David Clapsaddle Recipient of National Park Service Regional Volonteer Award
National Park Service Regional Director Michael Reynolds and Fort Larned Superintendent Kevin McMurry are very pleased to announce that Dr. David Clapsaddle of Larned Kansas is the recipient of the Midwest Region's 2010 George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Individual Volunteer Service. This national award program was created to recognize the time, talent, innovation, and hard work contributed to National Parks through the Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) Program.
As the winner of the Midwest Region Award, selected from a number of outstanding nominations sent in by 59 parks across 13 states, Dr. Clapsaddle's accomplishments competed in Washington D.C. against winners from the other six regions for the best Individual Volunteer throughout the entire the National Park Service. He was not chosen, but we known he is the best.
The award recognition is named for the late George B. Hartzog, Jr., and his wife Helen. The VIP program was created during Mr. Hartzog's tenure as Director of the National Park Service, 1964 to 1972. The Hartzog Award is made possible by the National Park Foundation through a generous donation from George and Helen Hartzog, additional funding from corporate donors, and the National Park Service Volunteers-In-Parks Program.
Christmas Open House December 10
by George Elmore, Chief Ranger
The annual Christmas Open House at Fort Larned National Historic Site will be Saturday, December 10, 1:00-7:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate and enjoy three special scenes portraying a variety of historic Christmas activities. The tour guides will be dressed in 1860s' clothing, giving tours every 15 minutes through scenes much like the evening candlelight tours. We hope to give you a look at how Christmas was celebrated here in 1868.
The three vignettes are Christmas on Officers' Row in the recently-completed North Officers' Quarters, Enlisted Men's Christmas in the Barracks, and Christmas for the Sick at the Hospital. In addition, the shops building will be included in the Christmas tour. This building would not have been decorated for Christmas in 1868 and will not be decorated this year.
Snacks will be available in the Visitor Center for visitors to taste, made by volunteers following 1860s' recipes. At 5:30 the scenes will be shut down, and everyone will gather for a Christmas Party in the Post Hospital from 6-7 p.m., ending with a visit from Santa. Even if you cannot make it out during the day, get into the Christmas Spirit and come out for the Christmas Party. We hope to see you at the fort on December 10.
Flog Chair's Column
by Rex Abrahams
A huge Thank You goes out to all of those who volunteered at Fort Larned this past year. Your contributions helped make Fort Larned one of the best National Parks in the United States! Of course we all knew that, but now we have numerical proof. Fort Larned National Historic Site Superintendent Kevin McMurry reported at our October board meeting that the park received a 100% satisfaction rating from our visitors. An independent survey team contacted a random selection of our guests and asked about their experiences at Fort Larned. The response was 100% satisfaction! That is almost unheard of. Think of it. It only takes one person who had a less than perfect experience to ruin the rating. Big congratulations to the Park's personnel and all of the volunteers who helped the fort achieve this fantastic rating!
If you have not been to the fort recently, I strongly encourage you to do so. There are so many projects going on that the look and layout are constantly changing. HS-9 has been completed and is now open to the public. Look for a dedication of this building soon. Kevin and George are working on getting the proper dignitaries there at the same time. Not an easy task. The Sutler's residence is also progressing nicely in the southwest corner of the complex. This winter the concrete bridge will be taken out and replaced by a bridge a little farther to the West. The new bridge will look like the original. The long-range plan is to make the fort look more like it did in the days when it was actually used as a fort.
It is time to renew your annual memberships. Memberships are not taken lightly. We sincerely appreciate them. The funds generated are used to promote and enhance the forts "experience" to our visitors. The Old Guard has supported speakers, symposiums, purchased artifacts, created traveling displays and secured the Indian Village site that Hancock burned in 1867, for future generations to enjoy. Thank you for being a part of this heritage!
I could not finish without giving due consideration to Dr. David Clapsaddle. Dr. Clapsaddle, a longtime member of the Old Guard, was the winner of the Midwest Region's 2010 George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Individual Volunteer Service. David was selected from nominations submitted by 59 National Parks across 13 states. I am sure all of the other nominations were well deserved too. Dr. Clapsaddle's Traveling Trunks programs have been a hit throughout Kansas and the surrounding states. If the school children and retirement home residents cannot come to the fort, Dr. Clapsaddle will take a bit of the fort to them! Dr. Clapsaddle was in contention for the National Volunteer of the Year Award, but was not selected. We still know he is the best volunteer. Congratulations David and Good Luck! We are very proud to have you as a member.
