For the next few days, predicted highs in the afternoon will be in the upper 90s to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While visiting the site, drink plenty of water and stay indoors as much as possible.
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.
While it is true that weapons can be used for violent purposes, it is equally true that weapons can be used for protection and as a deterrent against violence. At Fort Scott, in the 1840s, soldiers used their weapons to defend the frontier and to keep peace between white settlers and American Indians. To achieve success, soldiers had to be well trained in the use and care of the weapons. Thus drill became an important part of the soldiers' daily ritual.
In this station, presenters will discuss the importance of weapons in the military, the operation, handling, and care of weapons, and will take students through a mock weapons drill.
Two structures are associated with this station-the powder magazine and the post headquarters-specifically, the ordnance storeroom in the post headquarters.
The powder magazine was built in 1844, specifically to house black powder and other explosives. Several safety features were included in the design of the building. The walls were several bricks thick and the wood paneling and flooring were fastened with copper nails to prevent sparks. The powder magazine was built fire proof and bullet proof. The domed ceiling was designed as the weakest part of the structure so that an explosion would go through the roof and the thick walls would remain standing. There was also a lightning rod located next to it, to prevent powder explosions due to lightning strikes. Regulations specified that the magazine be opened three days each week to air the building in order to help keep the powder dry.
The ordnance storeroom was where the rounds of ammunition for the weapons were stored. These included musket balls, cartridges, musket flints, as well as rounds and accouterments for the artillery. An Ordnance Sergeant supervised both areas.
While it would be impractical to take students to the ordnance storeroom, presenters could take students to the powder magazine as part of the station.
Did You Know?
Fort Scott never did have a wall around it. It was built upon a bluff which had three steep sides and opened up to prairie in a gradual slope on the south. Many forts were not built with walls at the time; the fort with a stockade is more a product of Hollywood mythology than actual fact.