• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

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  • Heat Warning

    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.

  • 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.

They Fought Like Tigers

Captain William Matthews

Captain William Matthews

Kansas State Historical Society

During the Civil War, Kansas was the first Union state to recruit, train, muster and send African American soldiers into combat. The First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was the first African American regiment to be recruited from a northern state and the first to defeat the Confederates in combat. January 13, 2013 will be the 150th anniversary of the federal muster of this unit which was sworn into service on the parade grounds at Fort Scott.

In commemoration, Fort Scott National Historic Site will offer a special program on Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 p.m. in the site's library. Retired NPS historian Arnold Schofield will offer the keynote address about the formation of the First Kansas Colored. The program will also honor an African American officer with the unit, Captain William D. Matthews, with a dramatic reading of events from his life's story. Matthew Wells, a park volunteer, will play period music. Additionally Park Ranger Barry Geertsen will give a talk about the Emancipation Proclamation, which became official on January 1, 1863, and paved the way for the mustering in of the unit 12 days later. The program will last approximately one hour and is open to the public. There is no fee for the program or for visitation to the site -which is open daily from 9 am-5 pm.

One item of note is that it was the story of the 1st Kansas that convinced Congress to authorize funding for the site in 1965, the same year that civil rights legislation was passed. This story will also be briefly addressed during the program. This program is one of many planned to commemorate the Civil War sesquicentennial.

For more information, call 620-223-0310.

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.