Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter
Volume 31, Number 2 ~*~ Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West ~*~ Autumn 2020

OUTPOST Going To Digital Delivery
     Many publications are converting to digital delivery to save money. For a nonprofit organization like the Fort Larned Old Guard, the dues and donations that are spent on paper and postage for every issue mailed could be better used to support programs at Fort Larned. From earlier requests, about 40 members and volunteers now receive digital copies, but we are still mailing 185 copies each issue. We will be glad to send paper copies to libraries, museums, and other institutions that keep issues on file.

     If you do not have the equipment to receive digital copies, a paper copy will be sent (please send a note to OUTPOST, PO Box 1, Woodston KS to request a paper copy). If you now receive a paper copy but can receive digital issues, please e-mail your approval to the editor: We appreciate your help in making this transition. If you have any questions, please contact the editor. Thank you.

Candlelight Tour 2020
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     The year 2020 is one that will not soon be forgotten. Whenever I watch a movie or see a picture, I need to remind myself that people less than six feet apart without masks is normal! However, we were still able to host one of our annual events this year.

     With a little modification to decrease risk and increase safety, our Candlelight Tour plan was approved by the Midwest Region. By keeping all the scenes outside, spacing the groups of visitors ten feet apart, and not stopping in one place for too long, we were able to be safe and still have a good time.

     The subject of this year's Candlelight Tour was the desperado Tom Smith and Boyd's Ranch. Smith, part of a horse-thief ring, was your typical western bad guy. Not only was he accused of stealing horses, he was known to cheat at cards and essentially rob men of their money. A Deputy U. S. Marshal tasked with apprehending Smith, came to Fort Larned to gain assistance from the Post Commander, which was freely given. Some helpful information came when it was announced that Smith had been seen riding south from Boyd's Ranch, a trading ranch and saloon just east of the military reservation.

     While on the tour, visitors saw scenes played out concerning the evils of Tom Smith, Boyd, and Boyd's Ranch. The tour ended on a high note as Tom Smith was dragged into the Fort in shackles. Later (and not seen on the tour), while transporting Tom Smith to Wellington, Kansas, the Deputy U.S. Marshal and his posse were held at gunpoint to hand over Smith. It is suspected that this mob were some of Smith's comrades in the horse-thief ring, as it was discovered the next day that he was hanged, perhaps to keep him quiet. Member of Marshal's Posse

     While a lot of yelling and hollering was going on the night of Candlelight, it was all adding to the feeling of a post coming alive at night. Thank you to all those who volunteered and for all those who came out for what might end up being our only "normal" event of the year. Let's hope nothing stands in our way of having another Candlelight Tour next year! The Fort Larned staff and the National Park Service wish everyone a safe holiday season.

Ellen Jones Receives Clapsaddle Award
     Ellen Jones, left, receiving the David K. Clapsaddle Memorial Educator Award from Alice Clapsaddle on October 10 at Fort Larned NHS. Ellen retired as park ranger earlier this year and was selected for this educator award for her many years of presenting school programs and conducting school tours of the Fort. Plans were to present the award at her retirement party, which did not happen because of COVID-19. When she came back for the Candlelight Tour, it was possible to have Alice present the award. Congratulations Ellen. Photo courtesy Olivia Danielle Photography.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Janet Armstead

     As with everything, life goes on at Fort Larned and the Old Guard continues to support the Fort staff wherever possible. The Fort's historic buildings are open, however the Visitor Center is still closed.

     Our usual October board meeting was anything but usual. We met via Zoom on Saturday afternoon, October 3. It was good to see most of the board even if it was on a screen. Elsewhere in this edition you can find the minutes of our meeting. The reports, minutes, and proposals were all sent out ahead of the meeting so we were ready for discussion. The village site report given by Leo Oliva was encouraging as the CRP contract was renewed and the site looks good. This is due to Leo's constant watch and also to a good neighbor, Harold Shank. Leo also mentioned Confrontation Ridge. Once again, he has taken care of the site, along with the Gary McJunkin family. Our sincere thanks go to those gentlemen for their assistance in maintaining these sites. We also thank our new ranger Ben Long for his help with our Facebook page and writing articles for OUTPOST. Good work by Treasurer Martha and Secretary Kristin is also acknowledged.

