Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail
The Soldiers of Fort Larned, Kansas
1859 to 1878

     The soldiers who died and were buried at Fort Larned are now relocated in graves marked "Unknown Soldier" at the National Cemetery at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Their graves are in Section B, graves 2136 to 2200. The saddest part of this is that we do have records that show who died and were buried at Fort Larned. Can we know exactly who is in which grave? No, but we can list here for you the names of those brave soldiers who gave their lives protecting others on the Santa Fe Trail.

     Most of these deaths were not from Indian fighting, but from accidents, cholera, dysentery and other injuries. Alcohol intoxication was common and there were whiskey ranches and houses of prostitution nearby that spread venereal diseases. Illnesses and injuries were a constant threat to the army and many health problems resulted from the crowded and poorly ventilated quarters. Respiratory illnesses, unsanitary water induced diarrhea and fevers, mosquitoes that carried illness and inadequate bathing facilities contributed to boils and other infections.

     In 1867 a cholera epidemic was widespread and although there were 15 reported cases and 6 deaths, only one of those deaths was a soldier. There was also a death from a rabid wolf bite.

     Fort Larned is located on the Santa Fe Trail near Pawnee Fork River, 7 miles west of Larned, Kansas. The fort was established in 1859 and was originally called Camp on Pawnee Fork. In February 1860 it was renamed Camp Alert. On May 2, 1860 they renamed it Fort Larned to honor the paymaster general, Colonel Benjamin Larned.

     The soldiers of Fort Larned offered protection for the U.S. Postal Service mail trains and trail commerce. They were also the principle annuity distribution point for the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Indians. Although mounted troops were often not available, both life and property on the Santa Fe Trail were in danger from Indian raids and the soldier escorts were invaluable. Their presence made a significant contribution to the safe passage of many people and their goods. Fort Larned was a peacemaker.

     During the Civil War most officers were not regular army, but members of state volunteer regiments. The garrison usually held both cavalry and infantry companies. The cavalry was not stationed at the post after 1869. The number of soldiers stationed there varied with the seasons and activity with as many as 400 -- 500 for short periods of time to as few as 30 in the winters. Although it fluctuated, they probably averaged 150 soldiers. Fort Larned was deactivated in 1878 and a small detachment of troops was left to guard the property until 1882.

     The troops from the Second Volunteer U.S. Infantry, stationed at Fort Larned in 1865 to 1866, were known as "galvanized Yankees". These soldiers were former captured Confederate soldiers that had been held as Union prisoners. They were allowed to volunteer to soldier in the west and served well as our protectors.

     The "Buffalo Soldiers", black soldiers of the 10th Cavalry, served at Fort Larned from 1867 to 1869. Although their records were excellent, they often faced hostility from the white soldiers at military posts in the West.

     In this time of renewed pride in our soldiers and our country, I think it is especially important to recognize these men. For them to go on through eternity without any identity other than "Unknown Soldier" seems very wrong. We do know, according to records, that these soldiers died and were buried at Fort Larned. We do know that the majority was reburied at Fort Leavenworth and it seems so wrong for this majority not to be remembered with the fear that a particular solider might not be buried there but we listed him or that we didn't list a soldier and he is buried there. It seems better to recognize that they were buried at Fort Larned and hope they are reburied there, than to not recognize them at all.

     Check out the list -- maybe you will recognize a name and know if he is buried somewhere else. We welcome your comments and help, but please remember that this list is compiled from old surgery and other forts records. Any errors in this report are mine alone and this Information is meant for background information only. My sole intent is to have this list of soldiers available for all who would like it. For more information about Fort Larned, please go to their website . This is a wonderfully preserved Indians era fort with a knowledgeable staff that is dedicated to its preservation. There are many volunteers who regularly bring the fort and its history to life. The "Fort Larned Old Guard" and The "Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail" are friends of Fort Larned and are also dedicated to Fort Larned. Visit the fort online and check out the schedule of upcoming events or even better, come visit it in person.
(Janice K. Seymour)

References:
"Fort Larned: Guardian of the Santa Fe Trail", Leo E. Oliva
Microfilmed copies of hospital records from Fort Larned, Kansas
Records from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas National Cemetery

     A special thank you to Jeff Barnes, Cemetery Director, Leavenworth/Fort Leavenworth/Fort Scott National Cemeteries, and Pam Westmoreland, for their help in trying to get a monument with the soldiers' names erected at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Interments at Fort Leavenworth Cemetery
form
Fort Larned, Kansas


September 19, 2009

     After 121 years of resting in peace, 62 frontier soldiers who died on the Kansas plains got their identity back.

