Corbitt's National Parks
     Fort Scott
               National Historic Site


1978: National Historic Park

Size: 17 acres

2008 visitors: 25,322

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

This fort, in southeastern Kansas, was established in 1842 to guard the Permanent Indian Frontier and to keep settlers and Native Americans out of each others' way. But the frontier kept pushing westward, and by 1853 the need for the fort had evaporated. Later the fort became a town, and grew involved in the violence of "Bleeding Kansas" and the Civil War.

The Fort was named for General Winfield Scott, and is perhaps best knows as the home of dragoons -- elite troops who were trained to fight both on foot or on horseback. After just a few years, their was no more need to guard settlers from Indians, so the soldiers began escorting caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. Later the dragoons fought in two battles in the Mexican War.

Kansas was filled with radicals and troublemakers in the 1850s, when settlers were allowed to vote whether the state would allow slavery. Federal troops were called in twice to quell the violence. The fort again was busy during the Civil War, when it was used as a supply depot, training ground, hopsital, and military prison.

What You're Going to See

The Site has been restored to its 1840's appearance. It has 20 major historic buildings, with many of the rooms funished with original and reproduction 19th-century items. There is a parade ground, and 5 acres of restored tallgrass prairie.

The visitor center offers a twelve-minute video show and book sales, and is found in the former hospital right across from the parking lot. There is a museum found in the reconstructed infantry barracks. There are also stables, post headquarters, officers' quarters, a powder magazine, guardhouse, quartermaster storehouse, and the post bakery. There's a walking trail through the tallgrass prairie.

Personal Observations

Someday ... although I have to admit, Kansas is not a high priority at this point. Nothing personal, Kansas.

Getting There

From Kansas City, go south on US 69 for about 90 miles to the city of Fort Scott. The Fort is near (southwest of) the intersection of US 54 and US 69 in downtown Fort Scott, on Old Fort Boulevard. It's about 2/3 of a mile west of US 69, on the edge of town.

Nearby Attractions

About 100 miles west northwest is Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. 90 miles to the north northwest is Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site. Across the border in Missouri, 95 miles north, is the Harry S Truman National Historic Site. 60 miles south southeast is George Washington Carver National Monument, and 35 miles beyond that in Arkansas is Pea Ridge National Military Park. About 80 miles east southeast is Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.

Not visited yet.