• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Cooking - Post Gardens

Growing Food

One of the ways in which soldiers supplemented their diet was through vegetables grown in post gardens. (They also supplemented their diets through hunting and by purchasing items at the sutler store). At Fort Scott, there were gardens for each company, gardens in the officers' backyards, as well as a hospital garden and cornfields to the south of the hospital.

The basic purpose of maintaining gardens and farms was not only to supplement the ration, but in some cases to provide portions of the ration. Some army posts not only raised vegetables, but animals also such as cows and chickens. There is no evidence of anything but the gardens indicated above at Fort Scott.

While the gardens served a useful purpose, many soldiers complained that tilling the soil and raising animals was not the reason that they had joined the army.

For more information on gardens read pgs. 168 and 171 of The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898 by Edward M. Coffman, copyright 1988 by Oxford University Press, Inc..

Pot of stew
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Did You Know?

Soldiers fighting settlers along the railroad right of way south of Fort Scott

From 1869-73, soldiers were stationed near Fort Scott to protect a railroad being built through this area. Soldiers fought squatters who had formed an armed resistance to the railroad. This was one of few times in U.S. history that the army took up arms against civilians.