This reconstructed infantry barracks, one of two at Fort Scott, serves to remind us of life for an infantry soldier here in the 1840s and 50s.
During wartime, infantry fought on foot, but during peacetime, life in the infantry meant isolation, routine, boredom, and unappealing work. Tasks of building and maintaining Fort Scott's structures, and the Military Road, fell largely to the infantry.
But war broke the routine. In 1845 the army dispatched infantry from here to defend Texas. During the Mexican War (1846-1848) men from Fort Scott fought with distinction, and some died, at places life Molino del Rey, Churubusco, Monterrey, and Vera Cruz.
For Fort Scott the Mexican War was a major step toward obsolescence. Land gained as a result of the war accelerated America's westward growth, and doomed forts like Fort Scott, which had been built to guard the "permanent" Indian frontier.
[Illustration caption reads]
July 21, 1845 - Company C, 1st Infantry (above), prepares to embark on their long journey to join General Zachary Taylor's Army of Observation in Texas, then on to Mexico. Fort Scott was just one of many lonely outposts stripped of troops during the Mexican War.
Other infantry replaced Fort Scott's departed units, manning the fort throughout the war. They continued to work on building and repair, tasks that slowed but did not stop during wartime.