On our way home from Arkansas, we visited Fort Scott, KS. It is only about an hour from where we live, but we’d never been there before. The fort was established in 1842, and the soldiers stationed there were involved in events during the years in which the United States became truly united after the Civil War.
Originally, Fort Scott was one of a line for forts from MN to LA as part of the Native American frontier. Soldiers there kept peace between white settlers and native people. Later, there was conflict as to whether slavery would be allowed in the new western territories and Kansas was allowed to vote whether or not they would be a free or slave state. There was conflict between those for and those against slavery and this time was known as “Bleeding Kansas.” During that time, Fort Scott was the town and the townspeople were mostly pro-slavery. There was violence between those for and those against and soldiers had to return to the fort to restore order. In the end, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.
However, the conflict was still ongoing in the nation and the Civil War brought the army back to Fort Scott as it was a strategic point to protect Kansas from Confederate invasion. It served as a supply depot, a hospital, and a haven for people fleeing war. Many of those who fled joined the army and Fort Scott was the home of the first African American regiments to engage Confederates in combat. After the war, Fort Scott was a location along the new railroad, and once again the military returned to protect the railroad workers. With so much history, Fort Scott is an important place to learn about Kansas and the United States. When we were there, it was very cold, so we moved from building to building rather quickly!
Simon did not like learning about war, so he was not as interested as the rest of us!