     A highlight of the meeting was hearing from George Elmore about the upcoming (now past) Candlelight Tour and other happenings at the Fort. Someday, when life is safer, the new museum displays will be dedicated.

     It was just too far for this high-risk lady to travel, so you will have to read elsewhere about the Candlelight Tour. I have heard from board members Rex and Kristin that it went well. My heart was there!

     Please continue to shop on Amazon Smile with the Fort Larned Old Guard as your charity of choice. I pray you are all staying safe and well. We all look forward to the time we can safely gather at the Fort.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     COVID-19 continues to impact our operations. The park Visitor Center is still closed and we're not sure when it will be opening. On the bright side, we were able to hold our Candlelight Tour this year after implementing some safety precautions. The entire tour took place outside and we kept groups socially distanced from each other. It was a different experience from the usual tour, but the guests all seemed to enjoy it. They were all very appreciative of the effort we made to provide the experience for them.

     We also had a school group come in October, the first one we've had since early March. It was a small group of 4th graders from LaCrosse. The children wore masks and we divided them into groups and had them rotate to buildings around the parade ground. Our education volunteers Kristin Keith and Chris Hagerman came in to help - it was a great success. The kids loved the chance to be out of the classroom, and we were glad to hear the laughter and chatter of children at the park once more.

     A big thanks goes out to the Old Guard for providing us with a new iPad to use for distance-learning programs. The new iPad comes with cellular access, so we don't have to bring the hotspot around with us when we use it for programs. Our new ranger, Brian Miller, has worked up some distance-learning programs to go on the website so we're hoping to get some bookings soon and take the new iPad out for a test run.

     Speaking of the website, the National Park Service digital community is working on a service-wide mobile app that should be going live in January. The app will use specially-formatted content on park websites to provide content for the app. Look for an article in this edition of OUTPOST for more details about this great new opportunity to share information about Fort Larned with our visitors.

     For updates on our operating status, check our website {} or our Facebook page {}.

Fort Larned Roll Call: Brian Miller
by Brian Miller, Park Ranger

     Hi all! My name is Brian Miller and I am the newest Park Ranger to join the team at Fort Larned NHS. I grew up exploring the hiking trails of Northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, I spent a few years in the education field, including running STEM-based summer camps, before starting my dream career as a Park Ranger. I love having the opportunity to introduce visitors to some of America's treasures, whether it's exploring how a steam locomotive operates at Steamboat National Historic Site, examining the miracle of flight at Wright Brothers National Memorial, or discussing lighthouses and ocean wildlife at my last park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Here at Fort Larned I will be filling in the big shoes left by Ellen Jones of overseeing education groups. I am very excited to share the many stories we have here. As a history buff and outdoor lover, when I'm not at work you will probably find me exploring historic sites and state parks throughout the region with my wife Chelsie.
Side note by Ben Long:
     This is my second time working with Brian and the third time we've lived in the same area - it's getting a bit suspicious at this point! I just wanted to interject a quick note to say that I was thrilled when I heard Brian would be joining our team here. And while he does have some big shoes to fill, I am confident he will fill them well. Brian is a great interpreter, educator, and historian, and I hope you get a chance to meet him soon.

Tarha The Ranger Bison
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     Since the last edition of OUTPOST, Fort Larned has welcomed a new member to the staff. . . .well, sort of. In addition to Ranger Brian, there's new face wandering Fort Larned's grounds wearing a flat hat. Different from all the other rangers, this ranger hat wearer is quite fluffy, has horns and isn't that talkative. I am, of course, talking about Tarha the Ranger Bison, the Fort's new social media mascot.

