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

May 4, 2002, Event Will Be Capped Off With Louis Kraft As 'Ned' Wynkoop
     Riverboats, railroads and Indians will be the featured topics on Saturday, May 4, as part of this year's Old Guard Annual Meeting. Planned in conjunction with the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail, the full day of activities will take place in and around Fort Larned.

     The day's program will include morning presentations on Missouri River landings used as jumping-off points for the Santa Fe Trail, as well as the two railroads that eventually replaced the trail: the Union Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. These programs, as well as coffee and registration, will be held at Fort Larned National Historic Site, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

     After a break for lunch, included in morning pre-registration fees, the focus will shift to the site of the Cheyenne-Sioux Indian village northwest of the Fort. Reenactors with tipis will be camped at the village site and will present demonstrations of Plains Indian culture. A buffalo-hunter camp program by other reenactors is also planned at the site. There is no charge for the afternoon activities at the village site.

     That evening, Louis Kraft of North Hollywood, California, will give a first-person portrayal of Indian agent Edward W. "Ned" Wynkoop. Wynkoop, was a key figure in the events surrounding the destruction of the Cheyenne-Sioux village in 1867. Kraft's program, and the dinner preceding it, will take place at the Larned Community Center in the east part of Larned. Dinner reservations are $15 per adult, and $10 per child under age 10.

     Old Guard members are encouraged to attend this informative and entertaining program---and bring friends.

FY2002 Budget And Annual Performance Plan Available
     Fort Larned NHS has released the park's budget and Annual Performance Plan for FY2002 for public review as required by the "National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998." Highlights of the park's budget, which funds specific goals in the Annual Performance Plan, include the following:

     $317,000 for resource preservation and management. The park's goal is to protect, restore and maintain in good condition the natural and cultural resources of the park. This includes the nine historic structures that date to the 1860s as well as the reconstructed blockhouse. Also maintained are numerous secondary structures such as well houses, flagpole, fences, privies, parade ground and company streets. The park maintains approximately 400 acres of restored prairie, including the 44-acre tract near Garfield, Kansas which has Santa Fe Trail ruts and a prairie dog town. Park museum objects are protected in accordance with professional standards.

     $256,000 to address visitor services. Park visitors, neighbors and the general public learn to understand the significance of the national historic site and enjoy a safe visit. The park provides a visitor center, which is open all year. Approximately 40,000 people per year visit the park, including many school groups from across the state. Many visitors enjoy ranger-led tours or take a self-guided tour of the Fort's buildings and grounds. The park staff, aided by a large group of volunteers, including many Old Guard members, also provides extensive living history programs, especially during the summer season.

     $70,000 for facility operations and maintenance. Visitors safely enjoy and are satisfied with the availability, accessibility, diversity and quality of park facilities and recreational opportunities. Public facilities include the visitor center, picnic area, and the historic buildings. The "trail ruts" section of the park includes an observation platform for viewing the Santa Fe Trail ruts and the prairie dog town. The park provides infrastructure support to ensure that the necessary facilities are available for public use and for the preservation of the park's cultural and natural resources. This category will be enhanced by approximately $10,800 the park expects to retain from the entrance fees paid by park visitors.

     $138,000 for park administration. The park uses current management practices, systems and technologies to accomplish its mission; to meet a variety of legal requirements and to expend available funds and personnel efforts in the most effective way requires a support staff. They ensure that mandates are fulfilled, guidance and direction are provided, and those needs are accurately defined and support requested. Managerial capabilities are increased through initiatives and support from other agencies, organizations an individuals.

     A copy of the park's complete performance plan, prepared in accordance with the "Government Performance and Results Act," is available by contacting the park. The plan is also available on the park's Internet homepage at "". I welcome any comments you may have concerning the parks annual performance plan.
Steve Linderer, FLNHS Superintendent

Edward W. Wynkoop From Robert M. Utley's Life In Custer's Cavalry
     A man of ability and humanity, Edward W. "Ned" Wynkoop played a major role in the relations between the Southern Cheyennes and the whites from 1864 to 1868.

     As a major in the 1st Colorado Cavalry in 1864, he commanded Fort Lyon when the tension began to build that led to the Sand Creek Massacre. Wynkoop came to have an understanding and sympathy for the Indians not shared by most, and certainly not by his superior, Col. John M. Chivington. Wynkoop worked for peace in opposition to Chivington. The latter prevailed, with Sand Creek the result.

     After the Civil War, as Indian agent for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, Wynkoop worked hard from 1866 to 1868 to prevent hostilities. He vigorously championed the cause of his charges and defended them when accused of depredations. Often he was right but often, also, wrong, and he lost credibility with both army officers and frontier settlers. After the Cheyenne outbreak of 1868, he resigned in disillusion. His letter of resignation was a long and labored vindication of the Cheyennes, whom he pictured as innocent victims of blundering government policies. After the Battle of the Washita he publicly likened Custer to Chivington and the battle to Sand Creek.

     Born in Philadelphia on June 19, 1836, Wynkoop emigrated to Kansas in the mid-1850s. In 1858 he joined the Pike's Peak gold rush and was one of the founders of Denver. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned in the 1st Colorado Volunteers and in March 1862 fought as a company commander at Apache Canyon and Glorieta Pass, where the Confederate invasion of New Mexico was turned back. After his resignation as Indian agent in 1868, Wynkoop returned to Pennsylvania and went into the iron-making business. Ruined by the Panic of 1873, he participated in the Black Hills gold rush and briefly fought Indians, in company with the "poet-scout" Capt. Jack Crawford, in a local ranger unit. Thereafter he wandered from one job to another, including Adjutant General of New Mexico and warden of the New Mexico Penitentiary.

     He died in Santa Fe on September 11, 1891, and was buried in the national cemetery there.

Annual Meeting Is May 4, 2002
     Make plans now to attend the annual meeting on May 4. If you have not renewed your membership for 2002, please do so now. With your continued support the Old Guard can accomplish much. Your membership, contributions, and assistance for our Programs are greatly appreciated. Fort Larned Old Guard exists solely to enhance the historical value and Programs of Fort Larned NHS. This requires resources and volunteers.

     Please note that the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail is offering another outstanding seminar during the morning of May 4. The Old Guard portion will follow during the afternoon at the village site, with an evening dinner and program at the community center in Larned.

     The highlight of our program will be Louis Kraft's presentation as Edward W. Wynkoop, the world premiere of this production, for which there is no admission charge, there is a charge for the dinner which is optional. Please invite everyone you know to come and enjoy this dramatic presentation.

     Work has continued at the village site, cleaning up trash and fighting weeds in the pasture. We continue to face the problem of intruders there who seem to think they have a right to trespass, remove artifacts and damage resources. A $500 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone guilty of criminal trespass at the site. This historic site is closed to the public except for special programs.

     I hope to see you on May 4. Visit Fort Larned NHS often. Please continue your active participation in the programs of the Old Guard. Let the outstanding staff and volunteers at the Fort know how much their efforts are appreciated.
Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman

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