Please make plans to attend the annual Christmas program at the Fort on December 10.
Fort Larned Superintendent's Column "On Our Watch"
by Kevin McMurry
Time to fire up the heating stoves and ready the fort for winter after another successful spring/summer/fall with our great partners helping to bring Fort Larned and Santa Fe Trail history to visitors of all ages. Through the winter we'll catch up on everything needing done, plan for a great summer next year, and move the Fort Larned Old Guard funded Indian exhibit across the state to libraries and shopping centers to entice future visitors to the fort and its history.
With assistance from David Clapsaddle, we will also continue to extend the stories of Fort Larned to numerous school and adult groups. As you'll see elsewhere in this issue, for his past efforts David was selected as the Midwest Region Volunteer of the Year out of entries from 59 parks in 13 states! Please consider contacting your local schools to suggest Dr. Clapsaddle's programs and have interested folks contact him at (620) 285-3295. Information on the different trunk programs is available from David or at the forts website
Work on the North Officers Quarters is essentially complete and was open to the public throughout the summer with help from Lloyd and Gay Cloitz, Bill and Kathy Weber, and Sam and Ella Young, who "took up residence" there to demonstrate the living history of officers and families. The formal rededication celebration of this beautiful addition to the fort tours will finally be scheduled when Congressional, State, and Local Representatives can all attend.
The project to reconstruct the historic wagon bridge in its original location is proceeding very well and we expect final construction plans yet this year with actual work possibly beginning in the spring. Visitors can already see the stakes and flags marking out the road, parking, and bridge layout. Fort Larned Old Guard members are invited to stop by anytime to review the latest design drawings, visit the project site, and offer any ideas or thoughts.
Finally, for now, Thank You to all Fort Larned Old Guard members who attended the Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. This event coordinated by Rusti Gardner and catered by Montegga Wright, was attended by more than 115 of our GREAT volunteers, many of whom stayed to help with the Candlelight Tour. Mark your calendar for next October and plan to join us for lunch as we say a formal "Thank You" to all the Fort's friends!
"On Our Watch," and with the generous assistance from employees, partners, and great volunteers, 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 soon, and often!
Flog Roll Call: Tom Seltmann
Tom Seltmann, Larned Kansas, was elected to the Fort Larned Old Guard Board last April. He writes:
Greetings from Larned! Leo says I need to provide a biography for Outpost. I don't really enjoy talking about myself but will share a few things. I grew up on the family farm seven miles south of Nekoma in Rush County, Kansas. My great-grandparents immigrated to New York from Germany in the 1850s and homesteaded in Rush County in 1879. The seventh generation is now living on the family farm. I started my education in a one-room schoolhouse (Bonita probably attended this school also) close to our farm, transferred to Alexander Grade School, then graduated from LaCrosse High School. After college I moved to Larned where my mother's family has lived since 1883, moving from Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Needless to say, my roots run deep in the heart of Kansas.
I am a firm believer that you should get involved in your community and help to make it an interesting and enjoyable place to live. Currently I am the President of the Fort Larned Historical Society which operates the Santa Fe Trail Center. I am also Chairman of the Larned Planning Commission, Chairman of the Larned Antique Show committee, and member of the Larned Rotary Club, Prairie Arts Unlimited, the Post Players theater group, and now the Fort Larned Old Guard. I enjoy being involved in living history at Fort Larned, volunteering at the Trail Center, State Theater, and wherever I can be of service.
My interests and hobbies are spending family time with my finance Tonya, her daughter Dallas, and our menagerie of three dogs, three cats, and a turtle. I inherited the love of travel from my father and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit all 50 states and over 20 countries. Another favorite pastime is tracing all branches of my family tree, walking cemeteries to find that long-forgotten grave, and meeting distant relatives that have lost touch with the family over the generations. I look forward to meeting all of you at Fort Larned Old Guard events!
