Fort Scott and Bleeding Southeastern Kansas

On the way back from the greater Kansas City area, I stopped in Fort Scott, Kan. because there was a fort there. Do I really need to explain myself? Yes? Fine. Because there was a fort there, whatever. This was like in October or something. It was a cool fort, and everyone that ever drives by Fort Scott should probably stop and check it out.

It’s been months now, though, so I don’t remember it all that well aside form thinking it was cool and people should stop there if they were driving through. Here are photos, maybe they’ll jog something.

So these houses were at the back of the fort. Oh yeah: the fort was a pre-Civil War fort, one that was supposed to form sort of a wall against Indians. Like, this was supposed to be the far western outpost of Euro-American civilization. They had dragoons stationed here (off to the left side of the frame), who rode horses and waved swords around. This was like in the 1840s or something, but then it got quickly overrun by Euro-Americans who wanted stuff west of here as well.

But the houses at the back of the fort were for the officers and their families. They were supposed to be nice-ish. IIRC they were two-unit duplexes. Also, the quartermaster sounded like a good guy who knew what he was doing. I mean the specific quartermaster who was here. I think he designed the fort and figured out how to store potatoes, things like that.

The pano is the view from the pre-Civil War hospital balcony; the below photo is the pre-Civil War hospital room. Reading about pre-Civil War medicine makes you feel okay about being alive today (as opposed to then). They were still thinking that mercury cured everything back then.

The left side of the panorama is where all the dragoons’ horses were kept. It’s a stable, I guess.

Above’s where the enlisted guys would play checkers when they weren’t out dragooning.

Not too far from there and also in southeastern Kansas, the map listed a “massacre site”, which I figured I should visit. It was for the Marais des Cygnes Massacre, which was sort of how “bleeding Kansas” got that name and did something or other resulting in the whole country that wasn’t in the south thinking that all slave owners were bad people. The something or other was a massacre. It was, like, the pro-slavery people tricked some anti-slavery people into coming with them under false pretenses, then told them all to stand in a ditch while they got shot.

The ravine is in front of my Jeep there. There was also a house on the property that was a house built by a friend of John Brown or something. Then I drove home (although, in truth, I went to the massacre before Fort Scott — tricked you!).

This is such a travel blog nowadays. Do I not have interesting thoughts otherwise? One assumes the negative based on the evidence at hand. Perhaps I have hit my angle of repose.

bkd

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