960.

With the start of the Civil War the army returned and rented the fort back from the people. It became a major supply depot, Hospital, a haven for refugees and a recruitment center, both an American-Indian and an African-American regiments were formed here. With the end of the war the military again abandoned the area but returned once again around 1870 to protect the railroad workers from the squatters who opposed the railroads. One of the few times that the U.S. Military took up arms against American citizens to protect the country's business interest.

Each company of Dragoons had a different color of horses, this was so the Captain could tell what company was where and doing what during a battle.

Dragoon (later to be the Calvary) got it's name from the early french who fired a rifle that spit out a large flame and smoke, it looked like a dragon. The Dragoons were train as both infantry and Calvary.

Click to read

Interesting note on how John Brown refused to take part in this raid to break a Fellow Free Stater out of jail because they pick James Montgomery as their leader rather then him. Makes you wonder if he was only in it for the fame.

Ceiling of the Powder Magazine.

Stare at this for one maybe two days and let me know what happens.

We spent about two and a half hours here, there are about seven buildings open with exhibits and a 20+ minute film about the history of the fort. The fort is right across the street from the downtown historical district so we didn't have far to go to find a nice restaurant for lunch.

Of course we had to make a stop at the National Cemetery.

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