Every so often a volunteer will move to the ranks of employee at Fort Larned National Historic Site. This past summer Dustin Abrahams became an employee through the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), working with the maintenance division. He worked on the restoration of the prairie, provided valuable assistance with grounds maintenance, painted, and assisted in maintaining the park structures. Dustin quickly adapted to the new role of park employee. He worked well with the staff and still had occasional visitor interaction where he was able to draw from his volunteer experience.
Dustin began volunteering in living history in the second grade. His family volunteers too and participates in most Fort Larned events. In recent years Dustin served as a private in Company C, 3rd Infantry. He has provided many years of support to the living-history program and now is becoming familiar with behind the scenes work as an employee. Dustin is the son of Rex and DeVonne Abrahams of Canton, Kansas. Rex is the current Fort Larned Old Guard president.
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
[This is tenth in a series on the structures at Fort Larned.]
There were few women at frontier military posts. Socially, officers' wives might have been the "first ladies of the post," but the company laundresses were the only women on a frontier military post officially recognized by the Army (all other women were considered to be camp followers). According to Army regulations of the time, each company of soldiers was allowed four laundresses, each of whom was to "receive the regular ration of a soldier." Besides drawing rations, each laundress was listed on the company roles, had access to the services of the post surgeon, and was provided with quarters, fuel, and bedding. Many laundresses were married to a soldier in the company they served.
The soldiers who established Camp on Pawnee Fork in October 1859 left their laundresses at Fort Riley until quarters could be erected for them at the new post. No record has been found that the laundresses joined the garrison during that winter. In the spring of 1860, laundresses accompanied additional troops assigned to the garrison. They lived in tents until permanent quarters were provided. The two buildings for their quarters, constructed in 1860, were made of adobe with brush, hay, and earthen roofs. These quarters, no longer standing, were originally located behind the enlisted men's barracks. They sat perpendicular to the barracks and were approximately 70 feet long by 19 feet wide and 9 feet tall. They had four rooms each, with four doors and windows in the front, as well as a wooden kitchen attached to one corner. Each laundress occupied one room (including their soldier/husband if married). The area of laundresses' quarters was commonly referred to "soap suds row" or just "suds row."
The post-Civil War building phase that saw the construction of the fort's stone buildings was not only meant to make Fort Larned a more permanent post but also to provide more suitable living quarters for the soldiers stationed at the post. This apparently did not extend to the company laundresses since neither of the laundresses' buildings was upgraded to stone at that time. Although both buildings were still standing when the fort was abandoned in 1878, the laundresses' quarters had been moved to the East Barracks in 1872 as the fort's decreasing duties meant a corresponding reduction in the size of the garrison. The East Barracks also served as the post hospital and commissary sergeant's quarters.
Army laundresses washed the uniforms and clothing for the soldiers of the companies to which they were attached, as well as for officers and their families. Their pay rate was set by the post Council of Administration, consisting of three company officers from the post who met once a month. The average pay for laundresses was $2.00 per month for each enlisted man and $5.00 for each officer. That $2.00 a month fee could take quite a bite out of an enlisted man's $16-a-month paycheck, which might explain why Private Adolph Hunnius, an enlisted soldier stationed at Fort Larned in 1867, made several references in his diary to washing his own clothes. Maybe he was trying to avoid paying the company laundress!
At $2.00 per soldier per month, a laundress who took care of 20 soldiers would earn $40.00 a month. This was excellent pay for a woman of that time period, and more than double the enlisted soldier's monthly salary (unlike soldiers, a laundress had to provide her own clothing and equipment). She definitely earned the money though! At that time, washing clothes involved long days filled with hard physical labor-carrying water and heating it over a fire, wrestling large tubs, pounding the clothes, scrubbing on a washboard, and hanging them out to dry.
In 1876 the Army decided to discontinue the official employment of company laundresses. Although General Order 37 in 1876 stated, "Hereafter women shall not be allowed to accompany troops as laundresses,"many laundresses married to soldiers continued to travel with the troops until the end of their husbands' enlistment. Although it was a hard, physically-demanding job, it was also one of the few available to women at the time that offered them decent wages, along with a chance to travel to "exotic" locations, like the plains of Kansas. The laundresses and their quarters were an important part of the history of Fort Larned and other frontier military posts.
by William Chapman, Facility Manager
Since the last posting the maintenance staff at Fort Larned has continued the work on the Sutler's Residence with the construction of the windows. Troy Rodgers has completed training for cross connections inspections and repairs as part of the requirements in maintaining the potable water systems in the park. Maintenance staff supported special events, design meetings, and replaced the wood bridge on the service road.
