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

     Fort Larned National Historic Site had the honor to host another naturalization ceremony on September 19, 2018, presided over by U. S. District Court Judge Gwynne Birzer, Wichita. Clerk of the court shown here administering the citizenship oath to 34 new citizens from nine countries. This is always a powerful, emotional experience, and Fort Larned National Historic Site is a wonderful venue for this event.

Gary E. Anschutz
     Gary E. Anschutz age 78, of Galatia, Kansas, a member of the Old Guard, former member of the board of directors, and a living-history volunteer at Fort Larned National Historic Site, died September 5, 2018, at the Hays Medical Center, Hays, Kansas.

     He served in the U. S. Navy and taught history and social studies in several schools in Kansas and Colorado. He also was a rancher, noxious weed supervisor, and emergency management coordinator. He had a great love for working with horses and cattle. He was also a member of the Santa Fe Trail and the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends.

     George Elmore noted that Gary was a good living-history volunteer and "enjoyed being in the QM building and visiting with people about the Fort."

     Fort Larned Old Guard Chair Janet Armstead recalled, "Gary was a sweet man." Everyone appreciated his gentle nature, love of history, and willingness to work on any project involving Fort Larned. Gary is fondly remembered by several Fort Larned Old Guard members for his help with cooking and serving meals at a couple of Fort events. We will miss his work and friendship.

Ken Weidner Seriously Injured
     Several weeks ago Ken Weidner, life member of the Old Guard, former chair of the Fort Larned Old Guard board of directors, longtime volunteer at Fort Larned National Historic Site, and an authority on Plains Indian material culture, was injured in a car accident in Colorado. The nature of the accident, which forced the door post back, caused the seat belt to crush him, breaking ribs, one of which tore his aorta. he was taken to a hospital in Colorado Springs and stabilized until he could be moved to a hospital in Garden City. Because of the torn aorta he has to rest to avoid further damage and give the tear time to repair. He is now at home on the farm near Copeland KS and will be laid up for several months. Cards may reach him at 2288 70th Rd, Copeland KS 67837. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back at the Fort.

Celebrate Christmas At Fort Larned
      Celebrate Christmas at your National Park! Fort Larned's Christmas celebration will be held Saturday, December 8, 12-4 p.m., and everyone is invited! Enjoy a frontier Christmas with Santa, Christmas desserts, and holiday games for the kids. See how the army celebrated Christmas at a lonely frontier outpost.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Janet Armstead

     Winter is settling in and the traffic into the Fort has slowed some. If you would like to see something beautiful, try visiting Fort Larned right after a snowfall! (Snow scenes at Fort Larned, courtesy of George Elmore) You can easily let your imagination take you back to a time long gone by!

     It is also time for you to be thinking about renewing your Fort Larned Old Guard membership. For membership information, check out "Membership" details at the bottom of this page under information. Fort Larned Old Guard dues help us help the Fort in many ways, from providing snacks for the Naturalization Ceremony to purchasing historical items which may come up for sale.

     The last acquisition we acquired was a shipping document from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Larned. It is original and authentic, a great addition to the Fort's archives.

     At our October meeting your board discussed our Constitution and Bylaws. It has not been looked at for a number of years and there are things that need to be addressed. The proposed changes will be listed in the February Outpost. Chapter members will vote on those changes at the April Mess and Muster membership meeting following the banquet. Please be on the lookout for these proposed changes in the next issue.

     Fort Larned and the Old Guard lost a good friend in September. The life of Gary Anschutz, former Fort Larned Old Guard Board member and Fort Larned volunteer was celebrated on September 29 at the Russell VFW. We will miss Gary's soft-spoken words and nice smile.

     We also continue to keep Fort Larned Old Guard member, former chair of Fort Larned Old Guard, and longtime Fort Larned volunteer Ken Weidner in our thoughts. Ken continues to recover from a serious car accident. Knowing Ken, it will be difficult for him to remain quiet and still for very long, which is why we continue to think and pray for him and his family.

     Why not start a new family tradition? I would suggest Christmas Open House at Fort Larned! The Fort will be open for an old-fashioned Christmas Open House on December 8th. See how families used to celebrate the season, with hot cider and cookies, and an atmosphere that can't be beat.

     On behalf of the Fort Larned Old Guard board I extend best wishes to you for the holiday season. Be sure to include a visit to Fort Larned in your plans for the coming year. It is truly a Kansas treasure.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     It's that time of year again when we close out our fiscal year and begin planning for the upcoming year. As we reflect on the past year's achievements we have much to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving season.

     Although it may seem that we are not making much progress on the museum exhibits, we are inching closer to completion. Plans are moving forward to solicit bids in the next couple of months to fabricate the exhibits, followed by installation and a Grand Opening announced at a later date. If anyone has thoughts and/or ideas and would be interested in participating on a planning committee, please contact George.

