• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Dragoon Soldier-Overview

Imagine yourself a dragoon at Fort Scott in the 1840s. Your mission is to keep Indians and white settlers off of each other's territory and to keep peace between the various Indian tribes. For your services, you get to sleep in a crowded barracks, eat Army food, and earn eight dollars a month.

This section contains information on recruiting of soldiers, training, command structure, the life of a soldier, and the missions that they participated in during the 1840s. Was it an exciting life? You decide.

You will be doing your program in the squad room of the dragoon barracks. The dragoon barracks was constructed in 1843 and was occupied in May of 1844 by 1st Dragoons, Company A. The barracks contained a company office, kitchen, mess hall, laundress quarters and quarters for married noncommissioned officers on the first floor. On the second floor were the squad rooms or sleeping quarters for the privates and corporals as well as a room for the sergeants.

The dragoon soldier started and ended his day in the squad room. The squad rooom served as the sleeping quarters as well as a recreation room for the soldiers. The squad room was crowded and uncomfortable. Soldier were issued no pillows, so slept on rolled up-overcoats. Soldiers slept two to a bed, sleeping head to toe. Regulations required that soldiers bathe once a week and wash their feet twice a week.

Below is a 360 degree panoramic movie of the squad room. Click on it and drag your mouse to have a look around. You will need to have Quicktime for Windows installed on your computer to view it.

 
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Dragoon guidon
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Did You Know?

Reenactors portraying the First Kansas Colored at a Civil War Encampment at Fort Scott in April of 2003

Kansas was the first Union state to recruit, muster, train and send African American soldiers into combat during the Civil War. The First Kansas Colored Infantry mustered in at Fort Scott, Kansas on January 13, 1863. The unit compiled a proud combat record during the war.