Robert Sellers was promoted to full performance grade-level Preservation Specialist in October. We gave our farewells to Dan Coaty and Fred Barker as their work season ended; don't frown, they will return next April to assist us all again. I was out of park mentoring in a Preservation Skills Training program and Troy served as the facility manager for a few weeks.
Preservation Skills Training (PAST) students visited the park in September. Sam Quakenbush from Nicodemus National Historic Site was on hand for one week to assist with a masonry-pointing project on the Quartermaster Storehouse, providing for one of his skills-development projects.
Earlier in the year Chris Reed of George Washington Carver New Mexico was here and assisted with windows on the Quartermaster Storehouse. Recently, Robert and I assisted Fort Scott with windows, doors, and preservation skills training, as well as Gulf Island NS with the entire 2011 PAST class work on Fort Pickens.
Commanding Officers, 1864
A Year Of Conflict On The Plains
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
[This is eighth in a series on the commanding officers of Fort Larned.]
The situation around Fort Larned was not particularly good at the beginning of 1864. According to Homer H. Kidder, civilian quartermaster clerk, that winter was "intensely cold" while tensions continued to run high between the Plains tribes and the wagon trains and other travelers flowing to and fro on the Santa Fe Trail in ever larger numbers. The fragile peace worked out by Colonel Jesse Leavenworth in 1863 was threatened by the acts of both Indians, who continued to raid wagon trains and steal goods, and whites, who chased buffalo and harassed Indians when they could.
Leadership at Fort Larned continued to change constantly throughout this difficult period, though not as quickly or as often as the year before. The fort would have seven commanders (six different men as one officer served twice) along with a garrison made up mostly of volunteer state militia from Kansas, Wisconsin, and Colorado. Most Regular Army soldiers were engaged in other actions of the Civil War, far from Fort Larned.
The year started with Captain H. N. J. Reed, Ninth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, in command, having assumed the position in November 1863. Lieutenant Watson D. Crocker, Ninth Wisconsin Battery, replaced him in March. At the time there were only 92 enlisted men to carry out all the duties at the post, both the chores associated with garrison duty, as well as patrols in both directions along the Santa Fe Trail.
Captain James W. Parmetar, Twelfth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, who had commanded Fort Larned during part of 1863, assumed command of the post in April, just as hostilities between Indians and whites along the Santa Fe Trail escalated. Parmetar, 1832-c.1906, was one of the most incompetent and controversial officers to command Fort Larned. A native of Ohio, he was a carpenter and architect who moved to Olathe Kansas in 1858. He served as lieutenant in the Second Kansas Infantry in 1861 and was commissioned captain in the Twelfth Kansas Infantry in August 1862. He was soon captured at Olathe by William C. Quantrill, then paroled and returned to duty.
He arrived at Fort Larned with his Company H, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, in May 1863, and he commanded the post for a few weeks at two different times during that year. Parmetar was an alcoholic (a common problem in the frontier army). Elliott Coues described his visit to Fort Larned in May 1864: "We brought up at Fort Larned-mean place, built of adobe and logs, with a drunken officer in command, everybody half drunk already, and all were whole drunk by bed-time." Major T. I. McKenny of Major General Samuel Curtis's staff, declared that everyone he heard speak of Parmetar characterized him as "a confirmed drunkard." According to Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, Plains Indian Raiders (1974), p. 6, citing Official Records of the Civil War regarding Parmentar, wrote: "When he was not drunk in quarters, he had the garrison at Fort Larned out on what he called 'scouts' but which were actually buffalo hunts." This did not help Indian-white relations.
Trouble with Indians in the surrounding area increased after Second Lieutenant George Eayre, 2nd Colorado Volunteer Battery, sent to pursue Indians who had reportedly stolen cattle from government contractors, attacked peaceful Cheyennes near the Smoky Hill River (northeast of present Liebenthal, Kansas) in May 1864. After killing Cheyenne Peace Chief Starving Bear and another Cheyenne there, Eayre's command was forced to seek refuge at Fort Larned. Indian resistance increased, resulting in a cycle of attacks and counter attacks in the area.
