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Fort Scott, Kansas
Fort Scott, Kansas, is celebrated on this date in 1842. The fort was a sensitive military post and town in the years before the American Civil War.
Fort Scott was established for the Army's peacekeeping efforts along the Native American Frontier. Horse soldiers and Colored Volunteer Infantry soldiers garrisoned it. Both infantry and horse soldiers played a major role in the Mexican War and the opening of the West. The post was abandoned by the army in 1853 and became the nucleus for the town of Fort Scott. It was then that Fort Scott was involved in the turmoil and violence of the "Bleeding Kansas" years. Fort Scott was a pro-slavery center during this time, while "Free Soldiers" inhabited the surrounding countryside.
This separation was manifested where a former infantry barracks served as the Western or Pro-Slavery Hotel, while directly across the old parade ground stood the Free-State Hotel. The Kansas Nebraska Act legislation was required to calm the communities. Incidents of violence compelled the military to return to Fort Scott to restore order throughout this era.
Kansas entered the Union as a free state in 1861. In the same year, a new wave of conflict engulfed the area. The First and Second Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiments, the first Black troops from a Northern state, were assembled there.
Fort Scott was also a refugee center for the many people left homeless during the war. The final phase of military occupation at Fort Scott came during the railroad years of 1869-73.
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