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

Cheyenne Sioux Village Site Added To National Register of Historic Places
     The National Park Service approved the nomination of the Cheyenne and Sioux Village Site on Parnee Fork in Ness County, Kansas, 32 miles west of Fort Larned, and added the property, currently owned by the Fort Larned Old Guard, to the National Register of Historic Places on June 17, 2010. This is a major step toward the goal of transferring this important historic location to the National Park Service to become a detached site of Fort Larned National Historic Site. Special thanks to all who contributed to this achievement.

     The location of the village, which was destroyed by General Winfield S. Hancock's Expedition in April 1867 was found by the late Earl Monger of Larned, Kansas and George Elmore, now chief ranger at Fort Larned National Historic Site, in 1976. The site was confirmed by archaeological investigations conducted by the Kansas State Historical Society. The Old Guard pursued the possibility of acquiring the site. In 1998 Frank and Leota Kingburg, owners of the property, agreed to sell the quarter-section containing the site of the village to Fort Larned Old Guard, and this was accomplished with assistance from the Archaeological Conservancy. Efforts were undertaken to nominate the site to the National Register. The nomination was approved by the Kansas State Historical Society's Historic Sites Review Board in 2007 and submitted to the National Park Service. The National Park Service delayed approval and requested additional information. With assistance from the staff of the Preservation Department of the Kansas State Historical Society and the detailed documentation provided by Bill Chalfant in his recent book, Hancock's War: Conflict on the Southern Plains (2010), the National Park Service added the site to the National Register.

Fort Larned Annual Christmas Open House
     The annual Christmas Open House at Fort Larned National Historic Site is set for December 11, 2010, 6:00-9:00pm in the Post Hospital. There will be decorations, food, and singing. The special theme for this year is "A Taste of Christmas Past," featuring samples of period foods associated with the holiday season. Volunteers will be present to help everyone enjoy festivities designed to show how Christmas was celebrated at the frontier military post. The 1860's Santa will arrive sometime that evening. Volunteers are needed to assist with preparations and hosting this open house. Everyone is welcome to enjoy this special evening at the fort.

Indemnity Delayed
by David K. Clapsaddle
     (Clapsaddle, Larned, Kansas, is an active member of Fort Larned Old Guard and writes about the history of Fort Larned, the Santa Fe Trail, and other regional topics. Special thanks to him for preparing this article for Outpost.)

     This narrative finds its source near the Smoky Hill River some 45 miles northwest of Fort Larned on May 16, 1864. On that date a confrontation ensued between an 80-man force of the First Colorado Cavalry commanded by Lieutenant George S. Eayre and a Cheyenne party which, according to Eayre, numbered 400. [1] As told by George Bird Grinnell, Chief Lean Bear, also called Starving Bear, and a warrior named Star rode forward to meet the soldiers. Lean Bear, who had been part of a Plains Indian delegation to Washington in the previous year, had on his person papers attesting to his interest in peace and a peace medal given by President Abraham Lincoln. When he and Star approached within 20 to 30 feet of the soldiers, Eayre gave an order and the soldiers fired. Lean Bear and Star fell dead from their ponies. Immediately, the soldiers opened fire with a howitzer and a running battle ensued. Eayre reported that after a seven-and-one-half hour engagement, his command reached Fort Larned. He claimed that the Cheyennes suffered the loss of three chiefs and twent-five warriors. Later, he stated one chief was killed. Still later, Eayre told William Bent seventeen warriors were killed. George Bent said that only one warrior was killed. At some point during the fight, Chief Black Kettle intervened calling off the warriors. However, some of the warriors refused Black Kettle's counsel and pursued the soldiers all the way to Fort Larned. [2]