William Bent tried to restore more peaceful relations and brought several chiefs of the Plains tribes to Fort Larned at the end of May to talk with Captain Parmetar. Bent reported that Parmetar and his troops "treated the Indians badly," and they left without satisfaction.
By July 1864 the fort's garrison had been reinforced by the arrival of the Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, adding 325 enlisted men to the garrison. During July Kiowa Chief Satanta approached Fort Larned for a friendly visit but was turned back by the guards. Satanta decided to retaliate, and the Kiowas responded by stealing 240 horses and mules at the post.
General Curtis directed Colonel John M. Chivington to remove "that drunken captain" from command. Chivington came to Fort Larned, bringing a company of soldiers for reinforcements. He relieved Captain Parmetar of command, who would later be dismissed from Army service for "habitual drunkenness," and replaced him with Captain William H. Beckus, First Colorado Cavalry. Parmetar returned to his home in Olathe after being dismissed from service in December 1864. There he joined L. W. Divelbias in a firm of architects and builders.
General Curtis, commanding the Department of Kansas, arrived at Fort Larned on July 28, bringing four companies of the First Colorado Cavalry with him. General Curtis's stay was brief. He left on the 31st, after creating the Military District of the Upper Arkansas and placing Major General James G. Blunt in command.
Another consequence of the Kiowa raid was the construction of the first of Fort Larned's stone structures, a blockhouse. That incident along with similar ones at other forts in the area resulted in General Field Order No. Two from the Department of Kansas headquarters, making better fortifications mandatory to protect government livestock and other property. The order also specifically reprimanded Fort Larned's commander for not providing a stone blockhouse or animal enclosure. By February 1865 Colonel James H. Ford reported that a stone fortification was under construction at the fort.
As the long, hot summer of 1864 wore on, blood continued to spill along the Santa Fe Trail as Indians resisted trail traffic through their lands and hunting grounds, and traders were equally determined to continue their traffic along the trail. By August, Major Scott J. Anthony, First Colorado Cavalry, took command of Fort Larned from Captain Beckus. Garrison forces at that time were recorded as 359 officers and men from the First Colorado and Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry regiments, along with the Twelfth Kansas Infantry and Ninth Wisconsin Battery.
In August Colorado Territorial Governor John Evans obtained permission from the War Department to recruit a regiment of 100-day volunteer troops in an effort to provide settlers with protection from Indians. With that permission, Governor Evans issued a proclamation essentially calling for an all-out war against Indians in Colorado, authorizing any citizen of the territory "to go in pursuit of all hostile Indians on the plains." Although the proclamation also called for these citizens to avoid friendly Indians who would be gathering in prearranged locations, the result was to give free reign to anyone in the area who wanted to attack Indians. It would also lead in November to the Sand Creek Massacre.
In October Major Anthony received word that he would replace Major Edward W. Wynkoop as commander of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory. He left Fort Larned on October 28, turning over command of the post to Captain A. E. Jacobs, First Colorado Cavalry. Captain Jacobs would be replaced the following month by First Lieutenant W. D. Crocker of the Ninth Wisconsin Battery, who had commanded the post earlier in the year and would finish out 1864 as the fort's seventh commander. Major Anthony led troops with Colonel Chivington's attack on the Cheyenne and Arapaho gathered on Sand Creek, the infamous Sand Creek Massacre, which affected Indian-white relations throughout the Great Plains and led to rounds of warfare and peace conferences during the next several years.
So ended another difficult year for Fort Larned, where the garrison spent much time in the field protecting wagon trains and other travelers. Frequent command changes along with continued trouble between the Indians and Euro-Americans were part of the challenges faced by the small post in the heart of Kansas. Lack of unified military and political direction from the federal government meant that policy, and actions were determined by the desires, and fears, of local citizens and politicians. Indians, frustrated by continued invasions into their lands, attacked whites, who were equally frustrated by Indian refusals to give way to their incursions, creating tensions that were leading to an all-out war with the Plains Indians. In the middle of it all sat Fort Larned, its officers and men weathering the storm as best they could while continuing to carry out their duties along the Santa Fe Trail.
