Wednesday after checking out of our B & B we toured Fort Scott. We spent over an hour learning of life on this outpost -- seeing the exhibits and a great video presentation of this period between the late 1840's - to approx 1866. Fort Scott was first a military outpost to settle disputes between the settlers and Native Americans who were being forced westward and then was later used as a training post for soldiers during the Civil War. No wars were fought at this location but twenty-five miles at Miles' Creek there was a significant battle, which I wrote about in yesterday's blog. My favorite outbuilding was the bake house. They would bake bread for 223 people at once. Interesting that they never served fresh bread to the men. At the time it was believed that toasted or stale bread was better for digestion. The oven was huge and fired by wood or coal. The dough trough ran the length of the room. The Army used no set recipe and the standards for "good bread" varied widely. Every soldier had to serve shifts baking the two hundred loaves. The pans were quite large and like the oven and proofing shelves could accomodate many loaves at a time.
What we found most interesting is the fact that one of the buildings became an orphanage from the early 1900's until as late as 1958. Ft. Scott has a National Cemetary that we visited on Monday evening. Driving the cemetary road between plots of ground with the customary rows and rows of white headstones, I couldn't help but notice that on some the names were faded from wars long since past and on others names were recently etched of those men and women who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On these burial grounds lie men and women who fought for our freedom in every conflict - both at home and abroad, giving their lives so that we can live FREE we owe them a tremendous debt.