     On the same day, Cheyennes, friendly to Charles Rath, proprietor of a trading ranch at the Walnut Creek crossing of the Santa Fe Trail, came to the ranch to warn of an impending raid. Taking Rath's Cheyenne wife, Making Out Road, they promptly left the ranch. The ever-resourceful Rath loaded wagons with his trade goods, sent them east with a passing caravan, and dispatched John F. Dodds to Fort Larned for help. Dodds, postmaster at the Kiowa post office located at the crossing, arrived at Fort Larned late that night. Unable to secure any assurance of assistance from Captain James W. Parmater, post commander, characterized as an incompetent drunken officer, Dodds waited out the night before his return to Walnut Creek. [3]

     On the following morning, May 17, Rath and associates John Dodge and Lewis Booth picketed livestock belonging to Rath, Dodds, and the mail company outside the corral to graze. At 9:00 a.m. the Cheyennes charged, cut the lariats picketing the animals, and drove them away. [4]

     In the meantime, Dodds had met up with Lieutenant Eayre's command 20 miles east of Fort Larned. Eayre informed Dodds that his troops had already engaged the Cheyennes that morning and that Rathi's ranch had been destroyed and all the people killed. Taking Eayre at his word, Dodds retreated to Fort Larned where he learned the truth of the lieutenant's exaggerated report. [5]

     Upon being apprised of Eayre's misstatement, Dods quickly made his way to Walnut Creek, where he learned that, following the raid at Rath's ranch, the Cheyennes rode east to the Curtis and Cole ranch at the big bend of the Arkansas River. There they drove off the livestock and turned north to the Cow Creek station on the mail route from Junction City, where they killed Suel Walker and drove off the livestock. [6]

     Sixteen persons filed claims of $47,000 for Cheyenne depredations on May 17, 1864. Such claims were in accord with long-standing indemnity payments dating back to 1796, by which citizens could be reimbursed for losses at the hands of Indian tribes who were engaged by treaty with the United States. Dodds was one of the claimants. He filed for the loss of two horses valued at $250 on May 31, 1864. At Fort Larned, Dodds presented his claim, where post adjutant Lieutenant A. W. Burtes completed affidavits from Rath, Dodge and Booth. However, the paperwork, for whatever reason, was not received by the proper authorities until March 29. 1867. Such was to be the precursor for later delays in processing the claim. [7]

     Dodds filed his claim again in 1871 with the Kansas State Indian Depredation Claims Commission; and in 1874, the Indian Office had his paperwork in hand but still did not act on the claim. In 1886, John and wife Edetha Dodds, then residing in New Mexico, submitted additional affidavits to support their losses, but to no avail. Four years later Special Agent Michael Piggot was dispatched to investigate the matter. In Indian Territory, he learned that Lewis Booth had been hanged by vigilantes, that Charles Rath had moved to Wheeler County, Texas, and that the whereabouts of John Dodge was unknown. However, in February 1891, Special Agent Walter Bishop located John Dodds, then 80 years of age, and wife Edetha in New Mexico. In the following month, Dodds's claim was forwarded to the Court of Claims, but it was not processed until November 1900. On the nineteenth of that month, $250 was awarded to Dodds's estate. He had not lived long enough to receive the compensation for which he had filed 36 years before. [8]

     Almost as a subscript, on the same day that Dodds filed his claim, Charles Rath submitted his claaim for the loss of eight animals; 1 white mule, $150; 2 large grown mules, $500; 1 sorrel mule, $150; 1 mouse col'd mare mule, $150; 1 light brown mare mule, $150; 1 large bay horse, $150; 1 cream col'd horse, $125; total $1,350. On February 25, 1867, W. W. Wynkoop, U.S. Indian Agent at Fort Larned, confirmed the claim. On November 19, 1886, Rath's attorney forwarded a notarized statement of the Cheyenne Little Robe testifying to the truth of Rath's claim. On December 4, 1886, the Secretary of the Interior was sent Rath's claim with the following recommendations. The large mules should be valued at $200 per head; the other four mules should be valued at $125 per head; and the two horses should be valued at $100 per head. Aggregate total, $1,100 was allowed by the United States Court of Claims, $110 to William T. S. Curry, Rath's attorney, and the balance to Rath. [9]

     Friederich von Logan wrote, "The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly small." If the same could be said for bureaucracy, Dodds and Rath would surely be in agreement.


