Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter

Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess and Muster, April 30, 2011
     You are invited to the annual Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster on April 30, 2011, with programs at the village site during the afternoon and a dinner, brief business meeting, and program at the fort in the evening. One focus of this year's events will be recognition of the addition of the village site to the National Register of Historic Places (as noted in the last issue of Outpost). Program details are still being arranged. Everyone will receive program and registration information soon. Make plans now to be part of this celebration.

Remembering Bill Chalfant
     William Y. Chalfant, Hutchinson KS attorney, died January 7, 2011, at age 82. He graduated from the University of Kansas and earned his law degree at the University of Michigan. He served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean conflict. He was a member of the Hutchinson law firm Branine, Chalfant and Hill.

William Y. Chalfant
William Y. Chalfant

     As a young attorney, Chalfant led the fight in the courts on behalf of the Hutchinson News in the 1960s to obtain reapportionment of the Kansas Legislature. Because of his efforts the Hutchinson News received the Pulitzer Meritorious Public Service Award for winning the battle for reapportionment.

     Bill's first career was the law and his second was writing history of Indian-white relations on the Southern Plains. He once wrote, "My career is and has been the law, writing is for me an avocation. The motivation for writing the books I have written is a sense of how little is known by the general public about how the conquest of the Southern Plains has occurred and what it did to the Indian population, the expeditions mounted against them, and the affect of the Santa Fe Trail on their lives. I hope my books will create an awareness of these things in a population that has been indifferent to the theme."

     He published five books: Cheyennes and Horse Soldiers: The 1857 Expedition and the Battle of Solomon's Fork (University of Oklahoma Press, 1989): Without Quarter: The Wichita Expedition and the Fight on Crooked Creek (University of Oklahoma Press, 1991): Dangerous Passage: The Santa Fe Trail and the Mexican War (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995): Cheyennes at Dark Water Creek: The Last Fight of the Red River War (University of Oklahoma Press, 1997): and Hancock's War: Conflict on the Southern Plains (Arthur H. Clark, 2010)

     Bill was a charter member of the Fort Larned Old Guard and served several years on the board. He provided pro bono legal counsel to the Old Guard and handled the details of the purchase of the Cheyenne and Sioux village site. He presented the results of his research at several Fort Larned Old Guard annual meetings at Fort Larned National Historic Site. Bill had a delightful sense of humor and always shared good stories with a rather impish twinkle in his eye. He was a trusted friend.

     Chalfant is survived by his wife of 54 years, Martha, two children (William David and Kristin) and their families, brother Steve, and many friends. Bill was a generous friend of Fort Larned National Historic Site and the Fort Larned Old Guard. He is fondly remenbered and sorely missed. Condolences are extended to his family and friends.

The Caddos Come
by David K. Clapsaddle
     (Clapsaddle, Larned, KS, is an active member of Fort Larned Old Guard and writes about the history of Fort Larned and the Santa Fe Trail, and other regional topics. Special thanks to him for preparing this article for Outpost.)

     During the Civil War members of tribes in Indian Territory loyal to the Union found themselves at odds with tribal members in league with the Confederacy. In some instances, the conflict was intertribal; in other, intratribal. Consequently, so called Yankee Indians were forced to flee to Kansas, a Union stronghold.

     At the outbreak of the war, Lieutenant Colonel William Emory was ordered to remove Union men and equipment from Indian Territory to Fort Leavenworth. Commanding the Fort Smith garrison, he made a sweep of the Territory gathering up men and material at the various posts. His last stop was Fort Cobb, where he was joined by the well-known Delaware scout, Black Beaver, who guided his entourage to Kansas. On May 24, Emory's mile long caravan arrived at Emporia: 759 military men, 150civilians, 600 horses, 500 mules, and 90 wagons. [1]

     With the Union troops removed from Indian Territory, Yankee Indians were subject to attacks by forces allied with the Confederates: other tribes, members of their own tribes, and Texans. Such was the case in 1862 with a contingency of Creeks, Seminoles, and a number of their Negro slaves who made their way to Kansas following two separate attacks by a force of Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, and Texans. Arriving on the Verdigris River at what was called Fort Doe, the destitute refugees finally made their way to camp near Emporia where they waited out the war. [2]

