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


Fort Larned Aerial View, Summer 2014.

     The Old Guard helped fund a new series of aerial photos of the historic site. The entire series may be viewed on line at:
{ww.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?id=58E368A1-9B12-6C3E-D3AA735C6C20FC4C}

Home Town Team Project: Hunting
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Last spring the Kansas Humanities Council selected the Fort Larned Old Guard as a grant recipient for a project in support of a traveling Smithonian exhibit entitled "Hometown Team: How Sports Shape America." The exhibit will be making its way through the state in 2015 and will arrive in Greensburg in May.


Modern hunter Alyssa McAuley, age 7, Great Bend, KS.
     Our funding, about $1,500, will provide for the project of making our own exhibit, "The Evolution of Hunting: From Survival to Marketing to Sport at Fort Larned." The exhibit will also include the legacy of hunting in this area since it has remained such a popular sport.

     The Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster, Saturday, April 25, 2015, is inviting the public to an Open House at Fort Larned National Historic Site and will showcase the hunting exhibit, special speakers, and a full day of hunting topics pertaining to this area of Kansas. If you have an unusual or funny hunting story you would like to share, please submit to Ellen Jones, Fort Larned NHS, 1767 KS Highway 156, Larned KS 67550. You can call the fort at 620-285-6911 or email . All stories will be preserved in a binder with a few of the best featured in the exhibit. Be sure to include a picture or two!

     Here is a tentative schedule, so mark your calendars for Saturday, April 25, 2015.
All Events Open to the Public at no charge except the dinner for which payment and advance reservation is required.

     10:00 a.m. Open House Reception - Refreshments - Exhibit viewing
     11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m. Showings of the Film, Tatonka, Visitor Center Auditorium (film about buffalo hunting and Plains Indians)
     1:30 p.m. Dr. Juti A. Winchester, Assistant Professor of History, Fort Hays State University, "New Yorkers on the Warpath: Easterners Go West to Hunt"
     2:30 p.m. Dr. Dan Witt, Marsh Musings Columnist, Great Bend Tribune, "Guns & Roses"
     4:00 p.m. Pat Cale, Avid Collector of Waterfowl, Fish, & Hunting Stories, "A Collection of Hunter History"
     5:30 p.m. Flag Retreat
     6:00 p.m. Dinner (reserve in advance)
     7:00 p.m. Music by Prairie Larkspur (Janet Armstead and Chris Day)
     7:30 p.m. The Life of Billy Dixon portrayed by Historic Reenactor & Curator Marc Ferguson, Dalton Gang Hideout

Free Photos With Santa At Christmas Open House, December 13
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     If you hear the staff and volunteers of Fort Larned humming a Christmas tune, it might well be "Santa Clause is Comin' to Town," but he's really coming to the fort! On Saturday, December 13, the Christmas Open House event will feature an afternoon with Santa. We encourage families to get their children's pictures with Santa for no charge, thanks to funding by the Old Guard. Area merchants are charging ten dollars or more for a photo session with Santa. Well, we can beat that--it's FREE!

     Our photographer and park volunteer Tracy Williams will, once again, offer her expertise. Tracy most recently captured images of the Fort Riley 1st Infantry Division Band Concert. She also was the instructor for a very successful photography workshop for youth last June.

Fundraising For Confrontation Ridge Signs
by Chris Day, Grant Researcher

     Fort Larned Old Guard has signed on with the GoFundMe fundraising website to raise money online for signage at "Confrontation Ridge," west of Burdett, between Fort Larned and the Cheyenne and Sioux village site now owned by the Old Guard.

     In 1867 troops under the command of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, including Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and the 7th Cavalry, arrived at Pawnee Fork on April 7 and encamped near Fort Larned. Hancock wanted to meet with leaders of the Cheyenne and Sioux encampment some 32 miles west of Fort Larned. A spring blizzard intervened and the Indians did not arrive. On April 13 Hancock led his troops west along the south bank of the Pawnee River toward the Indian village, and a pontoon bridge across the Pawnee was constructed near the present town of Burdett. On April 14 the troops continued west and, when they arrived on top of this ridge, were confronted by several hundred Sioux and Cheyenne warriors lined up for battle along the Pawnee to the west.