     Back in mid-August, we held a vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter saying that we have a social media mascot, it just needs a name. People (perhaps including some of you) came out in droves and by a landslide, the name "Tarha" was chosen. Tarha is the Pawnee word for bison, making her name quite literal, but we love it. "Why have a social media mascot" you ask? That's a great question!

     On Facebook, we can tell the demographics of our fans. From those statistics, we can see that most of the likes on our page come from men ages 45 to 54 and most of the people who interact with our post are women ages 65+. While there's nothing wrong with those numbers, we're always looking for ways to engage the next generation, as they are the ones who will be protecting this place in the future. And what better way to engage the next generation than with a fluffy version of Kansas's state animal?

     The purpose of Tarha is to be able to tell the stories of Fort Larned in a way that is entertaining and interesting. For example, to tell the story of the bad food the soldiers would have eaten here, we could have a picture of the stove in the Barracks Kitchen or we could set a scene with Tarha, giving the story and the picture a subject. Some of you may have already seen the adventures that Tarha has experienced. I can assure you, there are plenty more to come!

William H. Mackey: A Civilian Worker
At Fort Larned
by Pete Bethke, Park Ranger/Blacksmith

     Unfortunately, the military did not keep records on the civilian workers like the blacksmiths, carpenters, painters, stone masons, etc. Today, we know the number of these workers but few names or any other information about them, with one exception--William H. Mackey. Around the turn of the century, the Kansas State Historical Society printed a memoir written by Mackey ("Looking Backward," Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 10 [1908]: 642-654). From this article, we have information that we use today in our interpretation of the blacksmith shop at Fort Larned NHS.

     In 1855 Mackey and his wife came to Kansas from Covington, Kentucky, and settled 14 miles southeast of Fort Riley. In September 1855 he "took charge of the blacksmith shop at Fort Riley" and left Fort Riley in December 1855. He moved to Easton, Kansas, near Leavenworth, where he bought a blacksmith shop.

     A decade later, in "March 1865, I went to Fort Larned and took charge of the smith shops at the post for the quartermaster." Each cavalry company at the fort had a company farrier, as he noted. "Each company had a horse-shoer to do post work, so I had nothing to do for the companies unless they had an order from the quartermaster."

     Pete Bethke in Fort Larned Blacksmith Shop

     He provided additional information about the blacksmith shop at Fort Larned: "This is when freighting with New Mexico was done with Mexican teams, and no train was allowed to pass Larned with less than fifty wagons. I had the privilege of doing their work while they were at the post, which was a pretty fat job, as my pay went on at the same time." I would imagine that this would be determined by the amount of military work needed to be done by the quartermaster as to whether it was done on military time. It could be conceivable that since the civilian traffic was an important part of the Santa Fe Trail that the quartermaster may have allowed it, if his other work got done.

     My favorite story of Mackey is about an incident which occurred with an officer, here quoted in its entirety. "About this time there was a company that came to the post, I don't know where from, we called the galvanized company." These were former Confederate soldiers who had been captured by Union troops, held as prisoners of war, and permitted to join the Union Army to serve in the West. Several companies served along the Santa Fe Trail. "One of the officers of this company was a Dutch lieutenant built like a beer keg, and very pompous. He came to my place and, tapping me on the shoulder and pointing out his horse, ordered me to shoe the same, and left the shop. When he returned, he found his horse where he had left him, and not shod. He came into the shop snorting. I told him I had no time to shoe his horse, and he left. In the afternoon he came back and told me his horse was outside, and he must have it shod. I then told him to bring me an order from the quartermaster. He said, 'No, I will get one from the commander of the post,' which he did. As I was working for the quartermaster, I did not recognize his order. The next morning he came in and handed me a five-dollar gold piece and asked me to shoe his horse, which I did, and would have done on his first call if he had not commanded me to do it. So you see I always get some mirth besides pay for my work."

