Title: Walkabouts: The Infantry Soldier at Fort Scott
Type of Program: School Program
Venue: Tent Set Up Near an Infantry Barracks
Audience: Elementary Students
Tangible Resources: Barracks, Tent, Uniform, Weapon, Accoutrements, Haversack Items
- Work, Fatigue - For the infantry soldier, much of army life was an endless round of fatigue duties and work details. Not being as mobile as the dragoons, the infantry got assigned to most of what one might call the "grunt work"
- Training, Drill - Almost daily, infantry soldiers were taken though drill in marching formations and trained in the manual of arms in order to hone their skills as soldiers. They complained that more of their time was spent doing fatigue duties than training, however.
- Shelter - Infantry soldiers performed much of the labor required to build Fort Scott. When they first arrived, they stayed in tents, soon had cabins erected and eventually the structures represented today.
- Routine, Monotony - Boredom afflicted most soldiers at Fort Scott. They had a variety of reasons for joining, but many soldiers were discontent with life at Fort Scott. There was little in the way of Indian activity, and most days were an endless round of drills and work.
- Recreation, Cameraderie - After hours, soldiers generally had the evening free. Decks of cards, jaw harps, harmonicas, checkers, and even boxing gloves all provided some recreation and cameraderie among the soldiers.
- Duty - No matter what the soldier was assigned to do, whether drilling, marching, fatigue duties, or campaign, it was his duty to follow the orders he had been given. Doing one's duty made for a well-disciplined, efficient army.
- By performing their assigned duties, infantry soldiers at Fort Scott helped it function as a military community and enabled it to fulfil its mission of keeping peace on the frontier.
- To portray the life of an infantry soldier at Fort Scott.
- To show how each of his duties contributed to Fort Scott fulfilling its mission on the frontier.
Objectives: After participating in this program, the students will be able to:
- Explain why drill was important.
- Identify at least two types of fatigue duties of infantry soldiers at Fort Scott and explain why these activities were valuable.
- Describe how recreational activities helped build the spirit of community
- Examine some of the elementary students to see if they are fit to be recruits.
- Take the students through some drills such as having them march or stand at attention.
- Have some of the students perform fatigue duties.
- Have some cards and/or musical instruments to demonstrate.
Resource Management/Safety Concerns:
- Keep physcical control of weapons at all times. Do not let children handle weapons.
- If demonstrating the jaw harp or harmonica, don't allow others to try it also. Help prevent the spread of germs.