"The Crack Post of the Frontier"

"The Crack Post of the Frontier" (HMO6J)

Location: Fort Scott, KS 66701 Bourbon County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 50.612', W 94° 42.244'

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Look at the structures around the parade ground. Fort Scott's appearance is largely the work of one man, Captain Thomas Swords, post quartermaster from 1842 to 1846. Shortly after the army assigned Swords to Fort Scott, he vowed that he would make it "the crack post of the frontier."

Captain Swords built Fort Scott to last. The post's structures reflect the political belief in 1843 that the "Permanent Indian Frontier" really would be permanent. Many frontier forts were hastily built for short-term use, but the architecture and craftsmanship at Fort Scott are more typical of large, well-established Eastern posts.

[Photo caption reads] As Fort Scott's quartermaster, Captain Thomas Swords (above) was responsible for designing and building the post and all of its structures. Since the army did not standardize designs until after the Civil War, the task was not easy. At one point Swords lamented, "[I] am thrown entirely upon my own resources for plans?.[No one] here can draw a straight line, even with the assistance of a ruler."

Swords planned Fort Scott to be functional, yet, as he said, "with as much neatness of appearance as is consistent with a proper economy." For some structures he borrowed from classical design. The porches, stairs, and rooflines of the officers quarters (above) and enlisted men's barracks reflect French Colonial architecture. Greek Revival is seen in the canopy over the well.

Among the most conscientious of frontier quartermasters, Swords retired in 1869 a brevetted brigadier and major general.
HM NumberHMO6J
Series This marker is part of the National Historic Landmarks series
Year Placed1998
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 9:07am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 350064 N 4189823
Decimal Degrees37.84353333, -94.70406667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 50.612', W 94° 42.244'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 50' 36.72" N, 94° 42' 14.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)620, 913
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2133-2153 Buchanan St, Fort Scott KS 66701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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