  1. Leo E. Oliva Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967), 151-152; Stan Hoig, The Sand Creek Massacre (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), 151.

  2. George Bird Grinnell, The Fighting Cheyennes (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955), 145-146: Hoig, Sand Creek Massacre, 51; Donald J. Berthong, The Southern Cheyennes (Norman University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), 186; Savoie Lottinville, ed., Live of George Bent Written From His Letters (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 132-133.

  3. Louise Barry, "The Ranch at Walnut Creek Crossing," Kansas Historical Quarterly, 54 (Summer 1971): 143; Larry C. Skogen, Indian Depredation Claims, 1796-1920 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996), 157.

  4. Ibid; Barry, "Ranch at Walnut Creek," 158.

  5. Skogen, Indian Depredation Claims, 158.

  6. Barry, "Ranch at Walnut Creek," 143-144.

  7. Ibid., 144; Skogen, Indian Depredation Claims, 158.

  8. Ibid, 158-159.

  9. Ida Ellen Rath, The Rath Trail Wichita: McCormick-Armstrong Co., Inc., 1961), 45-54.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
     It is that time of year for membership renewals. On behalf of the Fort Larned Old Guard, I say "Thank You" for taking the time to renew your membership. For those of you who are not members, but have been thinking about it, now is the time! The Fort Larned Old Guard Board has been active and working hard to put your renewals/donations to good use.

     Within the past eighteen months, we commissioned the crafting of a Cheyenne Indian exhibit with clothes and accouterments for the male and female mannequins at the fort. Ken Weidner did a tremendous amount of research and spent five months creating these items. They look authentic! Perhaps you saw this Indian display at Towne West in Wichita, Kansas.

     In August, the Fort Larned Old Guard contributed to the purchase of a second horse mannequin for the fort. The new horse is a match with the one the fort already has. This gave the fort the opportunity to put a matched team together for the canon lumber. Perhaps you saw this display at the Kansas State Fair! If you did not see it, be on the lookout as this pair will be making another appearance soon!

     On September 18, 2010, the Fort Larned Old Guard Board hosted "Lunch in the Barracks." We served 120 people. Our lunch gave the attendees ample time to get to the fort, enjoy a good meal, and see the sites of the fort before attending their afternoon sessions in the Quartermaster building. It made for a smooth transition between morning events in Larned, Kansas and the afternoon programs at the fort.

     Funding special needs, offering assistance for projects that are not in the budget or realm of the National Park Service, is what the Old Guard is all about. Your dollars are put to good use and the time spent by volunteers to achieve these goals is sincerely appreciated.

     Speaking of volunteers, I extend special kudos to Dr. David Clapsaddle for receiving the Fort Larned "Volunteer of the Year" Award, presented at the annual volunteer recognition dinner on Saturday October 18, 2010. The volunteer recognition dinner is something Superintendent Kevin McMurry started in 2009. What a great idea!

     Dr. Clapsaddle has spent countless hours and driven many, many miles presenting his "Traveling Trunks" program to school children throughout Kansas and the surrounding states. He was even asked to give his presentation to school children in Texas. There are now six traveling trunks he can choose from to present a program. With budget cuts and decreasing staff at schools, Dr. Clapsaddle's programs are free of charge and the amount of publicity and good will generated on behalf of the fort is priceless. By the way Dr. Clapsaddle just happens to be a member of the Old Guard!

     In a nutshell, there you have it, positive reasons to renew your membership or send in a contribution. Your donations go a long way to preserving our past and making a lasting impression today. We could not do it without your support.

     Looking ahead, please plan to attend and participate in the annual Fort Larned Christmas Open House on December 11, 2010, featuring period foods under the theme "A Taste of Christmas Past."