     A similar incident was recorded in the same year when a group of Wichitas, facing an advancing force of Texans and Creeks, fled northward to Kansas. After a month's march, the refugees made their way to the Walnut River near El Dorado. There, the Wichitas and members of other tribes who accompanied them suffered through the winter. [3]

     Perhaps one of the larger migrations occurred in 1864 when Wichitas, Wacos, and Kichais fled to the confluence of the Little Arkansas and Arkansas rivers or present Wichita, Kansas. Though their stay was short, they left behind Wichita as the name of one of Kansas's proudest cities, Kichais as the name of a nearby town (Kechi), and Waco as the name of a major street in Wichita. About the same time, to the east of present Wichita some 10 miles, a group of Caddos, Delawares, and Shawnees settled on Dry Creek. [4]

     Lesser known is the plight of a Caddo contingency which fled to the Pawnee River Valley south of Fort Larned in 1863. Subsequent to the desertion of their agent to the Confederacy, the Caddos moved north where they were welcomed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs which appropriated $5,000 to assist them in a farming operation. A 2,000-acre tract was surveyed for their use; and in the following spring, they planted 240 acres of irrigated corn. However, in the subsequent fall, they left, fearing that they might get caught up in the ongoing conflict between the army and the southern Plains tribes. There assessment proved true. In the same year, the Indian War of 1864 erupted. [5]

     Still even less known is the attempt to locate the Caddos on the Arkansas River in Colorado Territory near the site of the original Fort Lyon. The Bureau of Indian Affairs constructed three stone house at that location, each with three rooms. The Caddos never came to the Arkansas site. Rather, they chose to move to the Canadian River in New Mexico Territory. John Prowers, a former associate of the Bents, for whom Prowers County, Colorado was named, occupied the houses. There, he began his farflung cattle empire. [6]

Notes

  1. Stan Hoig, Jesse Chisholm: Ambassador of the Plains (Niwot: University of Colorado Press, 1991), 133-134

  2. Ibid., 137-138

  3. Ibid., 140

  4. Ibid., 142. Other such migrations occurred during the Civil War, to many for this limited study to describe.

  5. Leo Oliva, Fort Larned (Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, 1985), 34-39

  6. "The Lives of Caddos," an unpublished paper by Dan Headlee, Additional details about the Caddos is found in Richard F. Carrillo and Philip L. Petersen, "The Caddo Agency Site and John W. Prowers First Ranch at Big Timbers, Bent County, Colorado," Wagon Tracks, 12 (May 1998): 11-14.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Rex Abrahams
     Fort Larned and the Old Guard lost a good friend in January. William (Bill) Chalfant of Hutchinson died on January 7, after a lengthy struggle with cancer. Bill helped in numerous ways over the years. He served on the Fort Larned Old Guard Board, presented programs for annual meetings on his research and writing about the frontier army and the Indians, and provided free legal advice when needed. His legal assistance as the Old Guard worked on the acquisition of the Cheyenne and Sioux village site was sincerely appreciated. Without his help, the process would have been more costly and a lot more involved. He answered questions about liability issues at the village site and suggested precautions to take when opening the site for public programs.

     Bill's last book, Hancock's War, Conflict on the Southern Plains, is a great book. It examines the circumstances and personalities that led to Hancock's destruction of the Indian Village on Pawnee Fork, the very same village site the Old Guard now owns and protects. Hancock's capture and destruction of the peaceful encampment of Cheyenne and Sioux inflamed tensions on both sides for many years to come, creating a war where none existed. Chalfant's book highlights an event on the Kansas prairie that tells a significant story in the life of Fort Larned and the history of Indian-white relations. I highly recommend it. I feel honored to have had Bill sign my copy at last spring's Old Guard annual meeting. Bill also gave an interesting presentation about his book on that day. Bill will be missed by all.

     Mark Saturday, April 30, 2011 on your calendars. Old Guard Mess and Muster is on its way! It is always a great event with a tasty dinner. We plan on celebrating the Indian Village Site's addition to the National Register of Historic Places. This is a big deal. Let me repeat. This is a big deal! It is an event worthy of celebration. Special thanks go out to all those who worked tirelessly to make this designation a reality. The details of the day's events are still being worked out, but it promises to be an educational and exciting day. It will be a great time to see old friends after the winter months.