     The troops prepared for battle, but a representation of warriors counseled with Hancock and Indian Agent Edward Wynkoop, and the Indians agreed to return to their villages, requesting that Hancock's troops come no closer to their camp and families. However, Hancock's troops followed the Indians, and the Cheyenne and Sioux abandoned the village, fearing an attack. Hancock took possession of the village and sent Custer in pursuit of the Indians the following day. Hancock considered the Indians hostile since they had fled and issued orders to destroy the village, which was done on April 19. This created a war, known as Hancock's War, where none had existed, and more than a hundred people were killed on each side in western Kansas before the Medicine Lodge Treaties were signed in October 1867.

     "Confrontation Ridge," current name to identify what happened there, is privately owned. The family has given Fort Larned Old Guard permission to erect signs on their property about the historic event on the ridge and about Hancock's Expedition. The Old Guard plans to nominate this site for addition to the National Register of Historic Places.

     If you are interested in making a donation, type-in the following website address: {fundly.com/signage-for-confrontation-ridge}. There, click on "Chris Day-Fundly" and follow the guidelines to make a donation. The online fundraising campaign is for 60 days and it was launched on November 10. Thank you for considering support of this project.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Rex Abrahams
What A Year!

     2014 proved to be quite a year for Fort Larned and the Old Guard. While there were a number of wonderful events, several stood out. The fort celebraated 50 years in the National Park Service, the Old Guard completed our yearlong Glenn and Carol Pearsall $5000 Challenge Grant, and the Old Guard accepted the donation of the Sibley Camp Site.

     Fort Larned was designated a National Historic Site in 1964, the first National Park in Kansas. This past August we celebrated those 50 years. There were programs about the history of Fort Larned as a frontier military post and as a National Park. Volunteers presented living-history activities. The Big Red One 1st Infantry Division Band from Fort Riley had us all on our feet with their concert in the Quartermaster Storehouse, and color guards from Fort Riley and McConnell Air Force Base participated in a double-cannon flag ceremony at noon. The Old Guard provided a free hot dog lunch for nearly 300 guests. The pen President Lyndon Johnson used to sign Fort Larned into the NPS was on display in the Visitors Center. It was quite the event!

     In April, the Old Guard accepted the donation of the Sibley Camp Site from David and Alice Clapsaddle and Mildon and Ida Yeager. This historical location was the site of George C. Sibley's encampment in August 1825 while surveying the Santa Fe Trail. The dedication was well attended with many members of the Wet/Dry Route Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail present. Now, under the watchful eye of the Old Guard, this property will continue to be protected.

     Our annual Mess & Muster program was highlighted by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall $5000 Challenge Grant. A year's worth of efforts came to fruition in a big way. Combined with other grants the Old Guard was able to secure (because of their donation), the Pearsalls' original $5000 contribution, Glenn's USB company donating $2500, and finally YOUR contributions/donations to the Old Guard, we generated $32,500! Yes, $32,500! I am still in awe. Mess & Muster programs looked at Fort Larned and the Civil War, concluding with an outstanding presentation on "Music of the Civil War" by J. C. Combs.

     Where do we go from here? The Board is already working on an exciting Mess & Muster for April. In conjunction with the Home Town Team Grant and Park Ranger Ellen Jones's hard work we are basing our theme around hunting, "The Evolution of Hunting: from Survival to Market to Sport." Several excellent programs are lined up. More details to follow. The Old Guard is also in the process of purchasing a number of significant Santa Fe Trail freighting items for permanent dsplay at the fort's museum. I will talk more about this acquisition in the next issue of OUTPOST.

     Please note elsewhere in this issue that Chris Day, our grant researcher, has organized a fundraising campaign online to provide signs at "Confrontation Ridge" west of Burdett, between Fort Larned and the Cheyenne and Sioux Village Site, where General Winfield Scott Hancock and Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer were confronted by some 300 Cheyenne and Sioux warriors in April 1867. A battle was avoided there, but Hancock captured and burned the Cheyenne and Sioux village, starting "Hancock's War" which killed more than a hundred people on each side of the conflict during 1867.

     I thank each and every one of you for your support of Fort Larned and the Fort Larned Old Guard. Together we are making significant progress in keeping Fort Larned the "Best preserved Indian Wars era fort in the United States."

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     (Betty Boyko is currently serving as acting supreintendent at Fort Larned National Historic Site. She is superintendent at Fort Scott National Historic Site at Fort Scott, Kansas.)

