• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

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  • Exhibits Closed

    Beginning Monday August 25, the infantry barracks museum will be closed for remodeling and to prepare for a new theater and exhibits. Work is expected to be completed by spring of 2015. The site's movie will be played in the visitor center upon request.

Post Recreation - Sports and Games

Reenactment of Civil War Baseball game at Fort Scott NHS

Sports provided one avenue to maintain Victorian mores in addition to relieving boredom and providing a means to keep fit. Shooting competition and field events fell into this category as did baseball and football, when these games grew to be popular in American society. In fact, baseball was a passion with Andrew Burt ever since his first post commander at Fort Bridger, [Wyoming, 1866] recognized its value as a morale builder. Gymnastic equipment offered rewards while tennis and croquet suited the more genteel members of a post. Fort Union, New Mexico opened a bowling alley a few years after the Civil War while the Presidio of San Francisco followed suit toward the end of the 19th century. The Bay Area also gave avid sailors the chance to test their boating skills. Although not as dramatic as the Golden Gate, troops at Fort Grant, Arizona, built a pond which they dubbed "Lake Constance" after Anson Mill's daughter. A small rowboat could navigate this miniature body of water, providing the illusion ' that the post was not a landlocked, isolated, desert outpost'

Nearby lakes and streams also afforded ice-skating rinks in cold weather or picnic sites in warmer seasons. Scenic spots, Indian ruins and other elements of the landscape offered sightseeing outings. Visits to Indian camps for ceremonies also passed time. Camping likewise appealed to some families who wanted to "rough it" with the soldiers.

Reenactment of boxing event

At Fort Scott, boxing was a popular sport-although it probably was more like an organized fist fight as opposed to true boxing.. For more information about boxing visit the following website.

Boxing History

Other forms of amusement were available at the post sutler store, where the men could enjoy a glass of wine or beer, play cards or checkers and shoot billiards. The last mentioned diversion attained a great deal of popularity even in the years before the Civil War.

Lady riding sidesaddle on horseback
Recreation Main Page

Did You Know?

A coyote in Kansas

During their free time, the officers enjoyed hunting. Captain Swords wrote "everybody here is hunting mad, hunting and dogs constitute their thoughts by day and dreams by night" Of another officer, Swords said that "wolf chasing and duck hunting" were the only things that reconciled him to the place