     The Fort Larned Old Guard Board will be meeting at Fort Larned during the morning of April 30, and all members are welcome to sit in. The following board members have completed their term limits and will be leaving the board after this meeting: Secretary Bonita Oliva, Treasurer Linda Peters, and Board Member Aaron Fisher. Special thanks to these volunteers for their service to Fort Larned Old Guard. The members will elect board members during the annual membership meeting at the evening program on April 30.

     If you have not renewed your membership for 2011 please send it in to Linda Peters. If you are thinking of joining, now it the time! Every member is important to us.
     I look forward to seeing you in April!

Fort Larned Superintendent's Column
"On Our Watch" by Kevin McMurry
Dear Friends,
     On cold winter days here at the fort I find myself wondering about all the people here 150 years ago. Over the Kansas Day weekend I'll experience a bit of what it was like, living in the barracks and dining in the mess hall with all the sights, sounds, and smells of winter at Fort Larned! This tradition for a few of the fort's dear friends has been going on for years and I'm happy to be able to join in. Summer weekends in the barracks are a great experience for understanding a large part of the soldier's life but I'm sure a cold winter day and night with only wood heat promises to be a much different look at that life.

     Otherwise, the fort remains busy with the help of our many friends and I want to bring you up to date on some of our current projects. Fell free to contact anyone here at the fort anytime for more information or with any new ideas you have for us!

     David Clapsaddle continues to take his Fort and Santa Fe Trail Traveling Trunks programs to elementary schools across Kansas and into neighboring states. He also recently provided the programs to several schools in Austin Texas! Please consider contacting your local schools to suggest David and his programs and have interested educators contact him at 620-28-3295. Information on the different trunk programs is avaliable from David or at the fort's web site {www.nps.gov/fols}. As an aside, Park employee Robert Sellers and I were happy to be members of the "Clapsaddle Gang" on December 4, 2010, helping the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter and many other great volunteers host a children's holiday event at the Little Red House in Larned, Kansas.

     The Christmas Past open house at the fort was a terrific opportunity to experience "A Taste of Christmas at Fort Larned" thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and staff. The foods were all prepared using recipes for the 1860s and no one left hungry. The fort is always incredibly beautiful by candlelight and with the stoves burning everyone stayed warm and cozy in the converted hospital ward decorated for the season.

     Work on the North Officer's Quarters is proceeding very well toward the grand reopening planned for May 28, 2011. Mark your calendar because you'll want to be here to share in the celebration of this beautiful and fully-furnished addition to our visitor experience! Fort Larned Old Guard members and fort volunteers are welcome to special tours of the North Officers' Quarters anytime ahead of the grand opening if you're in the area.

     Work with the Larned Juvenile Corrections facility on construction of the Adjutant's Office is currently in planning and will get started when the weather warms up so the boys can really get to work on this outside project. We also expect that the hay sheds screening element, built previously by the Juvenile Corrections program, can be in place before Memorial Day weekend. Call George Elmore for information or to sign up for this work project the last weekend in April which is also the Larned Community Santa Fe Trail Days weekend, and that Saturday, the 30th is Fort Larned Old Guard's Mess and Muster program.

     A contract has been awarded to resurface the company streets and walking paths all around the quadrangle, making the entire fort much more wheelchair friendly. This work will be performed by a Kansas company beginning in the spring as soon as weather permits.

     Fort staff are just beginning a major upgrade of the theatre to improve the visitor experience by converting to DVD video with captioning improving the sound system, and adding enhanced LED lighting in the auditorium. It is expected that this work will be complete by Memorial Day.

     The significant project to reconstruct the historic wagon bridge in its original location is proceeding well. Archaeology and survey reports are completed, required environmental and preservation compliance is nearing completion, and design plans by the Federal Highway Administration are about 30 percent finished. Work on the project is currently scheduled to begin in 2012. Folks are welcome to stop by anytime to review the latest design drawings and visit the project site.

     Fort staff are working with our bookstore partner, the Western National Parks Association to have our Indian exhibit displayed in Tucson in mid March. If it can be worked out this beautiful and educational exhibit, funded last year by Fort Larned Old Guard and constructed largely by member Ken Weidner, will be on display for the 100,000 people expected to attend the National Parks Pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books.