It should be noted that Lieutenant (later Captain) Crocker, last post commander in 1864, became a leading manufacturer of chairs in Sheboygan WI after the Civil War. Crocker, born 1841 (mistakenly given as 1847 some places), joined the First Wisconsin Infantry when the war began in 1861. Later that year he was appointed First Lieutenant of the Ninth Light Battery, Wisconsin Volunteers. After service in Virginia he was sent west to Kansas and served at Fort Larned. He completed his military service in September 1865. Back home in Wisconsin, he joined others in the manufacture of chairs, eventually creating the Crocker Chair Company which produced more than 2,000 chairs per day. Crocker retired in California, where he died in 1924.
Fort Larned Credits Volunteers
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger
Superintendent Kevin McMurry welcomed park volunteers at the recent Volunteer Appreciation dinner by stating, "We couldn't accomplish all that we have set out to do without you, our dedicated volunteers!" The catered dinner on October 8, held in the Quartermaster Storehouse, served about 120 volunteers.
Superintendent McMurry announced the recipients of the Fort Larned Volunteer of the Year: Connie and Sharon Lienbach, Nashville, Tennessee. The Lienbachs volunteered at the fort for six weeks last spring. A few of their accomplishments include updating the first aid kits, sanding and applying primer on the white railing in front of Officers' Row, conducting tours, and greeting visitors at the front desk. The Lienbachs were not able to attend the dinner because of illness and distance. McMurry shared that the staff and visitors of Fort Larned benefited greatly from their services and hopefully we will see them back at the fort in the future.
The winner of the Midwest Region 2010 George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Individual Volunteer Service was announced. Fort Larned's own Dr. David Clapsaddle has received the Individual Volunteer Award. He developed the Traveling Trunk Education Program that reached five states and entailed over 600 volunteer hours of presenting the trunks to 4,000 elementary school students and teachers.
Superintendent McMurry thanked the volunteers, especially recognizing those who travel from distances as far away as Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado to help with a single event. Following the appreciation dinner, volunteers and staff alike prepared and presented the candlelight tours. Everyone had a fabulous event experience. Our superintendent was right when he said, "We couldn't do this without you!" We have the best volunteers all around!
Candlelight Tour 2011
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger
This year's candlelight tour proved to be unique and memorable! The theme, "Connecting to the Human Experience," featured famous people at Fort Larned and people became famous. Every tour was filled to capacity and the newly-renovated North Officers Quarters was on the tour for the first time. Visitors enjoyed the first-person presentations as they learned more about life at Fort Larned in the 1860s-1870s. Our National Park Service staff is grateful for the large turnout of volunteers who took part in adding to the authenticity of the scenes. Here's a brief summary of each scene:
H. M. Stanley was portrayed by volunteer Barry Jones in the barracks. Stanley, a well-known author and explorer of Africa, visited Fort Larned in 1867 as a reporter covering the Indian wars. The Welsh orphan took the name of a benevolent guardian he met after arriving in New Orleans. Stanley is best known for rescuing another explorer, David Livingston, and his statement, "Dr. Livingston, I presume?"
Surgeon William Forwood was portrayed by Zack Corpus in the hospital. Surgeon Forwood was stationed at Fort Larned, 1866-1869. As a surgeon he took part in numerous Civil War engagements, including Gettysburg and Antietam. He held every rank in the Medical Department and served 41 years in military medicine. Before retiring in 1902 he was Surgeon General of the United States Army.
Colonel Almon Rockwell was portrayed by volunteer Dennis Smith at the Shops Building. Colonel Rockwell, Quartermaster Department, was assigned tasks of building military forts. Visitors on the tour found him inspecting the shops and ovens at the bakery. He was present at Ford Theater when President Lincoln was shot and was among those pictured in the famous portrait of Lincoln's bedside. Rockwell also was nearby when President Garfield was shot and ran to his side. He is probably the only person to witness both assassinations.
J. E. B. Stuart was portrayed by Troy Rodgers at the dugout. Stuart, a native Virginian, arrived at Fort Larned in 1860. He admired the beautiful Pawnee Valley and considered living here one day. His future was cut short by a fatal wound received when fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Jeb told his son about this wonderful area, and several years after his death his son and daughter-in-law moved to Larned. Jeb Stuart 3rd was born in Larned.
