- Established (1842)
- James Montgomery Raids Fort Scott (December 15-16, 1858)
- Battle of Dry Wood Creek, nearby (September 2, 1861)
The U.S. Army originally established Fort Scott in the 1840s to serve as a defensive post in the frontier of southeast Kansas. During the Civil War, Fort Scott became a district headquarters for the Union Army and housed a quartermaster, training, and recruitment center. During the Bleeding Kansas era, the Free-Stater James Montgomery raided the town, and during the war the Battle of Dry Wood Creek, fought to the east, was won by Confederate General Sterling Price and the Missouri State Guard. Instead of capturing Fort Scott, Price moved north toward Kansas City. Coincidently, Fort Scott and Kansas City, among other cities, entered into a postwar competition to become the region's preeminent rail hub -- a contest that Kansas City decisively won. Today, tourists can visit the old fort, which has been restored to resemble its appearance in the Civil War era.