     Once again we thank the Old Guard, Santa Fe Trail Center, and Santa Fe Trail for another successful Rendezvous. The theme of "Death on the Santa Fe TraI," including some events at Fort Larned, was well done and well received. This collaboration and hard work by everyone continually allows for those who attend to have a high quality educational experience.

     We had another successful Candlelight Tour with 275 people going on the 12 tours. The Candlelight Tour has been presented at Fort Larned for over 25 years and we couldn't do it without the help of our dedicated volunteers, many of whom are Old Guard members as well.

     We had our third Naturalization Ceremony at Fort Larned on September 19. Thirty-four applicants from nine different countries took the oath to become citizens. Once again we thank the Old Guard, along with the Daughters of the American Revolution, for providing pre-ceremony refreshments and a post-ceremony reception. Also a special thanks to Leo for his wonderful keynote address about the importance of immigration in the West.

     Finally, we have a new partnership with the Veterans Administration to provide free Access Passes to disabled veterans at local VA clinics. The access pass is free to anyone with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and allows for free entrance to over 2000 National Parks and federal lands areas.

     We hope to see you at Fort Larned's Christmas Open House on December 8. Best wishes for the holidays and for 2019.

Fort Larned Roll Call: Lacie Rotz
     What began as a search for something different and wild for Lacie Rotz ended as a Student Conservation Association (SCA) Intern in the National Park Service at Fort Larned National Historic Site. Lacie says, "I was looking for adventure so I searched 'Wilderness Expert' on Indeed and boom, a job opening at AmeriCorps in the NPS here in Kansas. I applied and was hired."

     Lacie is a Kansas native from a small town and attended Cowley College in Arkansas City KS where she received an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice with extensive studies in Spanish and photography. She received scholarships in art, photography, and creative writing and was a Phi Theta Kappa member. She then moved to Oklahoma where she worked with a horticulture organization that helps individuals with developmental and psychiatric disabilities lead independent lives while caring for plants.

     Lacie comes from a family background of emergency medicine and public safety as well as artists and members of the military. With her passion for emergency medicine, she attended Emergency Medical Technician school and she becomes a certified EMT in Tulsa where she began her public-safety career. "They say that after being in EMS for a while you only remember you first and last calls. Some of the first calls I ran involved children as young as five and seven, who were suicidal," says Lacie. She volunteered at a human sex-trafficking organization in Tulsa where she taught art therapy and counseled women and children.

     Three years later, still a civil rights activist and EMT today, Lacie is advancing in her emergency medicine by learning wilderness medicine. She continues to fight to eradicate today's slavery-a major world problem. Fortunately for Fort Larned she is interested in conserving our National Park resources and learning about safety and protection in the National Park Service.

     Lacie is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with studies in Terrorism & Homeland Security and Victimology. Her experiences include assisting the police and investigators in finding missing children. She provides trafficking training to different agencies and organizations and is currently an Abolitionist as well as Wichita Team Leader with Operation Underground Railroad, a humanitarian organization of Jump Team and Aftercare operators who find the world's children in bondage. Lacie plans to use her experience and knowledge to be a public safety operator in the NPS while eradicating slavery. She enjoys photography and art projects in her free time. Be sure to say hello to Lacie next time you are visiting the fort.

Volunteer Roll Call: Dennis Smith
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Dennis Smith began volunteering at the Fort in the mid-1990s as a leader of a Great Bend Boy Scout troop. The troop was tasked to keep the fires going during the night of the October Candlelight Tours. Althought Dennis continued and still does volunteer for all of the Fort's events, the Candlelight Tours continue to be his favorite. Instead of being behind the scenes he has speaking parts. He has portrayed soldiers of various ranks, a carpenter, a drunkard (just once) under arrest in the Blockhouse, and Captain Almon Rockwell, an officer of the Quartermaster Department in charge of the building of the Fort.

     Dennis, a lifelong Kansas native, was born in Liberal; he was also born to be a teacher. He taught Industrial Arts for 22 years, which includes leading a Vo-Tech program in which students actually built houses. He also taught General Sciences for the Great Bend Middle School. Fort Larned has benefitted from his teaching abilities. We have watched him over the years become a mentor to many young living-history volunteers. Those who strive to portray a soldier look up to Dennis who has been an effective and articulate living-history interpreter.

     When asked about his favorite memory at Fort Larned, he doesn't have to think too hard. There was a scene on Officers' Row for a Candlelight Tour that included eating. Each scene Dennis and the other interpreters received a four-course meal-meat, vegetables, rolls, and dessert. Dennis laughs when he recounts the evening, "Each scene became more about the eating than the talking, and by the end of the night I was so full."

     Dennis has another reason to volunteer at Fort Larned. His wife, Margaret Smith, has been a seasonal ranger at the Fort for over 20 years. They have three children and three grandchildren who keep them busy. Dennis owns a construction and roofing company with his son, Eric, and business is good. He embraces his faith in God and is an Elder in his church. Dennis admits to enjoying the Fort because he gets to be near his favorite gat, Margaret. But he certainly enjoys hanging out with the guys too!