     The Fort is pleased to announce that Nathan King has accepted a Park Ranger position in Washington D.C. and will be moving there in the spring. We certainly appreciate Nathan's good work and friendship at Fort Larned and wish him (and the family) all the best in this new opportunity.

     We are pleased to announce that Ellen Jones currently serving as education director at the Santa Fe Trail Center, has accepted the position of Interpretive Ranger, filling the position vacated when George Elmore became Chief Ranger. We look forward to having Ellen on staff at the end of February.

     On January 23, 2011, at the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter meeting, the fort was presented an original Model 1859 McClellan Saddle Girth in excellent condition and what turned out to be a very rare Model 1874 McClellan Saddle Girth with a visible Rock Island Arsenal stamp, also in excellent condition. I don't see George Elmore get excited over many artifacts, but I have to admit these two items are gorgeous. In a later issue I hope to be able to let you know the dear friend of the Fort, and many of us who so generously donated these to the Fort's collection. I can tell you now, however, that the 1859 girth will replace the "replica" we currently have on the Buffalo Soldier's horse in our museum display.

     Finally, sadly, we recently learned of the loss of William Chalfant who was a great friend of Fort Larned and the Old Guard. A tribute to Bill can be found in this issue of Outpost.

     "On Our Watch" and with the generous assistance from employees, partners, and great volunteer friends, we continue to provide Fort Larned and Santa Fe Trail history for all to learn and enjoy. I personally invite you to be active in supporting the work of the Fort Larned Old Guard and hope to see you at Fort Larned sometime soon. Please make plans to attend Fort Larned Old Guard's annual Mess and Muster on April 30, 2011 and the reopening of the North Officer's Quarters on May 28, 2011.

Fort Larned Roll Call: Celeste Dixon
     If Celeste Dixon could pick one phrase to describe her philosophy in life it would be "History Matters." She has loved history for as long as she can remember. "To me history is not about memorizing names and dates but learning the stories of the men and women who lived before us. They were people just like us with likes, dislikes, passions, and most of all, stories to tell." Telling those stories is the main reason Celeste came to work as an Interpretive Park Ranger with the National Park Service.

Celeste Dixon
Celeste Dixon

     Celeste came to her present career late in life. Born in Tennessee but raised in Texas, she spent four years in the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school, then earned a degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin. She worked at various temp jobs in Austin for several years before getting her first seasonal job with the National Park Service at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Georgia. From then on, she says, she knew what she wanted to do with her life. "I couldn't believe what a great job it was. My job that summer was to learn as much as I could about the Battle of Chickamauga and then tell people about it. I felt like I should have been paying them, not the other way around."

     That was in 1995, and Celeste has been working for the Park Service ever since. After five years as a seasonal at Chickamauga, Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, she got a permanent Park Guide position at Martin Luther King. From there she went on to Richmond National Battlefield Park in Richmond VA as a Park Ranger in the National Park Service Intake Training Program, then to Appomattox Court House National Historic Park before coming to Fort Larned.

     Outside of work Celeste enjoys knitting, reading, and visiting with friends. She is also on the board of the Pawnee County Humane Society and serves as a foster home for dogs while the group builds its new animal shelter. She has two dogs of her own and is, in her own words, successfully single, which gives her the freedom to travel, something else she loves to do.

Volunteer Roll Call: Jon Birket
     Jon Birket says the best thing about volunteering at Fort Larned is the chance to spend time in such a historic place, living the way soldiers did in the 1860s. He started volunteering at the fort in May 2003, when one of his re-enactor friends told him about the fort's living-history events. Jon had never been to Fort Larned but since Civil War reenacting is one of his hobbies it sounded like a great opportunity to experience 1860s life. "I love the idea of being able to spend the weekend at the fort and be part of something real, as well as showing the visitors how the soldiers lived during that time."

     Since that first weekend in 2003, Jon is usually found at the fort during the main living-history events, dressed as a soldier and living in the barracks. The ability to stay in original barracks, furnished and equipped for the time period, is something that makes Fort Larned living-history experiences unique. "There are not many places that allow you to access and use all the buildings the way they actually looked. I'm thankful to have one like this in my own backyard! It's really something to be able live the way the soldiers did for a weekend at a time, especially with such a beautiful place to do it."

