Kansas fort history begins with the setting up of temporary military quarters called cantonment Leavenworth in 1827. Many fort occupations were short, but some are still in existence today. Their archeological artifacts present a unique window on peace keeping in Kansas and expansion on the Plains and points west. Collections available for research include large assemblages from Forts Zarah, Hays, Ellsworth, and Harker and smaller ones from Forts Scott, Dodge, Aubrey, Wallace, and Belmont.
This C. W. Gail and Ax Tobacco Works snuff jar, dated between 1882 and 1884, was recovered from Fort Hays.
Marks of a soldier: epaulets and insignia recovered from Fort Hays (1865 - 1889).
A soldier's job: cartridge cases, lead ball, and lead bullets recovered from Fort Wallace (1865 - 1882) and Fort Hays (1865 - 1889).
A sketch of the crossing at Fort Zarah in 1867.
A hearth is exposed during excavation at Fort Zarah in 1972. 14BT301-72
Archeological References - Fort Hays
An excavation at Fort Hays in 1966 reveals a mass of bottle fragments.
An excavation in 1998 reveals the base of the flagpole on Fort Hays' parade ground.
Archeological References - Fort Ellsworth
Excavation (1996) at the Kansas Archeology Training Program of one of Fort Ellsworth's dugout depressions.
A collapsed bakery oven is revealed during excavation of one of the dugouts at Fort Ellsworth (1996).
Archeological References - Fort Harker
Fort Harker Officer's Quarters (1996).
One of the Fort Harker building foundations excavated during the Kansas Archeology Training Program in 1996.
A view of the foundations of the guardhouse at Fort Harker exposed during excavation in 1996.
Archeological References - Fort Scott
Photograph of Fort Scott during its occupation showing the hospital.
Photograph of Fort Scott during its occupation showing Officer's Row.
Archeological References - Fort Dodge
Officer's Quarters and hospital (looking to the southwest) taken in 1879.
View of Fort Dodge's hospital taken in 1996 with marker dated 1867.
A wall of the trench excavation in 1996.
Archeological References - Fort Aubrey
View of dugout depressions used at Fort Aubrey.
Archeological References - Fort Wallace
Sketch of Fort Wallace circa 1879
Archeological excavation at Fort Wallace (1997).
Excavation of guardhouse foundation at Fort Wallace (1997).
Entry: Historic Forts
Author: Kansas Historical Society
The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding
and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2014
Date Modified: December 2014
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.