More: Experiencing Fort Larned
by Sam Young, Fort Larned Volunteer

     In the Spring 2020 OUTPOST is my article "Experiencing Fort Larned in 1868." It uses the Fort Larned NHS brochure with the artist rendering of a typical day at Fort Larned in 1868 and my twelve years (plus) as a living-history volunteer at Fort Larned NHS.

     In the Winter 2020 issue of OUTPOST, I wrote about the treasure trove of historical Fort Larned information available on the Old Guard's website that is available to all of us: "Fort Larned Old Guard"

     While Fort Larned in 1868 is the primary focus year portrayed by Fort Larned NHS, there are many events that occurred in 1867 and 1869 that impacted or were impacted by the events of 1868. Go to the Old Guard's website, click on OUTPOST, then go to the bottom of the page where you will see VOL. 5 - FALL - 1994 - I (Jan 1 - Apr 28 1867), VOL. 5 - FALL - 1994 - II (May 1 - Aug 28 1867), and VOL. 5 - FALL -1994 - III (Sep 1- Dec 27 1867); VOL. 4 - FALL - 1993 (Jan 3 - Dec 31 1868); and VOL. 6 - FALL - 1995 - I (Jan 1 - Apr 30 1869), VOL. 6 - FALL - 1995 - FALL - II (May1 - Aug 29 1869), and VOL. 6 - FALL - 1995 - III (Sep 8 - Dec 31 1869). Open any one of those files and you will be amazed at what you will find-journal entries for many of those days covering all kinds of events and/or actions. Here are several 1868 examples.

     February 2--A letter was received from Brevet Major W. Bell, District of the Upper Arkansas, Fort Harker, stating that "candles cannot be issued to headquarters of a Post but can be purchased by the Post fund from the Commissary."

     April 5--The commanding officer issued an order stating that it had been brought to his attention that enlisted men "have sold, bartered, or given away to Indians visiting this Post, Spirit Liquors thereby causing them to appear in a frenzied, and beastly state of intoxication." He went on to state that this practice was against orders and enlisted men caught in violation of the order would be severely punished.

     June 29--Letter from Captain Asbury to Major Belger, Fort Haarker: "I would respectfully request that the balance of D Co 3rd Infantry on duty at this post, be ordered to Fort Zarah KS., and would respectfully recommend that that post, be made a separate command from Fort Larned KS."

     June 30--Fort Zarah was made a separate fort, no longer under the jurisdiction of the commanding officer at Fort Larned.

     November 26--Letter from Major Yard to Major Andrew Sheridan, commanding Fort Dodge: "Your communication of the 25th inst requesting me to forward promptly, such mail as may be at this Post for Fort Dodge, was received this morning. In reply, I would respectfully state that no mail has arrived here from Fort Harker, since the 15th inst. Scouts sent for it a few (missing line) are expected back soon; and when they arrive, the mail for your Post will be forwarded without delay."

     December 18--The country around Fort Larned was covered with vast herds of buffalo and the men of the garrison nearly supported themselves with fresh meat. The buffalo were said to be in better condition than the beef cattle at the post.

The Enlissted Men Of Company C, Third Infantry
Part XX - Martin Jacob
by Celest 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. That information was compiled in the Historic Furnishing Study: Enlisted Men's Barracks and Post Hospital, HS-2. Here is the twentieth installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report. There are no photos available for these enlisted soldiers.)

     Martin Jacob, next on the list of enlisted men, has a somewhat routine career at Fort Larned with a few twists thrown in. He enlisted on November 1, 1865 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

     Private Jacob started January 1868 at Fort Larned on company duty until the 15th, when he was sent on detached service to Fort Zarah for picket duty. He remained at Fort Zarah until March 15th when he returned to Fort Larned and returned on company duty. On April 20th, he reported to sick call with a contusion and remained sick in the barracks until May 8th. There is no information about how he got the contusion, but it must have been serious to keep him out off duty for such a long time.