Student Conservation Interns
     At the beginning of September Fort Larned National Historic Site began hosting two Student Conservation Association interns through the AmeriCorps Historic Preservation Corps to assist in overlapping historic landscape and structure restoration projects. The two interns, Laci Rotz and Ethan Grennan, both Kansas natives, will be serving until July 2019, participating in historic landscape restoration, historic structure preservation, and assisting the interpretive staff with creating and delivering educational programs for the public.

     As part of the historical landscape restoration of the Fort, the interns have been working on The Landscape Project which began in the fall of 2017. This includes the fenced plots around the parking lot and bridge. In these plots, the interns have been working to manage and remove invasive plant species and help revegetate native forbe and grass species. The goal of the project is to reestablish the native short-grass prairie mix historically found in the area.

     When the interns are not working on the landscape restoration projects, they have been spending much of their time assisting interpretive staff with educational programs. Since September they have had the opportunity to take part in several educational programs at the Fort and at Pawnee Rock. Recently, the interns and staff have delivered programs to teach students from the area about geology, history of Pawnee Rock, Fort Larned, Bison, American Indians, and life on the Santa Fe Trail.

     In addition to educational programs, the interns at Fort Larned have been collecting data on bat populations in the park. Currently the park is home to at least one colony of very beneficial Big Brown Bats, the most common and numerous bat species throughout the state. The goal is to create better habitat and bat boxes for roosting so that the bat colonies can be humanely excluded from the historic structures but be encouraged to thrive in the area. In the future, the interns hope to connect with researchers in the area to collect demographic information on the bat population with acoustic surveys and mist-net surveys and to test for White Nose Syndrome in the bats.

     White Nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that is currently working its way across America to the West coast. It is a devastating disease with a very high mortality rate and is decimating populations of many hibernating bat species by the millions, causing several species now to become endangered. Recently a bat education program was delivered to the public at the Fort by one of the interns in an attempt to raise awareness for bats.

     The Student Conservation Association interns have enjoyed their experience here at Fort Larned so far and are excited for what is to come. The year 2017 marked the 60th anniversary for The Student Conservation Association. The SCA is a partner of AmeriCorps and has a mission to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire life-long stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. There is a wide range of internship opportunities for young students and graduates including leadership, education, back country trail work, ecology, and conservation. These opportunities are with many different organizations, including federal entities such as the National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife, and can range in duration from a summer internship just a couple months long to internships that last a full year. In many cases, after completing a term of service through SCA AmeriCorps, interns are eligible to receive money through an educational award that can be used for school tuition or to pay student loans. Student Conservation Association internships are very beneficial, highly recommended, and a great opportunity for anyone who is wanting to gain useful experience working toward a career in conservation or with a federal agency such as the National Park Service.

Santa Fe Trail Center And Fort Larned National Historic Site Introduce New Education Program
     The staff and volunteers of both the Santa Fe Trail Center and Fort Larned National Historic Site recently developed a new education program called Santa Fe Trail Travel. The program creates a place and time in Trail history that connects students to experiences common to Trail travelers in the 19th century. The program starts at Pawnee Rock State Historic Site. We encourage the students to imagine the sounds of scampering mules and the beating wings of geese flying overhead.

     When the students walk to the top of Pawnee Rock they pass by a rock ledge lined with animal skulls depicting the results of a snowstorm two years prior to young Charles Bent's journey on the Santa Fe Trail. William Bent, his father, was head of this particular caravan and was taking his son to Kansas City for schooling. He told Charles that although the animals sought protection under the rock ledge, they were doomed by the plunging temperatures and froze to death.

     At the top of Pawnee Rock the students travel to various stations learning about the history of bison, edible and medicinal plants, Pawnee Rock, and the significance of the monument. Volunteer Kristin Keith portrays Susan Magoffin, shown below, sharing with the students her desire to carve her name on the rock "but my fear of the Indians made me tremble all over." She displays her travel clothes and other contents in her trunk. Each student leaves "Susan" knowing her husband owns 14 freight wagons in the caravan and she is a "traveling princess."

     The horizon seen all around on Pawnee Rock gives us an immediate sense of the vastness of the Great Plains. Santa Fe Trail Center Docent Linda Slavik, shown above, has the students turn 360 degrees to take in the beautiful view. Her stories transport the students back in time, beginning with the Plains Indians fighting over the hunting grounds--each tribe dependent on bison for survival. By the time Linda introduces the railroad in Pawnee Rock history, the students may hear a train in the background--but always, without failing, we can hear the sound of a semi-truck hauling goods down Highway 56.

     Intern Ethan Grennan teaches the students a bison game to show the decline of bison to near extinction (shown at top of next page). A bison robe is spread on the ground with tools and household goods made from bison parts, shown below, reminding us all of how the Plains Indians' way of life changed forever when the sacred bison disappeared.