     The 2014 Labor Day weekend at Fort Larned National Historic Site was a monumental occasion for its staff, volunteers, and visitors--the 50th anniversary celebration of the establishment of Fort Larned as a National Historic Site. We owe a big "Thank you" to the Old Guard for securing the military color guards from Fort Riley and McConnell Air Force Base. They assisted the Fort Larned Company C 3rd U.S. Infantry color guard with the flag raising ceremony and the 1st Infantry Division Band from Fort Riley performed an outstanding afternoon concert and provided the music for the flag lowering ceremony. Additionally, the luncheon provided by the Old Guard and the guest speakers added to our memories of a grand occasion. It was also exciting to meet the many friends of Fort Larned whose presence significantly enhanced the celebration experience.

     As I begin the process of reflecting on the past year and looking toward the next, I am surprised at how quickly the time has gone and how immersed I have become in the events and activities of the park, community, and the many friends and partners. Together we have developed and provided many opportunities for visitors of all ages and backgrounds to make connections to Fort Larned in a variety of ways.

     One of the park's goals (to provide for visitor enjoyment, understanding, and education) was accomplished by developing and presenting annual special events; conducting living-history activities on weekends during the summer; presenting off-site programs to schools, clubs, and organizations; engaging our youth through long-distance learning technology; developing a Butterfly garden; and hosting a teacher-ranger-teacher to assist in developing interpretive programming that meets educational curriculum standards.

     I am very proud and pleased by the achievements of this past year but look forward with excitement to the possibilities of the upcoming year. As we begin establishing our goals for 2015, I see opportunities to engage diverse populations and youth to find relevancy in our story. We have begun and will increase our use of digital media and technology. We will continue our efforts in obtaining new exhibits and a visitor contact station.

     On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service will celebrate its 100th birthday. Planning has already begun at the national and regional levels but I look forward to working with each of you as we begin planning special events for Fort Larned. We all have a role in making this celebration a success.

     Thank you for a great year and all your support!


Betsy Crowford-Gore
Fort Larned Roll Call:
Betsy Crawford-Gore

     The staff of Fort Larned is not very big so we have run out of new people to introduce to you for the time being. We decided to have employees tell OUTPOST readers about a special project they are working on or about their relationship with Fort Larned. I was volunteered to go first.

     The projects I am working on right now are not very exciting to most people. I have been setting up the budget for the new fiscal year, checking in the purchases we made at the end of last fiscal year, and lots of other administrative duties. While not earth shattering, they are tasks that help keep the Fort running behind the scenes and, hopefully, make my colleagues' work easier. With that in mind, I thought I'd skip the boring stuff and talk a little bit about what Fort Larned means to me.

     Because I get to start each day walking across the bridge, I think I have one of the best places to work. I choose to make my way to the office on the boardwalk in front of Officers' Row so I can see the stone buildings lit up by the early sun. Recently, I have been greeted by a flock of turkeys and, occasionally, deer. Other animals of all kinds are constant companions. I can't help but compare my walk with those who trudge through the concrete canyons of urban workplaces. (I admit, I'm less sanguine when the native inhabitants join me in my office. Mouse traps keep the small rodents in check but I was quite upset to have a Diamondback Water Snake appear in the doorway of my office last year.)

     But, lots of parks have the natural aspect. What makes Fort Larned special? Working here means I get to spend my days literally within the walls that housed the soldiers of the past. I have walked on the thresholds worn by many feet. Many who have passed through this site have, once again literally, left their mark on the buildings. I have had the privilege to know people who grew up here in the ranching period. Every day I spend time with coworkers for whom this is not just a job but have a passion for this place. Our supporters, volunteers, and visitors constantly remind me that Fort Larned means a great deal to a great number of people. The hustle and bustle of events is fun, but the quiet times when I can feel quite alone at the Fort really make the past seem not so distant. It's not hard to feel surrounded by those who came here before us and played their roles in American history.

     The theme for the National Park Service's Centennial in 2016 is "Find Your Park." Since you are reading this newsletter, I know you have found a park that's dear to your hearts. However, every unit of the National Park Service has something special to offer and I hope you will celebrate the Centennial by seeing what else is out there. When you are done exploring, come back here. Fort staff are planning events for the celebration, so watch for more information in the OUTPOST and online and come join us at YOUR national park.