General Winfield Scott Hancock was portrayed by Karl Grover in the Blockhouse. General Hancock had a long career with the Army as an officer with distinction. He was assigned to supervise the execution of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. Known by friends and colleagues as "Hancock the Superb," he participated in the reconstruction of the South until in 1866 when he was placed in command of the Department of the Missouri. In 1867 he organized the large campaign to take control of the Indian wars on the Plains, came to Fort Larned, and captured and burned the Cheyenne and Sioux village on Pawnee Fork, creating "Hancock's War." He was nominated by the Democratic Party for president in 1880 but lost the election to James Garfield by fewer than 2,000 votes.
George Custer was portrayed by Tom Seltmann at the school. Custer is most remembered for the disastrous military engagement at Little Bighorn in 1876. After the Civil War, where he earned the reputation as an effective cavalry commander, Custer was appointed lieutenant colonel of the newly created 7th Cavalry. At Fort Larned he and his men were involved in General Hancock's campaign.
Ned Wynkoop was portrayed by Rex Abrahams in the New Commissary. Wynkoop, one of the founders of Denver, served as an officer in the 1st Colorado Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War. During a period as post commander at Fort Lyon, Colorado, he encouraged peace efforts with the Cheyennes. He was replaced before the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864. Because he was a friend to the Indians and tried to help them this incident upset him greatly.He was instrumental in the investigation of Colonel John Chivington's conduct at Sand Creek which led to his condemnation. Wynkoop was an Indian Agent at Fort Larned from 1866-1868.
William (Buffalo Bill) Cody and James (Wild Bill) Hickok were portrayed by volunteers Kirk Shapland and Mark Berry, respectively, in the Issuing Room. For many years both men had crossed paths regularly as scouts and a friendship developed. Shapland and Berry did a fine scene showing the camaraderie and admiration the men had for each other. Both men were seen periodically at the fort looking for jobs as scouts and interpreters.
Alice Dryer was portrayed by volunteer Marla Matkin in the south Junior Officers' Quarters, the only woman's viewpoint of the tour. Alice, wife of a commanding officer, arrived at the fort in 1865. The scene shows her instructing a young woman on honing her sewing skills as several other women look on. Her account included the early accommodations, weather, and difficulty in putting together a respectable meal when entertaining guests. Alice overcame her fear of the Indians and their presence as they peered into the windows of the commander's house.
Theodore Lyster was shown as a little boy playing with blocks in the Commanding Officer's House---where he was born in 1875, was portrayed by Ethan Shapland (son of Kirk and Tala Shapland), his accomplishments were described by Cathy Weber. Lyster graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Michigan in 1899 and was commissioned a surgeon. By WW-I he became the First Chief Surgeon of the Aviation Section. He developed use of calcium hypochlorite in a linen bag to treat water, the method still used in the Armed Forces today. Today, at Fort Rucker, the hospital is named the "Lyster Clinic" and he is referred to as the "Father of Aviation Medicine."
Christopher "Kit" Carson was portrayed by David Clapsaddle in the north Junior Officers' Quarters. Carson became well known as a trapper, trail guide, and military officer. He spent much of his military career in New Mexico and Colorado territories. Carson came to Fort Larned on the stagecoach in 1865 and stayed a very short time. Carson became a legend in his own time.
December 10, 2011: Christmas Open House, 1-7 p.m.
Schedule of Events
True to life stories of the Indian Wars along the Santa Fe Trail, brought to life by some of the greatest volunteers in the West. . . . Visit the most complete fort surviving from the days when Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody rode through this part of the West on their missions. Original restored buildings to that time peroid, a visitor center, Park Rangers will guide you through this adventure of the Old West.
Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) largest living history event in western Kansas - experience a working frontier fort.
Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) Reneactors bring the fort back to life for the holiday weekend.
Candlelight Tour (2nd Saturday of October) Entertaining evening tours with vignettes from the fort's history.
Christmas Open House (2nd Saturday of December) Old-fashioned Yuletide celebration with hot apple cider, cookies and Christmas carols.
Annual memberships expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2012, please send dues to our treasurer: Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin Kansas 67860. See insert in this issue. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with our projects.
The officers, members of the board of directors, dues information and email's are listed on this page of information. Please feel free to contact any of us.
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.