Jon Birket
Jon Birket

     If he's not in the barracks helping visitors understand the life of a soldier he's usually meandering around the fort finding something else to learn about. Jon is also featured as one of the soldiers in the infantry silhouette at the parks entrance, so even when he's not here he helps give visitors a feel for the park's military past before they ever get to the buildings.

     Jon was born and raised in Wichita, although he attended high school at Maur Hill Prep School in Atchison. He currently lives in Wichita and is working on an associate degree at Pratt Community College before continuing on to a BA in history from Wichita State University. Birket currently works at Timber Products in Wichita, but most weekends will find him dressed as a soldier attending a re-enacting event or volunteering at other National Park Service sites. When he's not doing that, Jon enjoys running, woodworking, or "being a couch potato. I'm very proactive!"

Fort Larned Old Guard Roll Call: Janet Armstead
     Janet Armstead and husband Dean live at Wamego KS. Janet is serving her second term on the Fort Larned Old Guard Board. A native of South Dakota she grew up in Clay Center KS and earned BS and MM degrees in music education at Kansas State University. She has taught music in public schools in several Kansas Communities and currently teaches at the Rock Creek School District, St. George KS. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, including Outstanding Educator Award from the National Santa Fe Trail in 2001. She has received the Outstanding Elementary Music Educator Award from the North Central District of Kansas Music Education Association three times (2000, 2006, 2009). She serves on the Wamego school board and is active in community service. In 1990 Janet was the Music Education Delegate to China and Kazakstan with the People to People program.

Janet Armstead
Janet Armstead

     Janet has always had an interest in history. Her children, Cindy and Alan, both traveled the Santa Fe Trail with Chris Day and Marcia Fox, and Janet later became a sponsor and is now director of this biennial trial adventure for 5th and 6th grade students. As she became immersed in Santa Fe Trail history and wanted to teach school children that history, Janet wrote a musical for 3rd and 4th graders called "On the Trail to Santa Fe" which has been presented at St. George every other year since 1990 and has also been performed in Council Grove, Manhattan, and Lost Springs.

     The Santa Fe Trail brought her to Fort Larned and she became a devoted fan of the fort and its history. Chris Day encouraged her to serve on the Fort Larned Old Guard Board, Janet always enjoys a visit to the fort.

Quartermaster Report: Quartermaster Storehouse (HS-6)
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
(This is seventh in a series on the structures at Fort Larned)
     The Quartermaster Storehouse, also known as HS-6, was one of several stone buildings completed during 1867-1868, finishing out the construction of the new stone buildings at Fort Larned. Along with the old Commissary Building, the Quartermaster Store house forms the south side of the quadrangle of buildings around the parade ground.

     No floor plan of the building is known to exist, but certain features can be deduced from the building itself and the writing of contemporary officers. A description by Fort Larned Post Surgeon Captain William Henry Forwood provides some details about the building's interior layout. "The Quartermaster Storehouse stands on the southside of the parade ground and is 158' by 40' and without ceiling except for the office." Quartermaster officer Captain Almon F. Rockwell, under whose supervision construction of the building was carried out, described the building as a "simple one-story rectangle."

     On September 23, 1867, staff Quartermaster officer Major Marshall I. Ludington reported favorably on Fort Larned's Quartermaster Storehouse: "A stone building...for use as Quartermaster Storehouse was about ready for occupation at the date of my visit. The storehouse is a substantial and suitable one and as work in its erection was commenced only about August 7, its rapid construction is in my opinion highly creditable."

     According to Colonel Rockwell's report on January 1868 the building was completely finished in 1867, at a cost to the government of $3943.10

Quartermaster Storehouse
Quartermaster Storehouse

     As with the other buildings at the fort, the Quartermaster Storehouse is constructed of local brown sandstone in accordance with Army policy to use local materials. Stone was the natural choice at Fort Larned since, according to General Winfield S. Hancock in the letter to General William T. Sherman, "There is an abundant supply of stone along that route, and it is so easily worked that I think the post should be built without delay. They would be permanent if built of stone and probably could be constructed as cheaply as if they were erected of more perishable material which would have to come from a distance."