     The soldiers were once stationed at Fort Larned, Kansas one of many frontier outposts established by the War Department in the 1800s to protect settlers and traders from Indian attacks along the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Larned was occupied from 1859 to 1878, its soldiers known as "Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail" as these troops protected settlers traveling the trail.

     When the post was abandoned and later sold in 1888, the remains were exhumed and taken to Fort Leavenworth for reburial. Fort Larned National Historic Site historian George Elmore said the Army knew the name of each soldier, but the identities weren't placed on headstones when re-interred.

     "It was just a different period of time," Elmore said. "The Army didn't do anything to identify the soldiers coming in. There were no photographs or fingerprints."

     With no markings, the soldiers were given white headstones reading "Unknown US Soldier" in Section B of the cemetery. On September 19, 2009, those soldiers who died over a 19-year span at Fort Larned will be identified. A new bronze monument was dedicated in Section B with the names of 62 soldiers, giving them recognition for their service. The identities of three soldiers still remain unknown.

     "It finally gives the Fort Larned dead the name recognition," Elmore said. "In a sense, it gives identity to the individuals who gave their lives out here at Fort Larned."

     Most of the men died of diseases that today wouldn't be fatal but were on the remote Kansas prairie. Elmore said about 15 percent of those who died were killed in fighting with Indian tribes, one soldier was killed by a wolf. Most of the men were single, choosing a life in the Army and adventure in the West over a wife and family.

     Efforts to recognize the Fort Larned soldiers buried at Fort Leavenworth began in 2001 with volunteers at the historic site who felt the soldiers should be properly honored.

     The List below was compiled by Edward L. Randall, Post QM, during April 1873. The statement shows numbers, names, etc. or persons interred in Post Cemetery at Fort Larned, Kansas.

Description of the Cemetery:
     The Post Cemetery is one hundred and forty-four [144] feet square and is surrounded by a board fence. The cemetery is 1/4 mile from the flag staff in a north westerly direction.

Grave No.

Name

Rank

Co.

No.

State

Arm

Cause of Death

Date of Death

74

Adams, Elliot W.

Pvt

H

7th

US

Inf

Vulmuse: Setopleom

October 3, 1868

 

Ayers, Sergt

Sergt.

 

7th

US

Cav

Gunshot complications

Unknown

 

Bach, Henry

Pvt

B

3rd

US

Inf

Froze to Death

November 29, 1867

1347

Backus, C. T.

Sergt

L

1st

Col

Cav

Typhoid Fever

September 21, 1864

5

Baker, George

Pvt

A

10th

US

Cav

Cholera

July 11, 1867

1

Benton, Thomas

Pvt

A

10th

US

Cav

Typhoid Fever

May 22, 1867

845

Burns, George W.

Sergt

F

5th

US

Inf

Diarrhea

November 20, 1873

1928

Burton, J. F.

Pvt

E

2nd

US

Vol Inf

Pleurisy

May 10, 1865

1929

Buston, James F.

Pvt

E

2nd

Wis

Inf

Peurisy

May 19, 1865

25

Carpenter, John

Pvt

B

3rd

US

Inf

Texacomia

November 21, 1867

54

Cornolius, C.

Pvt

K

3rd

US

Inf

Cholera

July 20, 1867

1616

Cotton, Charles

Pvt

 

3rd

Wis

Cav

Unknown

January 18, 1865

659

Cox, James

Pvt

C

3rd

US

Inf

Rupture of Bladder

March 19, 1872

 

Davis, William

Pvt

M

2nd

Col

Cav

 

March 9, 1865

564

Dougherly, Joseph

Pvt

H

12th

US

Inf

Gonorrhea

May 7, 1863

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grave No.

Name

Rank

Co.

No.

State

Arm

Cause of Death

Date of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

790

Drissoll, Patrick

Pvt

H

5th

US

Inf

Consumption

October 2, 1872

 

Fields, Joseph

 

F

2nd

Col

Cav

 

 

30

Finley, Fair

Pvt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Drowning

June 13, 1867

 

Fulkerson, Richard H.

Pvt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Suicide

November 29, 1868

288

Gordon, David

Sergt

M

7th

US

Cav

Gunshot Wound

December 16, 1870

10

Harlod, Alex

Pvt

A

10th

US

Cav

Diarrhea

July 25, 1867

284

Harrison, George

Pvt

B

2rd

US

Inf

Diarrhea

November 29, 1870

4

Hatchett, James

Pvt

F

2nd

Wis

Vol Inf

Scurvy

August 21, 1865

64

Hatisite, Iames

Pvt

F

2nd

US

Vol Inf

 

August 21, 1865

62

Helm, Issac A.