Volunteer Roll Call:
Mark Berry

     Longtime Fort Larned volunteer Mark Berry could easily fit right in with the cast of Western movie. He has the looks, life experience, and the knowledge of a real frontier scout, buffalo hunter, or lawman. He is a cattleman, farmer, and history interpreter. He owns land on the Kansas-Nebraska stateline from which he manages cattle and grows wheat. Luckily the responsibilities of a ranch hardly keep him from doing what he loves - sharing history at three national parks!

     Mark grew up in the Logan County countryside, graduating from Winona High School in Winona Kansas. He attended Fort Hays State University and graduated with a double major in History and English. He had Leo Oliva as an instructor and George Elmore as a classmate! Hanging around these two fellows established a lifelong interest in history which has brought him much satisfaction. He remembers when George first came to work at Fort Larned, and that was more than a few years ago. He would visit and both young men would wander all over this ranch-turned-national park! To hear Mark tell it, "we played at the fort."

     Fort Larned is a special place ot Mark, though he has also been a history interpreter at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site portraying a teamster and Fort Laramie National Historic Site interpreting the fur trade. Here at Fort Larned, Mark has portrayed Wild Bill Hickok and California Joe Milner. The latter was a scout for George Custer on the Washita Campaign, 1868-1869. Mark enjoys portraying California Joe because he was an obstinate character wanting to do his own thing. Perhaps there were days when Custer felt he met his match!

     Mark has helped with a buffalo-hunters' living-history camp at Fort Larned and the Cheyenne and Sioux Village site owned by the Old Guard. He is a longtime paraticipant in the Fort's annual candlelight tour.

     Mark has been married to Mildred since 1973. They raised a daughter, Mariah, who is a veterinarian in Goodland, Kansas. Mark's love of the fort and history in general has spread to other enjoyable hobbies, including a gun collection and acquiring antique furniture. When asked about his time spent at Fort Larned he replies, "It's like a second home."

Post Commanders: James Philip Roy
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

(This is twentieth in a series on the commanding officers of Fort Larned.)
     Major James P. Roy of the 6th U.S. Infantry assumed command of Fort Larned in October 1871. He relieved Captain George E. Head, who resumed his duties as company commander of the 3rd U. S. Infantry troops stationed at Fort Larned. At this time in the fort's history, dealing with routine garrison matters was the major activity.

     Some of the routine jobs soldiers were assigned to do during this period, in addition to guard duty and fatigue duty, included escorting and protecting railroad construction crews, searching for army deserters, or picking up supplies at Fort Hays. One such detail of several soldiers commanded by Sergeant John Morgan escorted Captain John Ellinwood and A. A. Robinson, civil engineers for the railroad. They brought enough supplies to last for two months and camped without incident along a section of Big Coon Creek that only a few years before had been a favorite Indian ambush spot.

     A group of Kaw Indians stopped at the post to ask for rations to make sure they didn't starve on their way back to the reservation near Council Grove after an unsuccessful buffalo hunt. The Indian threat which had necessitated the fort's founding 12 years earlier was so diminished that these Indians had gone out looking for buffalo only after getting a written permit from their agent.

     Major Roy was a native of England who came to Virginia. He graduated from West Point Military academy in 1849 with the rank of brevet 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th U.S. Infantry. His first assignments after leaving the academy were on the frontier at various Texas forts. After his promotion to 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd U. S. Infantry in August 1850, he was transferred to postings in California where he scouted for Indians, and then to Oregon for Coast Survey duties, 1853-1859. During that time he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in March 1855. He also took time out to marry Kate Louisa Bridges on October 10, 1854, at St. James Church in Richmond, Virginia. He and Louisa would eventually have three daughters and one son. After leaving Oregon, Major Roy was transferred to Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory, where he remained until the Civil War broke out in April 1861.

     Major Roy spent most of his time during the Civil War stationed on the frontier. From April 29, 1861, to March 21, 1863, he served as Acting Assistant Quartermaster and Commissary Officer at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, receiving a promotion to Captain on May 14, 1861. He also served as the Purchasing Commissary of Subsistence at Fort Leavenworth Depot from March 21, 1863, to September 30, 1864. He assisted in organizing and fitting out an expedition against hostile Indians at Fort Leavenworth from January to March 1865 and with recruiting service at Cincinnati, Ohio, from March to June 1865. During his time in Cincinnati he received a promotion to Major on February 16,. He served in different posts in various Southern military departments from August 1865 to March 1867. After a leave of absence lasting until May 1868, he returned to frontier duty, spending time at Fort Scott, Kansas, Little Rock, Arkansas, Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, eventually ending up as Fort Larned's commander in October 1871.