     Just like the old commissary building, the Quartermaster building has gun loops along the south wall. These were included so the structure could be used for defense in case of attack, a precaution that ultimately proved unnecessary.

     At a frontier Army post the Quartermaster Department was responsible for storing and distributing all nonfood supplies needed for daily operation, as well as maintaining all the post buildings and equipment. Supplies typically found in the Quartermaster Storehouse included uniforms, weapons, tools, vehicles, equipment, and tents. Although most of the space inside the Storehouse would have been used for storing these items until needed, there was also an office for the Quartermaster officer and his civilian clerks, as well as an issue room to facilitate the distribution of supplies to the rest of the post.

Karl Grover in Charge
Issue Room, QM Storeroom, Karl Grover in Charge

     The quartermaster's office was most likely the busiest office on the post since there was a lot of paperwork involved in keeping track of the large amount of supplies needed to maintain a frontier Army garrison. The quartermaster officer was required to keep records tracking the issue of material from the warehouse as well as maintaining inventories for each incoming shipment of supplies. Most Army quartermasters filled out at least 10 reports, or "returns" each month. Army regulations of the time included 53 different forms in the quartermaster section.

     Although the work might be tedious and time-consuming, the role of the quartermaster officer and his store house was a vital one at any frontier military post. Their efforts ensured that the materials needed for the fort's day-to-day operation and for field assignments, were available to the enlisted men and officers carrying out their assigned duties.

     The storehouse was converted into a barn during the farming/ranching period of the fort's post-active era. It was restored to its original plan by the National Park Service and is open to visitor's today.

Maintenance Report
by William Chapman
     In July 2010 Troy Rodgers reported for duty at Fort Larned National Historic Site to serve as the maintenance mechanic for the park. Troy brings to the maintenance section of the park an uplifting and friendly sprit as well as vast knowledge of utility, electrical, HVAC systems, and carpentry skills. He has already completed many projects in the park, improving our water distribution, visitors' egress, updating security systems, and improving main entrance facilities.

Troy Rodgers
Troy Rodgers

     Troy is retired from the United State Coast Guard and transferred to us from Olympic National Park, his first National Park Site posting. Troy and his wife Katie wanted to have their family experience the central plains after many years on both coasts. His USCG time was spent between Alaska and Virginia. Troy, Katie, and their sons Benjamin and Levi have made themselves part of the local community, being active in the community and helping their neighbors. Benjamin volunteered as a private in October's candlelight event and soon the boys will begin to raise chickens and develop gardening skills.

     Please say hello to Troy on your next visit to Fort Larned National Historic Site and welcome him.

Post Commander: Captain Julius Hayden
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
(This is the fifth in a series on the commanding officers of Fort Larned)
     Captain Julius Hayden, Fort Larned's fifth commanding officer, arrived at the post on April 19, 1861, bringing with him from Fort Riley a herd of cattle to provide fresh beef and 67 officers and men of the 2nd U.S. Infantry as garrison reinforcements. Captain Hayden relieved Lieutenant Lloyd Beall as post commander and set about establishing a new duty rotation for the garrison.

Captain Julius Hayden, Fort Larned's fifth commanding officer
Captain Julius Hayden

     Julius Hagden was born in New York City on September 4, 1820. By 1838 he was an enlisted soldier in the 2nd U.S. Infantry, serving in the Second Seminole War in Florida. He was promoted from the ranks and commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Infantry on January 16, 1839, when he was 18 years old. He served under Lieutenant Colonel Bennet Riley and, for a few years, was aide to Riley. Hayden was promoted to 1st lieutenant on June 18, 1846, and to captain on June 30, 1850. During the Mexican War he earned a brevet rank of captain for gallantry and meritorious conduct at the Battles of Contreras and Churubusco (where he was severely wounded). After the Mexican War he served at several military posts in the American West, and he was stationed at Fort Riley in early 1861 before coming to Fort Larned.