     Intern Lacie Rotz introduces plants that provided food and medicine, including sunflowers, prickly pear cactus, and evening primrose. She instructs the students in grinding sunflower seeds fro making seed cakes.

     Four of our schools stayed on Pawnee Rock for lunch before heading to our respective sites. The docents at the Santa Fe Trail Center prepare for activities that connect the students to the Railroad, featuring the Historic Frizell Depot. The staff and volunteers at the Fort focus more on following up with wagon travel, featuring the 1860 Conestoga for freight, a U. S. Army wagon for escort duty on the Trail, and the Passenger Coach we call a "Mud Wagon."

     We have received positive feedback from the teachers, one proclaiming our program leaders as "rock stars" and thanking us for "keeping the students moving." That's right, just like traveling on the Santa Fe Trail. Yoke up and keep it moving!

Post Surgeons: Closing The Post Hospital
by Celest Dixon, Park Ranger
(This is the twelfth and final installment of the series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned.)

     Assistant Surgeon Francis Atkins left Fort Larned in February 1878 and was replaced by Acting Assistant Surgeon M. O'Brien. At this point Fort Larned had only five months left as an active military post.

     Shortly after his arrival Dr. O'Brien diagnosed several mild cases of scarlet fever, including his daughter. The sick were quarantined at Fort Larned, as well as in some nearby farm homes. Private George Brown, the extra-duty hospital nurse, assisted Dr. O'Brien with his work. In March a load of lumber arrived for repairs to the post hospital, delayed from the previous year. Dr. O'Brien also treated Private Ervin McCombs for inflammation of the left lung.

     Another medical issue getting the surgeon's attention was a case of smallpox in a herd of private cattle near the railway line south of the post, prompting an order to move all nonmilitary cattle grazing near the right of way. In April Dr. O'Brien and Lieutenant C. A. Vernon went to Topeka to testify in a Grand Jury hearing of a civilian accused of cutting timber on the military reserve surrounding Fort Larned.

     In May Surgeon O'Brien took a seven-day leave. In June all the military and civilian personnel at the post were ordered to have smallpox vaccinations. Then, on June 29, orders came from department headquarters to close Fort Larned as an active military post. Dr. O'Brien was ordered to send all the Fort's medical supplies to Fort Dodge.

     With those orders the history of Fort Larned's post hospital ended. During the 18-year history of the post there were 23 men assigned to the post as surgeons, and another six who were either temporarily assigned or were civilian contractors. Before and during the Civil War the quality of doctors varied as the army didn't have as rigorous a testing procedure as they would after the war. By the 1870s the men who served as army surgeons had often gone to some of the best medical schools in the country and were aware of the most up-to-date medical practices of their time.

     During Fort Larned's time as an active military post medical practice in Europe and America was undergoing a transition. The primary medical treatments of the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s, consisting mostly of bleeding, blistering, and purging patients to bring their bodily humors back into balance, were giving way to more scientific-based treatments. In 1867 English doctor Joseph Lister discovered the antiseptic qualities of carbolic acid for use in surgeries, thus reducing deaths by infection. New ideas such as cleansing instruments, washing hands and wounds, and using clean bandages were beginning to be taught in medical schools. Not all doctors subscribed to the new methods. Army doctors, like civilian doctors, were a mixed bag when it came to accepting new ideas.

     Whether using new, scientific methods or sticking with older ideas, the post surgeons at Fort Larned dealt with a variety of injuries and illnesses. Most injuries were due to accidents, including most of the gunshot wounds. Battle-inflicted gunshot wounds were rare at Fort Larned. Illnesses included many of the common ailments of the day, such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, dysentery, and fevers of various kinds. The surgeons success rates for treating their patients was average for the day, depending on the illness or injury. Sometimes death resulted not from poor doctoring but from a lack of modern medical equipment or medicines that are so readily available today.

     Many of these surgeons were only in the army for a short time, while others made it a career. Several even went on to obtain fairly high posts in the Army medical hierarchy. William Forwood became the Army Surgeon General and Alfred Woodhull obtained the position of Chief Surgeon of the Department of the Pacific in Manila. Most of the men who served as post surgeons at Fort Larned were competent doctors who cared for their patients to the best of their ability and with mixed success given the limitation of medical knowledge and practice of the day. The medical staff and the post hospital were an important part of the garrison, providing essential services that kept the soldiers healthy and available for duty.

