Fort Scott National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in Fort Scott, in Bourbon County, Kansas. Administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, it encompasses, and as of 2014, had more than 7,000 interments. It is one of three national cemeteries in Kansas (the other two being Fort Leavenworth and Leavenworth).Work out when and for how long to visit Fort Scott National Cemetery and other Fort Scott attractions using our handy Fort Scott trip itinerary builder website .
Fort Scott was established in 1842, on what was known as Military Road, between Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. It was named for Lieutenant General Winfield Scott. During the initial years, a small plot on the west side of the fort was used as a cemetery. In 1861, a new plot was purchased, and named Presbyterian Graveyard as it was maintained by the Presbyterian Church. During the American Civil War, it was used to inter soldiers who died in battles near in the area. The plot and an adjacent tract of land became Fort Scott National Cemetery on November 15, 1862. One of the twelve original United States National Cemeteries designated by Abraham Lincoln, it has the distinction of being listed as U.S. National Cemetery #1.
At the end of the Civil War, the original fort cemetery interments were moved into the National Cemetery, as well, at the close of the Indian Wars, many frontier posts, such as Fort Lincoln, were abandoned and had their cemeteries transferred to Fort Scott.
Fort Scott National Cemetery Reviews
Fort Scott National Cemetery is located on the eastern outskirts of the city of Fort Scott, Kansas. Fort Scott is located midway between Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, on the route historically known as the Military Road. The fort at Fort Scott was established in 1842 and named for Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, then, General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. The fort’s primary purpose was to maintain a three-way peace among Native American tribes forcibly relocated from Florida and the East, local tribes, and incoming white settlers. Troops guarded caravans on the Santa Fe Trail and patrolled the vast frontier territory. By 1853, boundaries of the American frontier extended farther west and the need for a military garrison at Fort Scott diminished. In 1855, the government abandoned the post, sold the lumber and auctioned off the buildings. In 1857 and 1858, the Army was ordered to quiet civilian unrest related to the violent struggles over Kansas’ future: was Kansas to enter the Union as either a free or a slave state? Kansas became the 34th state when it entered the Union on Jan. 29, 1861. Four months later, the official outbreak of the Civil War took place at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Fort Scott was rebuilt and it once again became an important military post. The fort served as a concentration center for troops and a large storage facility for supplies intended for the use of Union soldiers fighting in the South. The 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, one of the Union Army’s African-American regiments, was assigned to Fort Scott in 1863. The unit took part in five engagements and suffered more casualties than any other Kansas regiment. For a short period after the Civil War, the Army continued to use the fort as a base to monitor and handle the movements of displaced Native Americans to the western territories. However, as new military posts were established farther west, Fort Scott was again abandoned in 1873--this time permanently. After the war’s end in 1865, the remains of those buried in the old military cemetery, as well as other soldiers buried in the vicinity, in Missouri and Kansas, were re-interred at Fort Scott National Cemetery. Following the close of the Indian Wars and resettlement of Native Americans, the Army closed or consolidated many of its small military outposts in the West. As a result, between 1885 and 1907, the federal government vacated numerous military post cemeteries, such as Fort Lincoln, Kansas, and re-interred the remains at Fort Scott National Cemetery.
The grounds are pristinely well kept, and have very nice shelters. There are also flower holder recepticals readily available around the grounds. The grounds keepers are very professional and take their work seriously with honor. Our family held a funeral here for my Dad. We had made a mistake and did not realize that a local veterans organization had to be contacted to arrange for the Honors ceremony. We unfortunately had no one to speak or handle things. Well, the grounds keeper helping with the grave, named Don (who himself served as a Sargeant Major!), spoke about my father with Honor and Respect at our family's funeral, and took care of us himself!! We had an unfolded flag, and did not have anyone to help with the flag folding ceremony. He presented us with his own folded flag to use for our ceremony and for me to keep!! We were in tears and greatly appreciate his, and everyone else's service at this cemetery. Thank you for everything!! 🇺🇸
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