     The year of 1861 was a busy one for the officers and men of Fort Larned. Besides providing escort duty along the Santa Fe Trail, they operated a horse-powered sawmill about 18 miles upstream on Pawnee Fork to provide lumber to the fort. Captain Hayden convened a Council of Administration with the officers under his command to dispose of the personal and public property of a deceased soldier. Soldiers from the fort also rescued the members of a Mexican wagon train who had been attacked by a band of Arapahos led by Big Mouth. The soldiers who took part in the rescue mission captured one of the Indians and held him hostage for the safe return of 25 oxen stolen during the raid. The Indians returned the animals and the soldiers released the hostage. Although able to help in this instance, Captain Hayden wrote a letter to the Indian Agent at Fort Wise, explaining that he had a limited number of men under his command and would not be able to adequately protect travelers along the trail without the agent's help. "Keep your Indians off the road by seizing and holding Big Mouth and 15 or 20 of his warriors!"

     The outbreak of Civil War in the spring of 1861 depleted the frontier forts of almost all available fighting men right at the time the Santa Fe Trail was reaching the height of its commercial importance. By the summer of 1861 there were fewer than 300 soldiers between Fort Larned, Kansas and Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Despite the shortage of soldiers escort and patrol duties continued at frontier posts, including Fort Larned.

     It was during Captain Hayden's tenure as post commander that Indian Agent Albert G. Boone at Fort Wise, Colorado Territory, suggested that Fort Larned become a distribution point for Indian annuities. There were several reasons to consider Fort Larned for this role, the main one being its location roughly halfway between Forts Riley and Wise, which meant that transportation cost for the goods could be substantially lowered. There were also large herds of buffalo in the area and ample storage space at Larned. Another good reason, from Agent Boone's respective, was that going to Fort Larned would place the Indians of his agency, mostly Cheyenne and Arapaho, farther away from the Utes, their traditional enemies.

     Captain Hayden was promoted to major on February 15, 1862, and transferred to the 10th U.S. Infantry at Fort Lyon (formerly Fort Wise), Colorado in August 1862. Before he left, however, his replacement had already arrived in June - Captain Daniel S. Whittenhall of the Second Kansas Volunteers. Like many active-duty army officers, Major Hayden was eventually recalled East during the Civil War and served in that conflict with distinction (part of the time as acting inspector general) and received two brevet promotions. The first was to lieutenant colonel in 1864 for service in the Battle of Chancellorsville; the second to brigadier general for gallant and distinguished service in the field. After the war he achieved the permanent rank of lieutenant colonel of the 15th Infantry on July 28, 1866. He commanded Governor's Island, New York, and for a few months in 1868, Hayden served as assistant commissioner of the Freeman's Bureau in Alabama. He retired May 6, 1870. He died at Orange, New Jersey, on October 29, 1878, and was buried at Church of the Resurrection in Oswego, New York.

     Captain Hayden's tenure as Fort Larned's commanding officer covered a period of major changes for the fort. The outbreak of Civil War in the East meant the eventual withdrawal of the majority of regular army troops from frontier forts and their replacement with state and volunteer militia units. It was also during this time that Fort Larned was seen as a natural distribution point for Indian annuities, increasing the fort's influence and importance in Kansas.

Fort Notes
     Park Ranger Nathan King, co-editor of Outpost has received a promotion and will soon be transferring to the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington DC. We wish him continued success in his new position and extend thanks for his work at Fort Larned and with Outpost.

Membership Changes
     Samuel Young has upgraded his membership to career officer (life member). Thank you Sam. Fort Larned Old Guard welcomes the following new members: Doug McGovern, 100 W 20th Ave, Hutchinson KS 66502, Colleen Newman, 2716 16th St, Great Bend KS 67530, Fr. Wayne Pavela, PO Box 116, Humphrey NE 68642, Michael Strodtman RR 1 Box 12, Bucklin KS 67834

Calendar
     April 30, 2011
Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster
May 28, 2011
     Reopening of North Offiicers' Quarters
     Robert M. Peck's Memoirs will continue next issue

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships expire on December 31. If you have not renewed by 2011, please send dues to our treasurer; Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. See
page 2 for details and levels of membership. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with our projects.

"Deadline for Next Issue of Outpost: April 20, 2011

     The officers, members of the board of directors, dues information and emails are listed on this page of information. Please feel free to contact any of us.




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