Farewell Coworkers, Our Friends
     We will miss this fine group of employees who all have served at Fort Larned National Historic Site with the utmost integrity. Each believed, and continues to believe, in the park's mission to protect and preserve our treasured resources--Fort Larned. They didn't just talk, they walked the walk! We wish them well.
     Margaret Smith, Seasonal Ranger, 22 years
     Fred Barker, Seasonal Maintenance Worker, 9 years
     Carson Norton, Park Ranger & Maintenance Worker, 2 1/2 years

The Enlisted Men Of Company C, Third Infantry
Part XIII - John Cinnamon
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     (Fort Larned's main interpretive year is 1868, which is the year the stone buildings were completed. Company C, 3rd U. S. Infantry, was stationed at Fort Larned during that year and part of the research for the restoration of the barracks and hospital building was finding out information for most of these enlisted men, compiled in the Historic Furnishing Study: Enlisted Men's Barracks and Post Hospital, HS-2.Here is the thirteenth installment in a series on the enlisted men included in that report. There are no photos available for these enlisted soldiers.)

     Although originally from Ohio, John Cinnamon enlisted at Camp Kearney, Dakota Territory, on March 29, 1866. Private Cinnamon was only 23 in 1868, but even at that young age he apparently had some sewing skills because his job throughout 1868, from January through December, was as company tailor. Company records list him absent on leave from June 25 to July 24.

     The frontier army was always looking for recruits with a special skill. Due to the lack of dedicated staff at the remote army posts for specialized, non-company duties, or the funds to hire civilian contractors, enlisted men with any sort of work experience were sought after by the army. Some of the jobs soldiers might be asked to do were construction and maintenance of the post, which required men with artisan skills such as glaziers, carpenters, bricklayers, stonemasons, and the like. There was also a need for clerks, so that even though literacy was not a requirement for enlistment, it was definitely sought after in recruits. Shoemakers, and Private Cinnamon's specialty, tailoring, were also jobs in demand.

     The company tailor provided sewing services for the company, such as repairing and altering uniforms, as well as sewing on stripes and chevrons for the noncommissioned officers. Army uniforms of the period did not usually fit the men very well, making the services of a good tailor especially important for any company. Although the company commander set the prices for what he could charge, there was usually enough work from the men in the company to ensure that whoever served as the company tailor could make quite a bit if extra cash. The company commander also excused the tailor from participating in all the company duties.

     There is no additional information available on John Cinnamon so we don't know how long he served nor what he did once he got out of the army.

Baking Bread At Fort Larned, 2018
by Wayne Young, Fort Larned Bakery Volunteer
(Sequel to "Baking Bread at Fort Larned, 1868," published in Outpost, Summer 2018.)

     In your visits to Fort Larned, you have probably been to the bakery in the Fort's "Shops Building." If you have been there over Memorial Weekend, you have even run into me in the bakery. I am Wayne Young from Paola KS. Believe me, I am not a professional baker but work as a Project Manager for a Kansas City engineering firm. One of the things we try to do in living-history presentations is to take you back in time to give you a brief glimpse of what once was. That is truly the goal when you come to visit the bakery.

     Image

     Let me give you a little glimpse of how we prepare for your visit. One of the things that was not discussed in the previous article was the initial starting of the oven. Back in 1868 the oven would have been maintained at baking temperature pretty much round the clock. At present-day Fort Larned we obviously do not keep the fire burning in the oven all the time. For special weekends we start the fire burning early in the day on Thursday. The key is that the fire is started in the center of the oven so that the oven heats up evenly. This is where we use some of the oversize wood that won't normally fit in the fire box of the oven or in any of the cooking stoves in the kitchens. I typically arrive later Thursday and take over the stoking responsibilities. I unpack and do some cleaning so that I can move into the bakery sleeping quarters. Yes, I do sleep on that six-foot bunk with a straw mattress. Keeping the fire going through the night is the main chore.

     Friday is dedicated to a continuation of the cleaning process of the bakery, dusting and sweeping, with the primary job of preparing the work table. The bread we bake here is strictly to demonstrate the process. Since this is not a health-certified kitchen we cannot prepare food for the public, but it is offered to the volunteers working the weekend. Therefore, making sure the prep table is as clean as possible is the primary emphasis. Thus, washing down the prep table, gathering my utensils and supplies for the weekend, and greeting the occasional visitors that stop in are the main tasks. Fortunately, I don't have to spend any time out chopping the wood as there is usually a nice stack of split and dry wood just outside the bakery door. One of the things I haven't mentioned is that we volunteer as a family. My wife assists with the cooking in the hospital kitchen and our son is generally one of the privates in the barracks. One of the benefits of volunteering as a family is that I can usually tag the Private (our son) to keep my wood storage area under the oven full of wood throughout the weekend. By late Friday afternoon, the oven has been thoroughly heated and it is time to do the sweep. I use the long hoe and an ash shovel located in the bakery and move the coals from the center of the oven over into the firebox and clean out the remaining ash in the oven so that the floor of the oven is ready for sliding in the baking pans. The heat in the oven is now maintained at a temperature between 300 to 450 degrees by continuing to stoke the fire in the firebox. Baking temperature is about 400 degrees.