     Although, most Indian activitiy around the post had declined, all danger from Indian attack was not gone. In December Private Franklin Whitson and another soldier, along with a civilian tracker, were sent out to look for mules that had strayed from the fort. Sometime in January they were attacked by a group of Indians about 85 miles south of the fort and Private Whitson was killed. The two survivors made it back to Fort Larned to report the incident, which prompted Major Roy to send Lieutenant Fred Shebach with a 15-man party to the Medicine Lodge area to recover Whitson's body and investigate the incident. Although Lieutenant Shebach's orders were to avoid a confrontation with the Indians, he had permission to defend himself if attacked.

     While the relative lack of Indian activity placed Fort Larned's mission at a crossroads during this time, it had opened up the opportunity for settlement in the area around the post. In January 1872 Captain Henry Booth, post sutler and postmaster, as well as a former Army officer stationed at Fort Larned, began promoting the Larned Town Company. Former Kansas Governor Samuel J. Crawford was the company's president. The site they chose for the new town was about six miles east of the post, and, more importantly, would soon have the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway running through it.

     By April Company D, 6th U.S. Infantry was transferred to Fort Hays, while a company from the 3rd U.S. Infantry came to Fort Larned. They were a welcome addition since, before their arrival, the post garrison had only 54 men. Major Roy went with the men of the 6th Infantry and command of Fort Larned passed to Captain Henry B. Bristol, who brought three companies of the 5th U.S. Infanrty with him from Fort Harker.

     After leaving Fort Larned, Major Roy ended up in command of the Recruiting Depot at Fort Columbus, New York, from February 1873 to October 1874. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the 15th U.S. Infantry on June 8, 1874. He died on October 24, 1874, when he was 46 years old. His cause of death was listed as "gout of the stomach."

     Major Roy had a long and distinguished Army career, although as a Southerner, he had to defend himself in 1871 against charges of disloyalty during the Civil War. In a letter dated January 10, 1871, he explained that, although he was indeed from Virginia, he chose to retake the loyalty oath when requested at the start of the war against the wishes of his wife and other family members. He claims to have repeatedly expressed his loyalty to the United States throughout the war and speculated that the charge may have been prompted by the fact that he and Captain Easton had offended "certain prominent parties" in their position as Fort Leavenworth Depot Quartermaster officer because they "could not be approached."

     While at Fort Larned, Major Roy was the only post commander known to have carved his name into the stone of the post commander's quarters. The carving was discovered during the exterior restoration of the building. Since it was too damaged to use on the building, it is now in the fort's museum collection.

     It's not necessarily a surprise that Major Roy would take the risk of carving his name on government property. Although none of the soldiers and officers stationed here in 1872 could have known that the fort had only six more years to go as an active military post, it was obvious from the reduced activity in and around the post that its days as an active military post were coming to a close.


Chief Trumpeter Chevron authorized in 1872 and worn 1873-1899.
Cavalry Trumpeter
by Sam Young, Park Volunteer

     The trumpeter had one specific duty: sound the calls that relayed the commander's orders. In a garrison environment such as Fort Larned, the calls included Reveille, Stables and Water, Drill, Guard Mount, Boots and Saddles, and Taps. In the field, and especially combat, the calls included As Skirmishers, Charge, Recall, To Horse, and Officer's Call. Following is an example of bugle calls combined to convey the commander's orders:
     1. Attention
     2. Fours Right
     3. Column Right
     4. March

     "Attention" alerts the cavalry men a command is to be given. To be called to Attention, the cavalry unit had to be at a halt.

     "Fours Right" is a preparatory command and tells the cavalrymen there will be four files abreast in the formation (a file is a line from front to rear). During the first formation each morning the cavalrymen count off by fours. The first set of fours is the first rank (a rank is a row, from right to left). Number one is always on the right of the rank and number four is always on the left of the rank in the formation. Thus the right most file is the ones and the left most file is the fours, with the twos and threes in the middle of each rank. The formation will have only four files and multiple ranks. This is how cavalry units marched; not in two files as seen in the movies.