1st Lieut

B

3rd

US

Inf

Cholera

July 25, 1867

364

Hickey, Wiliam

Pvt

B

3rd

US

Inf

Fractured Skull, Coma

March 25, 1871

41

Hickman, Hezekial

Pvt

G

15th

Kans

Cav

Int./ Feb/

September 11, 1865

1346

Hudgel, Resom

Pvt

M

1st

US

Cav

Dysentery

September 21, 1864

3/258

Hughes, Francis

Sergt

H

7th

US

Cav

Cholera

August 1, 1868

 

Hyatt, G.

 

H

48th

Wis

Inf

 

November 29, 1865

1668

Johnston, James

Pvt

M

2nd

Col

Cav

Pneumonia

Febuary 21, 1865

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grave No.

Name

Rank

Co.

No.

State

Arm

Cause of Death

Date of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1629

Kosson, William

Pvt

M

2nd

Col

Cav

Pneumonia

January 21, 1865

 

Laner, George

Pvt

D

6th

US

Inf

 

November 8, 1870

36

Linord, James F.

Pvt

H

4th

Mo

Cav

Typhoid

September 20, 1865

789

Longley, Justin

Pvt

G

5th

US

Inf

Consumption

Feburary 21, 1873

100

Lynn, Francis M.

Sergt

E

15th

KS

Cav

Dysentery

September 12, 1865

95

Mabloctes, Joseph R.

Pvt

B

12th

MO

Cav

Pneumonia

September 8, 1865

6/45

Mahony, Thomas

Sergt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Inflammation of Bladder

May 13, 1865

31

Market, August W.

Pvt

L

2nd

US

Cav

Frost Bite

Febuary 8, 1866

16

McCarthy, John

Sergt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Cholera

July 7, 1867

16/220

McGillicoddy, Michael

Corp

C

3rd

US

Inf

Rabid Wolf Bite

September 9, 1868

9

McIntyre, James B.

Major

 

3rd

US

Cav

Phthisis Feutmomlis

May 10, 1867

286

Morgans

Pvt

J

19th

KS

Cav

Pneumonia

August 11, 1862

73

Morrison, Riley

Pvt

G

15th

KS

Cav

Gunshot

September 10, 1865

19

Mullah, Patrick

Corp

B

3rd

US

Inf

Congestion of L[ungs

December 20, 1866

72

Nevelle, Richard

Corp

K

1st

Col

Cav

Contusion

September 10, 1865

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grave No.

Name

Rank

Co.

No.

State

Arm

Cause of Death

Date of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

500

North, John F.

Corp

D

3rd

US

Inf

Inflammation of Lungs

November 30, 1870

29

O'Brian, James

Pvt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Disease of the Heart

December 24, 1866

44

Pierey, Jasper

Pvt

H

14th

MO

Cav

Typhoid

September 20, 1865

111

Poltoff [Pttorf?], Jacob

Pvt

G

15th

KS

Cav

Cysentery

August 5, 1865

58

Regan, John

Sergt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Disease of heart

June 29, 1869

1600

Richardson, Joseph

Pvt

K

2nd

Col

Cav

Gonorrhea

January 26, 1865

41

Rickman, F.

Pvt

L

15th

KS Vol

Cav

Unknown

September 14, 1865

25

Sandhamer, Louis

Pvt

H

2nd

 

 

Gunshot

March 14, 1862

8

Schofield, I. T.

 

A

48th

Wis

Inf

Unknown

November 1, 1865

 

Schrfield, Jospeh

Pvt

A

46th

Wis

Inf

Unknown

November 1, 1865

18

Sheppard, George

Pvt

A

13th

US

Inf

Chronic Dysentery

May 29, 1866

36

Simmonds, James F.

Pvt

M

15th

KS

Cav

Pneumonia

September 6, 1865

90

Squism, A. M.

Acting Assist.
Surgeon

US Army

 

 

 

Cholera Epidemic

July 29, 1867

87

Swisher, James

Pvt

D

3rd

US

Inf

Typhoid Fever

August 4, 1867

 

W. Rhodes

Pvt

D

18th

KS Vol

Cav

Unknown

August 7, 1867

 

Whitson, Franklin

Pvt

C

3rd

US

Inf

Wounds From Indian Fight

January 7, 1872

 

Wright, Daniel

Pvt

C

3rd

US

Inf

Unknown

September 4, 1869

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grave No.

Name

Rank

Co.

No.

State

Arm

Cause of Death

Date of Death



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