     The end of the day Friday is here. The park is closed to visitors and the volunteers gather and share stories on the porch and catch up on life's activities since the last time we were together. For some of us this is an annual event and we get to see our great friends once a year. Of course food is one of the topics and it would be a serious waste of good heat and a great oven if we didn't make some scratch pizza with fresh salad and lemonade--a great way to kickoff the exciting weekend. The conservations continue as the sun sets and the stars are out and shinning bright--something you can only experience when out away from the lights of the city. As the conversations pause you may hear a turkey or owl off in the trees or the rustle of a deer walking through the nearby oxbow. We sometimes get to see an amazing light show with thunderheads and a lightning storm off to the west.

     The last thing I need to do before hitting the sack for the night is to start my sponge for my first round of baking in the morning. The sponge is made by mixing water, flour, and yeast in a bowl and letting it set until morning. Making the sponge is not hard work, but it is important to have a good sponge prepared to make the first baking go smoothly. The sponge is the "starter" for my bread dough. If done right, it will be very bubbly in the morning, the consistency of a thin pancake batter. If it is not bubbly, my yeast has probably gone bad and I will need to start over. If it sets too long, it becomes sour and the bread will not be very appealing.

     Sleep for the night is not uninterrupted since I need to get up a couple of times during the night to throw a couple more sticks in the fire box, maintaining the oven at about 300 degrees. My day usually starts at about 6:00 a.m. to start my first batch of bread. After washing up and dressing, I take the sponge, nice and bubbly, and add more water, lots of flour, and some salt. Just flour ingredients (including the yeast from the starter) are all I need for this bread recipe from Fort Laramie.

Fort Laramie Army Bread Recipe
     Ingredients: Salt, water, flour, lard and powdered yeast.
     Instructions: (Pay close attention):
     1. Into a bowl, pour four cups lukewarm water. Dissolve two tablespoons yeast, then mix in four cups unsifted flour. Let sponge sit covered with a towel in a warm place, for one hour.
     2. Then, add five more cups lukewarm water, two tablespoons salt, and seven to nine cups flour til doughty consistency is reached. Mix well, kneading in bowl. Set aside in warm place for one hour, covered.
     3. Return and knead dough on a flat lightly floured surface. Return to bowl, coat surface with lard and set aside for one hour.
     4. Then, knead dough lightly, cut into twenty ounce loaves. Place into greased pans, coating loaves lightly with lard. Cover and let rise.
     5. When sufficiently risen, place pans in oven preheated to 400 degrees. Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove, coat freshly baked bread with lard.
     6. Recipe will make approximately eight eighteen-ounce loaves.

     Mixing at this point becomes harder and harder, adding more and more flour. You need someone with strong arms to really mix the ingredients together in order to make a nice dough. I set this mixture aside and cover it, so it can rest and start to rise, for about an hour. While the dough is doing its thing, I get a chance to go and have breakfast and get any supplies ready for the day--oh yeah, one more thing before eating breakfast--I need to start my next sponge so it is ready for the afternoon baking demonstration.

     Back from breakfast I see that the dough is raising nicely, almost overflowing my bowl. Flouring up the table is crucial so that the dough does not stick and become a sticky, gooey mess. After dumping out the dough on this prepared surface, I start the kneading process. I take my time with the kneading since this is a good opportunity to talk to visitors and answer their questions as they stop in to watch. I explain that I am only making eight loaves, thankfully, and not the normal 300 loaves a day that the Fort baker would have been baking! When I'm satisfied with this first kneading, I set the dough aside, cover it, and allow it to rest and rise for about another hour. Checking the oven is the next duty. I must make sure that it is maintaining a temperature of about 400 degrees. Trying to maintain the temperature is a challenge since it really depends on the weather and the type of wood I happen to have in the wood pile. At this time I also take some lard and place it in a pan near the oven to let it liquefy.

     Another hour passes and the bread has been allowed to rise again. Now is the time to flour up the table and go through another kneading before forming the dough into loaves. This is the ideal time to have visitors stop in and see the reality of bread baking. After this second kneading, I portion the dough out into loaves, rub some lard in the pan and dip the loaves into the lard to coat them nicely. With all eight loaves in the pan, I cover them and wait another hour for the loaves to rise. Once again I need to check the temperature of the oven. If needed, I add more wood to the fire box.

     Another hour passes and if all has gone well I have eight nicely-risen loaves! It is now time to slide them into the oven. After a final check of the oven temperature, the pan goes in. I usually try to rotate the pan about every 10-15 minutes. While the bread is baking, I take the sponge that I created this morning and begin the whole process again. This allows me to always have some step of the baking process in progress to show visitors that stop in. I can't forget to rotate the pan every 10-15 minutes. This also allows me to check that the bread is browning nicely on the top. Believe me it is not always that way--sometimes it does get a little dark, but you need to make sure it is baked all the way through and not doughy in the middle. It usually takes about 35-45 minutes for the bread to bake.