     When he returned to duty, he was sent to the Quartermaster Department as a laborer for the rest of May. He kept that job until the end of June. Starting in July, he had daily duty as the company clerk, a step up in the world of soldierly duties. Being chosen as a company clerk not only meant Jacob could read and write, which only about half the soldiers in the Army at the time could, he also had to have good penmanship. By the 23rd, though, he was back in sick call with another contusion. This injury was apparently not as bad as the one earlier since he returned to duty on the 25th. He remained as the company clerk through the end of July and for all of August.

     By September, Private Jacob was back to company duty and remained in that job until the 18th when he reported to sick call with diarrhea. He was back on company duty by the 21st. He spent all of October on company duty and was honorably discharged on November 1st.

     Like many soldiers, Private Jacob's stay at Fort Larned was undistinguished. He seems to have done his duty and kept himself out of trouble until his enlistment was up. And, while many soldiers suffered illness and injury that kept them off duty, it would be interesting to know what sort of injury he suffered that kept him on the sick roll for 18 days.

Maintenance Matters
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     Greetings from the park's facility team. We are heading into fall and winter seasons - yes, we turn the thermostat to heat. I want to thank all the staff and volunteers who made the Candlelight Tour a good one. Shawn and Robert are rebuilding the fence, before repairing the roof of the Adjutant's Office exhibit. The fence and the Adjutant's Office exhibit were damaged in a wind event earlier this year. Mat, our newest member on the team and park custodian, is fighting the dust of the season - as he notes, it's never ending.

     Along with keeping up with buildings and ground maintenance, we manage some of the invasive species. We removed, with staff and service contract, 300 salt cedar trees from the Forts Santa Fe Trail Ruts site. This provides a renewed viewshed of the ruts.

     Our volunteers who stay at the park camping pads and the maintenance staff now have a place to shelter in severe weather. We installed a storm shelter just outside the maintenance complex. It is an above ground steel shelter and will house up to eight people.

     We are already working on the recruitment package for hiring seasonal workers for next summer. If you or someone you know is interested, you can reach out to the Facility Manager, Bill "Chappy" Chapman at the park office for information regarding seasonal employment.

     This winter, we will be updating part of the restroom facilities in the visitor center and at the comfort station by replacing the aged sinks with integrated lavatory systems.

     Remember to check your smoke detectors and use caution when testing. A safety tip we use at our house is to use a dowel rod to push the test button on the smoke detector - this way your feet stay firmly on the ground. But if I need to use a ladder, I follow some simple rules: keep ladder on firm base, maintain three points of contact on the ladder, and do not reach past shoulder width while on the ladder. Following these simple rules will keep you safe.

     While speaking of checking your smoke detectors, check your fire extinguishers as well. You can also practice use of the extinguishers using the P.A.S.S. acronym. P) pull the pin. A) aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire. S) squeeze the handle. S) sweep side to side with the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.

     Since this article will be posted in November, Shawn, Mat, Robert, and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas this year, and a Happy New Year.

There's An App For That:
The National Park Service Mobile App Is Coming
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     We hear it all the time. If there's something you want to do on your smart phone or tablet, somebody has probably made an app for it. Soon there's going to be an app you can use to explore any park in the National Park System.

     Some parks already have an app to help visitors explore their sites, but many don't. The idea behind the National Park Service mobile app is not only to make an app available to visitors no matter which park they visit, but also provide them with a unified National Park Service app experience. Much like the park websites, which follow a certain format but also allow parks the flexibility to tell their unique story, the app will provide a similar format for visitors to access individual park information.

     Creating the app will be relatively easy. Existing web content on a park's website will be "packaged" into a format that can be used by the app platform. For most parks, it will be a simple matter of taking existing web content and converting it to a format that can be used by the app. Once the app goes live, the content will be there for visitors to use. Parks can add sites with videos, tours, interpretation, and audio description. In fact, the app will be accessible right "out of the box."

