• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

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    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 Hospital - Tool of the Trade


Tools or props that would be at a hospital station would include the following.

Surgeon's Kit-Includes bonesaw, scalpel, forceps, and other operating tools.


Apothecary -A bag or case to hold medicines. There are medicine cases available for props, the large bag pictured and a smaller pouch.

Medicine Bottles-Including quinine, ipecac, morphine, and ether, to name a few.
Bandages-occasionally washed out and reused-lack of sterilization didn't exactly promote rapid healing.
Bleeding Pan-used by surgeons during bloodletting to catch blood coming from patients' arm.

Pitcher and Wash Basin-"19th century version of our sink" for cleanup of all kinds.
Scales-For weighing and measuring medicines. Counterweights used on the scales helped surgeons determine how much medicine they were giving to patients.
Cots-Generally laid out next to each other in the wardrooms where patients recovered. Lack of isolated patient beds may have contributed to the spread of disease.

Hospital tools CotsScalesBandagesPitcher and BasinBleeding Pan

Ether Cone-A funnel with a sponge affixed inside. When administering ether, the ether would be poured onto the sponge, the funnel held over the patient's mouth, and the patient would breathe in the ether-which would put him to sleep.

Leeches and Leech Box-Leeches are wormlike creatures that attach to the body and suck blood. Leeches were used in bloodletting as it was believed that draining blood out of the body would promote healing as poisonous substances were drained from the body along with the blood.

Mortar and Pestle-For grinding medicine into powders.

Quill Pen and Ink Well-For recording patient data and meteorological observations.

Splint-To immobilize fractured legs and arms prior to moving a patient to a field hospital for surgery.

Stethoscopes-Wooden stethoscopes were placed so that one end was held to the doctor's ear and the other was held next to the patient's heart. The idea was the same as with modern stethoscopes, to listen to a patient's heartbeat.

Hospital Equipment Wooden SplintMortar and PestleEther ConeInk Well and Quill PenWooden StethoscopeLeeches and Leech Box
Medicine Bottle in Hospital
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Did You Know?

Joseph Barnes, Surgeon General 1864-82

Two of Fort Scott's surgeons, William Hammond and Joseph Barnes served as Surgeon Generals during the Civil War. One of them, Joseph Barnes, was attending physician at the deaths of both Presidents Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield and he oversaw the autopsy of President Lincoln. More...