     When I think the bread is done I pry one of the loaves out of the pan and check to see if it is cooked through. If I am satisfied, the bread will be removed from the oven and will set on the work table so visitors can see the finished product. This allows the bread to cool somewhat before I run it over to the hospital kitchen for the volunteer lunch. Unlike baking in 1868, we eat the bread fresh out of the oven! Also, unlike baking in 1868, I am certainly glad I am only doing 16 loaves a day.

     The process from Saturday morning is repeated for another eight loaves on Saturday afternoon and two bakings again on Sunday. On Monday I only do one baking in the morning and after the bread is done I begin the cleanup process for the bakery and the cool down process for the oven. I wash down the table to remove all the flour remnants (cleaning out all the cracks in the wood), sweep the floor, and stir the coals in the fire box so they burn up completely. I pack up my personal belongings and return the bakery back to its normal condition for the everyday visitors. The most enjoyable part of my weekend is getting to meet so many people from all around the world that stop by the bakery and having the opportunity to share the history of baking in 1868! I hope this descriptive article has been informative to you and that you will introduce yourself to me in 2019, when I hope to be back in the bakery for Memorial weekend.

Fort Larned Old Guard Establishes Student Photo/Art Contest
     The Old Guard board of directors voted to establish an annual student photo/art contest beginning now with the first contest ending February 1, 2019, and the winners recognized at Mess & Muster, April 27, 2019. It is hoped that the contest will attract more young people to visit and learn about Fort Larned. The guidelines are:

     1. Students from any location may submit one photograph and/or one piece of artwork (drawing, painting, poster, sculpture, or model) for each annual contest. The subject must relate to Fort Larned.

     2. There are three divisions, as follows, with an award for first and second place in each division (photos and art entries are judged together, not separately, with one first-place and one second-place winner in each division):
          a. Grades 1-4
          b. Grades 5-8
          c. Grades 9-12

     3. Submissions may be made at any time before February 1 for each annual contest, beginning in 2019.

     4. The Fort Larned Old Guard Awards Committee will be responsible for publicity about the annual contest, selecting the judges, and overseeing the judging of all contest entries.

     5. Awards for first-and second-place entries in each division shall be announced and presented at the annual Fort Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster. The winning students and their parents will be guests of the Fort Larned Old Guard for Mess & Muster when the awards are presented.

     6. First-and second-place winning photos and/or artwork will be displayed at Fort Larned National Historic Site for four months and then returned to the students. Images of the winning entries will be published in the Fort Larned Old Guard newsletter, Outpost.

     A flyer for the contest is inserted in this issue. Please share this with anyone who may be interested in this contest.

Rough Riding On The Plains (continued)
by Robert Morris Peck

     (Robert Morris Peck's memoirs, published in the National Tribune in 1901, telling about life at Camp on Pawnee Fork, renamed Camp Alert, continue with his account of life at the post during the winter of 1859-1860. At this point Peck is relating tall tales told by James Beckwourth (which Peck spelled "Beckwith"), African-American trader and trapper who had lived among Plains Indians, and spent a few days at Camp Alert. Beckwourth had been one of Peck's heroes. He had read Beckwourth's autobiography in 1856, and Peck claimed it was the stories about Beckwourth and Kit Carson that inspired him to run away from his apprenticeship to a printer in Kentucky and join the First U. S. Cavalry. In the last edition of Peck's memoirs, Autumn 2017, Peck had declared, "I found in Beckwith a course, illiterate, brutal braggart, with possibly a certain claim to bravery of that kind which comes from an intellect-or want of it-that is incapable of realizing danger, from which some newspaper and magazine writers had manufactured a so-called hero." He then related some of Beckwourth's tales. At this point Beckwourth and a partner, Pete, were surrounded in the Black Hills by 300 Sioux and Pete was killed. Peck wrote, quoting Beckwourth:)

     "I wuz in a tight place, an' fur once didn't 'zactly see how I wuz a goin' ter git outen it.

     "Boys, did you ever pray yer way outen a durned bad fix?

     "Well, that's jist what I done that time.

     "It wuz a new bizness to me; but I'd hearn tell that when a feller gits in a tight place, an' calls on the Lord real yearnest like, an' if he's a purty-decent feller an' the ones he's a prayin' agin is durned Injuns, that the Lord is mighty apt to heg fur him a little.

     "I done a heap o' thinkin' in a mighty short time jist about then, I tell ye.

     "This wuz about the only prayer I ever prayed, I b'leve, an' I reckon that's the reason why I recollect it so well.

     "I dra[[ed down on my marrow-bones by the side of poor dead Pete, an' I put on a pious face as I looked up 'mong the trees an' sung out: "O, Lord! I've never axed no favors of ye before, an' I wouldn't bother ye now if I could see any way outen this scrape. But ye see how it is. Here's pore Pete rubbed out, an' the durned Injuns is got me corralled, an' ef ye don't give me a lift I'm liable ter go up the spout p. d. q. Now, Lord, if yer ever a goin' ter do Ol' Jim a favor, it pears to me you'd better be a gittin' in yer work, or it'll come too late. But ef so be as yer can't afford to help me, why, please don't help the Sioux, but jist lay low an' see fair play, an' I'll show you some o' the darndest fightin' you ever seed, Yours truly, Jim P. Beckwith.'