     There are many ways you'll be able to use the app, and not just to explore individual parks. You can discover parks near you as you travel, explore different parks by theme or subject, get park news at a local or national level, and even access {} for reservations and passes. You can also download park content if you're going to a remote park with limited cell phone service.

     The new National Park Service app is just one more way the Park Service will be connecting visitors with our stories, landscapes, services, and mission.

Fort Larned Old Guard Board Meeting Minutes, October 3, 2020
(Summary Minutes for Publication)

     Chair Janet Armstead called Zoom meeting to order at 1:06 p.m. Board members attending the meeting were Janet Armstead, Rex Abrahams, Martha Scranton, Greg VanCoevern, Linda Peters, Tim Zwink, and Kristin Keith. Others in attendance: Leo Oliva and George Elmore.

     Janet Armstead asked the Board to approve the minutes from the previous meeting on October 12, 2019. Rex Abrahams moved that the minutes be approved as written. Martha Scranton seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Janet Armstead then asked the Board to approve the E-minutes. Rex Abrahams moved that the E-minutes be approved as written. Martha Scranton seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Treasurer - Martha Scranton presented the Treasurer's Report with expenses of $3,576.65 and an income of $3,897.25, resulting in FLOG's total current assets of $11,025.61. Tim Zwink motioned to accept the financial report. Rex Abrahams seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Village Site Report - Leo Oliva stated that the CRP contract expired September 30, 2019. A new 15-year contract was approved and was effective as of October 1, 2020. While the CRP was out of contract, arrangements were made for the grass to be swathed and baled. The bales were sold to Pawnee Valley Feed Yard. FLOG's share, $2,522.80, was received in September. Tim Zwink moved that the Village Site Report be accepted. Martha Scranton seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Membership Report - Linda Peters shared the Membership Report and noted there are 32 annual paid memberships, 7 non-renewals, and 47 lifetime members. Rex Abrahams made a motion to accept the Membership Report as amended. Martha Scranton seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Fort Larned Report - George Elmore reported that the annual Fort Larned Candlelight Tour will be held on October 10. George stated that this year's tour would be different than previous years due to COVID. These changes include: exterior scenes only, social distancing of 10 feet, masks preferred, fewer volunteers, and no food will be served to guests or volunteers. He also reported on the status of the "Friends Agreement," stating that the initial draft was declined. George is currently rewriting the agreement according to a new format. He noted there will be a small blessing and ceremony for the new exhibits in the Visitor Center which remains closed at this time.

     OUTPOST & Photo and Art Contest - Leo Oliva stated that the deadline for articles for the next issue of OUTPOST is November 1. He noted that Ranger Ben Long has taken over the Fort editor duties previously done by Ellen Jones. Leo recommends that the Photo/Art Contest be canceled for 2021 because of COVID-19. Rex Abrahams moved to postpone the contest for 2021, Janet Armstead seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Mess and Muster - Janet Armstead reported that the next Mess and Muster is scheduled for April 24, 2021. This is subject to change because of COVID-19.

     Sibley's Camp - Discussion was held concerning an offer to buy the Sibley Campsite and permit Fort Larned Old Guard to maintain the signs there. Martha Scranton will check on this and report to the Board.

New Business:
     Facebook - Kristin Keith reported that she has been sharing many of Fort Larned's Facebook posts on the Fort Larned Old Guard page. She stated that Ben Long has been doing a fantastic job-sharing articles, photos, and interesting facts about Fort Larned. Kristin has also shared articles from other National Parks and the Santa Fe Trail to the Fort Larned Old Guard page. She encouraged everyone who uses Facebook to interact with the Fort Larned Old Guard page frequently.