     Painting by Ralph Heinz-Trumpeter Charles Fischer, 7th Cavalry, part of Major Reno's Squadron at the Little Bighorn, is shown aiding Lieutenant Hodgson, who was shot from his horse while crossing the Little Big Horn River. Fischer survived the battle. Hodgson, as Fischer's horse reached the river bank, was again shot and killed. Fischer is riding a gray horse. Trumpeters rode gray horses. In the dust, smoke, and chaos of battle, the gray horse made it easier for the trumpeter to be identified by the commander.

     "Column Right" identifies the direction the formation will travel with the first rank turning to the right, followed by the other ranks.

     "March" starts the formation moving.

     According to August V. Kautz in his book The 1865 Customs of Service for Non-commissioned Officers and Soldiers, each cavalry regiment had a Chief Trumpeter who was a member of the regimental headquarters. It was his duty to keep the roster of trumpeters within the regiment (there were two trumpeters assigned to each company of the regiment), train the company trumpeters in the performance of their duties, and assign them to guard duty or to act as orderly trumpeters for the officers of the regimental headquarters. He was held responsible for their neatness and appearance on duty and their presence at roll-calls when the companies were co-located with the regiment. His pay was twenty-three dollars per month.

     Company trumpeters were privates. They were recruited for their musical abilities and may have been younger than eighteen. When their companies were not co-located with their regiment, their first sergeant assigned their duties. There was always a trumpeter on guard duty to sound the calls. When the companies of the regiment were together, the musicians of each company united under the Chief Trumpeter for the purpose of instruction and learning the bugle calls (over 100 of them): how to recognize them, play them, and their meaning.

What did each call mean? Here are some of the daily calls:
     First Call: Played to assemble trumpeters for reveille; the first call of the day. It was sounded between 4:45 AM and 6:00 AM depending on the season of the year. First Call was also played to assemble trumpeters for the playing of Guard Mount, Drill, Retreat, and Tattoo.

     Reveille: Immediately following this call the flag was raised, the cannon fired a single blank round, and the soldiers began to assemble for morning roll call.

     Assembly: This call was for all soldiers to be in formation. This call was also played for soldiers to be in formation for Guard Mount, Drill, Retreat, and Tattoo.

     Stable Call: Livestock were groomed and fed, and stables were cleaned with fresh hay distributed.

     Mess Call: Breakfast and Dinner (the main meal of the day).

     Sick Call: Ill soldiers reported to the hospital for treatment.

     Fatigue Call: Soldiers assigned to work details reported for duty.

     Guard Mount: Soldiers assigned guard duty reported for duty in front of their barracks.

     Adjutant's Call: Soldiers assigned to guard duty were marched to the Guard House for the Guard Mount ceremony. Adjutant's Call was also played for Retreat when soldiers marched to the Parade Ground.

     Water Call: Livestock were watered.

     Drill Call: Ordered soldiers to dismounted training such as marching.

     Class Call: Ordered soldiers to classroom training where such training occurred.

     Recall: Recalled soldiers from drill and fatigue details.

     First Sergeant's Call: Company first sergeants reported to post headquarters with their "Morning Reports" (contained such information as soldiers present for duty or absent and for what reason).

     Boots and Saddles: Mounted drill for cavalrymen.

     Retreat: Flag lowering preparation

     To The Colors: Preceded with firing a blank round from the cannon, then lowering the flag while this call was played by massed trumpeters when more than one company and the regimental headquarters were present, or a single trumpeter when onl a company was present.

     Tattoo: Soldiers were to prepare for bed and the military post was secured for the night following the last roll call of soldiers for the day.

     Taps: Lights out, soldiers in bed, and no loud talking

     If required, To Arms was for soldiers to assemble under arms, To Horse was for cavalrymen to assemble with arms and horses, Fire Call was for soldiers to asemble to fight a fire, and Officer's Call was for officers to report as a group to their commander.

     Cavalry horses were highly trained and knew the bugle calls. They could perform the actions announced without the riders on them. A trumpeter in Company B Fifth U.S. Cavalry frequently demonstrated this. He and another cavalryman would release the company's horses from the picket line and using bugle calls, send the horses to the river for watering. When he played Recall the horses left the river and lined up in formation. Using bugle calls, he placed them into a column of fours and marched them back to the picket line.