     "Well, boys, a'ter that ar' prayer I got up feelin' better--felt like I wuz a goin' ter win the fight. So I tuck Pete's gun an' mine, an' a plenty of amunynition an' crep' up to the fence an' opened on 'em an' every time my rifle cracked an Injun drapped.

     "They kep' a shootin' at me, but they couldn't see me, an' didn't hit.

     "So they kep' on a cirlin' 'round, lookin' fur a openin' in my fence, but the gap wuz so hid in bushes they couldn't find it, an' every time they come close enough I'd whack one down.

     "I wuz a gittin' tired o' this fun, an' wuz a studdyin' how I could git to kill a whole lot of 'em, when all of a suddent an ijee struck me. Ef I could draw 'm into my corral an' then jump out on the other side as they come in, takin' a chunk of fire from the shanty, I could run 'round the fence, set the dry pine logs afire at 'bout every other panel, an' roast the whole shootin' match of 'em alive. Ef the Lord helped me any in this fight it must abin when he put that ijee into my head, fur I think it wuz a master scheme.

     "Well, no sooner thought of than I wuz a tryin' it on. I fust got everythin' ready, an' then made a dash out through the gap to show 'em whar it wuz, an' as soon as they seed me an' started to'rds me I run back past the shanty, snatched up my rifle an' a chunk o' fire, run to the fur side of the corral, clum over the fence 'n waited till I seed 'em come pourin' into the corral; then I run 'round the fence, settin' it afire at about every other corner, an' the wind bein' a blowin' purty lively, I soon had a roarin' wall o' fire all 'round 'em.

     "They wuz so busy a plundern' the cabin an' a sculpin' Pete, an' a lookin' 'round for me, I s'pose, that they didn't notice what I wuz up to till it wuz too late. An' then you'd orter hearn the howl they sot up."

     As Jim stopped Dave Harrison asked innocently:

     "Did any of the Indians get burnt?"

     "Burnt!" exclaimed Jim, indignantly, "Why, ain't I jist tol' ye that I roasted the last entire bunch on 'em? Jist 250."

     "I thought you said there was even 300 in the first place?" asked Crowly.

     "That's jist what thar wuz," promptly returned the old liar, "but you must 'member I shot 50 on 'em afore I let 'em into the corral."

     "You must have lost all your furs in the fire, too," I remarked.

     "Not much," said the unabashed Jim. "You see, we allers kep' them cached at a handy place in another grove a little way off, together with most of our ammynition an' other truck, an' also our pack an' ridin' ponies. Well, I know'd it would not be healthy to stay thar a'ter that, fur the smell of roasted Injun could be smelt fur miles 'round an' would likely bring another lot a'ter me. So I gathered up my traps, packed my skins--not forgittin' to lift the ha'r of the fifty dead Injuns what wuzn't burnt--an' lit out fur Fort Laramie, whar I sold my furs."
     (End of Beckwourth tales.)

     I got a good deal of experience as a hunter, as may be gathered from what has gone before, and this may be as good a place as any to insert some general remarks on the subject.

     All grazing wild animals feed against the wind, in this manner instinctively guarding against approaching foes, as they are thus able to scent their enemies a long way. It is necessary, therefore, for the hunter to draw near them from the flank or rear. The buffalo being a very dull-sighted animal, were it not for his keen scent, would be easily approached from the front by a hunter on foot, as they do not readily take fright or realize their danger till they can see their enemy.

     While hunting on foot and in localities where I could remain concealed, I have loaded and fired into a herd of buffalo a number of times. Killing several before they would take the hint that there was an enemy at hand.

The Fort Larned Old Guard Announces
"ANNUAL STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHY & ART CONTEST"
New Membership
Fort Larned Old Guard

Welcomes the following new members:
     Wayne, Dee & Barrett Young, 31632 Bethel Church Rd, Paola KS 66071
     Carson Norton, 2210 San Domingo St, Great Bend KS 67530

Calendar
     December 8, 2018: Fort Larned Christmas Open house, 12-4 p.m.
     April 27, 2019: Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster.

Deadline for next issue: Febuary 1, 2019

     Notice: If you would prefer to receive OUTPOST as a pdf file via email to save paper and postage, please send a note to the editor at {oliva@ruraltel.net}. You will see color photos in color and may print out the newsletter if you want a hard copy. Thank you.

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2017, 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.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is a unit of the U.S. National Park Service located six miles west of Larned on Kansas Highway 156. Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p. m. daily, the park's Visitor Center/Museum and all furnished buildings are admission free. Information on Fort Larned may be found at {www.nps.gov/fols}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {fols_superintendent@nps.gov}.




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