     Proposal from Celeste Dixon - Ranger Celeste Dixon sent a report about what Fort Larned Old Guard is currently paying for a mobile hotspot for the Fort for long-distance education programs. She recommends the purchase of an iPad with cellular and unlimited data in place of the hotspot which costs about $40 per month less than the hotspot. Greg VanCoevern moved that we purchase an iPad with cellular and unlimited data plan for the Fort using funds from the Village Site account. Tim Zwank seconded the motion and the motion was passed. (Note: This has been done.)

     Janet Armstead suggested that Fort Larned Old Guard acquire a safe deposit box at First State Bank to house all important documents in one location. Martha Scranton reported that the cost for a safe deposit box is $35.00 a year. Janet moved that Fort Larned Old Guard rent a safe deposit box at First State Bank in Larned. Greg VanCoevern seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Janet Armstead announced that the next Fort Larned Old Guard Board of Directors Meeting would be on April 24, 2021.

     Tim Zwink moved the meeting be adjourned. Rex Abrahams seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Respectfully submitted, Kristin Keith, Secretary.

Fort Larned In The News
From The Leavenworth Times, April 6, 1865:
A Word To Freighters
Post Hospital, Ft. Larned, Kas.
March 27, 1865

     It is high tune that the attention of the public was called to the fact, that notwithstanding there are so many people engaged in the business of freighting across these plains, there are but few if any of the wagon masters that are supplied with anything in the shape of medicine to answer in case of emergency, which could be taken along without any inconvenience, already put up for immediate use; and the neglect of these precautionary supplies has resulted in the loss of many lives within the last twelve months. Indeed, we have been but seldom without one or more cases taken in off the road for the last two and a half years, the majority of which have been almost beyond recovery, under the best of treatment and careful nursing, when the same might have been saved much suffering, to say nothing about thir having to be hauled along, in some cases, for three or four hundred miles in slow wagons, and then left behind to linger out a few days more, and die far from home and friends.

     In your issue of week before last, I observe there is a likelihood of a greatly increased amount of freighting to be done this season. If so, I am sure that much good may result by a timely warning through the medium of your columns, if you would please call the attention of the parties concerned to the above facts.

     I will also observe that it is necessary for hired teamsters to be careful and inquire into this, and not to hire out with any contractor or wagon master who does not furnish medicines for the trip, or else furnish a small lot for themselves, which need not cost much. It is also true that some of these men are left behind without a cent of money, or a change of clothes. Perhaps this way of getting rid of a man may be very convenient to the parties hiring them, as some have been left in this way without ever being inquired for after by any one, and I am led to suppose that almost the whole of their wages for the round trip of these men are counted upon as clear gain.

     I have considered it my duty to send this to you, thinking that you will give it an insertion in your paper, or in some way bring these facts before the public.

     James Blackey, Hospital Steward, U.S.A., Fort Larned, Kansas.

From The Daily Kansas Tribune
(Lawrence, Kansas), May 11, 1865:
Protection Of Trains

     An order has been published by Col. Ford, Department of the Upper Arkansas, directing that a company of troops shall leave Council Grove on the 1st and 15th of each month, for Fort Larned, to escort trains and travelers between those two points. Gen. Carleton, Department of New Mexico, will provide escort from Larned to Fort Union. A like arrangement is made for trains coming this way.

From The Olathe Mirror, Nov. 9, 1865:

     It is with regret and sorrow that we are called upon to announce the decease of Lieut. John Hayes, who died on the 25th of October, at Fort Larned, in this State. His disease was consumption (tuberculosis), from which he had been suffering for several years. He started across the plains some two months ago, hoping by a change of climate and diet, to partially if not entirely regain his lost health; but the disease was too firmly fastened upon him to be removed by any human agencies.

     April 24, 2021: Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster (dependent on pandemic situation)

February 1, 2021

     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 {}. 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 2021, 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, Kansas 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. They also have a great book store! Information on Fort Larned may be found at {www.National Park}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {fols_superintendent@National Park}.

Santa Fe Trail Research Site

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