"The commands are given, the companies break into column....hardy, dashing looking fellows, those men, tanned up in their march from Fort Scott, from whence they have just joined us....The men are nearly all quite young....They are mounted on the best American horses, all of them being upwards of fifteen hands in height."
Lt. J. Henry Carleton, describing the departure from Fort Leavenworth of the 1844 expedition to Pawnee villages
In front of you stand the reconstructed barracks and stables of Fort Scott's dragoons. Forerunners of the cavalry, dragoons fought on horseback and foot.
Dragoons were assigned to Fort Scott to protect trade and enforce Indian policy. Each summer from 1843 to 1845, they patrolled the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, protecting travelers and contacting Indian tribes. In June 1846 they left here for the Mexican War, where they earned distinction at the battle of Buena Vista.
Dragoons of Company A (above) retrieve their mounts from the stables as they prepare to explore the Great Plains. Missions from Fort Scott into the Great Plains included one of the U.S. Army's first ventures into the Rocky Mountains.
Fort Scott's dragoons helped open the West and, ironically, hasten the end of the "Permanent Indian Frontier" for which the fort had been built.