In the spring of 1864 many of the soldiers in the camps were ill.
They were kept at the German Methodist church in Lawrence, which for a time was used as a hospital.2 About August 1864 construction of a fort on top of Mount Oread was begun. As of December 1864 this fort remained only partially built, although it contained some government storehouses. The garrison there was probably removed at the end of the Civil War or soon thereafter.3 Fort Baxter, in southeast Cherokee County, was located in the very corner of southeast Kansas.
Some forts established by the Army served as administrative headquarters in the chain of forts stretching across the west.
Forts in this category in Kansas included the Camp Ewing complex outside Lawrence and Forts Leavenworth, Riley, and Scott.
Forts Dodge and Zarah also started as weak forts; Zarah ended up being one of the strongest forts in Kansas.
Some of the settler forts were substantially built. In some of these, such as Fort Montgomery, the builders incorporated breastworks and small gun ports that could be covered when not used.
Typically, many military forts started as groups of buildings and dugouts that would have been difficult to defend, had fullscale attacks been mounted against them.These men were freed from prison camps on the condition they joined the Union forces and be sent west to fight Indians.Many forts, it should be added, served as post offices and an Indian agency was located at Fort Larned.Fort Zarah at one point was unique among the Army forts.For a time a large part of its garrison consisted of former Confederates.