     While sounding bugle calls was a trumpeter's primary duty, he also had to be proficient in the use of revolver, carbine, and saber. However, he normally would be armed only with a revolver as the carbine, attached to a shoulder sling, would get in the way when he was sounding bugle calls while mounted. There are many examples of trumpeters, such as Trumpeter Charles Fischer, in combat. One of the unusual ones occurred during the Fetterman Massacre.

     In December 1866 Captain William Fetterman led seventy-nine soldiers and two civilians from Fort Phil Kearny, Dakota Territory (in present Wyoming), in pursuit of Indians who had attacked the wood-chopping detail. The Indians ambushed Captain Fetterman's command and massacred the entire unit. Trumpeter Adolph Metzger, Company C 2d U.S. Cavalry, was the only one who was not stripped, scalped, and mutilated. Metzger was covered with a buffalo robe as sign of admiration by the Indians for his bravery and tenacity fighting the Indians, which included using his bugle to fight and kill Indians. His battered bugle was many years later given by an Indian to Jim Gatchell of Buffalo, Wyoming, and is displayed in the Gatchell Museum in Buffalo, Wyoming.

     Remember the gray horses trumpeters rode? The only thing found alive on the Fetterman Massacre battlefield was a badly wounded gray horse. It may have been Megzger's horse since he was the only trumpeter with Fetterman's command. Possibly the Indians let the horse live.

Maintenance News
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     In September our new maintenance mechanic Kevin Bumstead began work. Kevin transferred to National Park Service from Department of Defense. This position was a full-time position but with budget restraint it was converted to a subject to furlough. Kevin will work six months of the year. In the short time he wa here in September he corrected two major Heating Ventilating Air Conditon (HVAC) system conditions preventing future system failure at this time. Kevin is skilled in HVAC, Potable Water, and Electrical systems. When he returns from furlough in March he will focus on backlog of infrastructure repair needs.


Robert Sellers and Shawn Calkins repairing porch railing on South Officer's Quarters.

     This year we also said good-bye to Maintenance work dan Coaty. Dan retired in June to be closer to his parents in Wisconsin. He took a job with the Wisconsin state forest service tending a campground he used to work at over twenty years earlier.

     Maintenence has a full work plan for the 2015 fiscal year. Plans are to complete the hand rail repairs on the south officers' quarters; remove additional physical barriers by raising the west elevation porches on south officers' quarters; alteration to doors on the old commissary; repairs to entry doors on the Barracks and Museum; and repairs to windows in multiple structures from the May 2014 storm. The roof of the shops building and the restoration of the commanding officer's quarters are formulated in the 2015 funding program. Once the funding is approved we can begin restoration and cyclic repairs of these structures. We will also be updating filtration units of the water treatment facility in the fort area.

     As you can see, maintenance will be busy keeping our fort in best condition possible for you and your fellow citizens.

Fort Larned NHS Reduces Carbon Footprint
     The Environmental Management Team of Fort Larned National Historic Site has announced this fiscal year's accomplishments at reducing its carbon footprint. The goals of the team were to reduce electric energy, increase recycling, use environmentally-friendly materials, and reduce the use of ice melt/road salt in the park. Through this positive effort, along with amending the language that furthers these goals in contracts, this past year was successful in reducing the park's impact on the environment.

     The entire park had a 19.8% reduction overall of electric consumption. This reduction was made predominately at the picnic area and maintenance shop building. Two contractors working on park facilities will be turning over waste resources to a recycling program, including broken glass caused by recent storms.

     This past winter the only ice melt product used during the snow and ice removal operations was applied to building entrances comprised of stone. Rather than applying it to asphalt and the bridge deck the maintenance staff kept areas plowed for the safety of visitors and staff.

Calendar
     December 13, 2014: Christmas Past
     February 1, 2015: Deadline for next issue
     April 25, 2015: Fort Larned Old Guard annual Mess & Muster

Deadline For Next Issue: February 1, 2015

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2015, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard.. Thank you so much for all your support!!!

Fort Larned Old Guard Contact Information
     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.

Schedule of Annual 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 Indian 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 period, 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) Re-enactors bring Fort Larned 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.




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