"If you have reinforcements...send them forward. The point to defend Fort Leavenworth is in the neighborhood of Fort Scott."
General Jim Lane to the commander of Fort Leavenworth, 1861
The army had vacated Fort Scott in 1853, but the Civil War brought it back in force. The Union used the Fort Scott area to recruit and train soldiers and supply forces in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
Union facilities encompassed a large area in and around Fort Scott, and included warehouses, a hospital, military prison, and cemetery. Fort Scott gave vital support to Union victories that prevented Confederate raids and campaigns elsewhere in the Western theater.
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The original post hospital (building with large porch) and guardhouse (far right) appear in this 1860s photo, taken shortly after the Civil War. During the war the Union leased these buildings and many others from the "old" fort.
The magnitude of the army's presence at Fort Scott during the Civil War is illustrated by this 1862 ad (right), which the army used to procure feed for its animals.
In 1863 Union officers mapped their positions around Fort Scott (above). Lieutenant Charles Porter indicated the extent of Union positions in his October 1863 report: "This morning I was detailed as Officer of the Picket. My duty was to ride out to each station and learn the condition and reports from them....At dark I had made the circuit of 40 miles and was then 7 miles from the Fort."