     The Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess and Muster is scheduled for April 30, 2011. Plans are to recognize the recent addition of the Cheyenne and Sioux village site to the National Register of Historic Places, including programs at the village site and at the fort.. Mark you calendar now and plan to join us in celebrating the National Register designation.

Fort Larned Superintendent's Column
"On Our Watch" by Kevin McMurry
     Since the last issue of Outpost we have closed our fiscal year which runs October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, and I just finished the "Annual Report" which is archived to become part of the Fort's continuing history. The following highlights are reminders of great efforts by the Team of Volunteers, Friends, Partners, and Employees that all worked together during a great year. Achievements listed are grouped loosely based on established goals not in any particular order or priority, and the listing is certainly not inclusive of everything we achieved together! "Thank You" to everyone who helped!

Fort Larned National Historic Site, Kansas FY-2010 Annual Report
Significant Accomplishments

     With huge support from the Fort Larned Old Guard and member Ken Weidner, created a new, spectacular Plains Indian exhibit which will travel across the state after the holidays! Fort Larned Old Guard also assisted with a cost share for the two-horse "cannon carriage and limber" exhibit constructed for the Kansas State Fair.

     Partnered with 2010 Volunteer of the Year, Dr. David Clapsaddle who presented 104 programs to more than 3500-students/educators in schools across Kansas and Colorado. This program has met with overwhelming appreciation from schools administrators and numerous media outlets. Bent's Old Fort Superintendent Alexa Roberts is supporting the Colorado school programs.

     Completed a joint Ash Borer survey on park lands with Kansas State Dept of Agriculture.

     Coordinated year three of the multi-park Prairie Dog study managed by K-State University.

     Currently working with Dr. Doug Scott at the University of Nebraska to identify Archaeological survey areas needed to complete survey of the entire fort which has been ongoing since 1972.

     Conducted a burn of the restored prairie through agreement with a multi-agency fire team.

     New Chief Ranger George Elmore began work to identify study and treatment options for Hemlock, Brome Grass, Bats and Prairie Dogs which are the parks greatest resource challenges.

     Coordinated with Volunteer Margaret Linderer to complete reproduction curtains needed for the restored North Officers' Quarters.

     Coordinated with Kansas DOT, the very successful placement of I-70 and connecting highway signs.

     On November 5, Fort Larned hosted the Kansas State Eco Meet with students in grades 8-12 competing in Ecological events focused on Kansas plants and animals. Twenty four, four-person teams from regional competitions held at Olathe, Girard, Wichita, Hutchinson, Salina, Milford Lake/Junction City, Hays/Webster, and Wilson Lake competed with Blue Valley North High School winning and Wakefield High School taking second place. Those helping with the Eco Meet included Kansas Wildlife and Parks, Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, K-State Extension office from Geary County, Friends of Quivira and the National Park Service at Fort Larned. Some 25 Volunteers also helped coordinate the events.

     With GREAT Volunteer and Community support, Dr. and Mrs. Clapsaddle coordinated the Kansas National Park Quilt project with Northside Elementary School and Instructor Doug Anderson, the Larned Quilting Bees and President Ann Hicks, the Jordaan Memorial Library and Margaret Larson, the First Presbyterian Church and Rev. Denis Scheibmeir, the Tiller/Toiler and Richard Schwartzkopf, the Great Bend Tribune and Jerry Buxton. In statewide voting two Larned students tied for "best quilt block" from all the entries.

     With Guild President Richard Mehringer, cosponsored the Western Kansas Art Guild Annual Show/Competition and hosted a gallery exhibition and reception for the work of Rebecca Drach, the winning artist.

     With Instructor Richard Mehringer, coordinated a High School Student Exhibit of "Fort Larned Art" with an opening reception for artists and their families.

     Initiated a Larned citywide recreation/fitness trail planning effort to provide trails in the community and eventually connect the State Hospital Campus, Santa Fe Trail Center, and the Fort.

     Worked successfully with the US Postal Service and Larned Postmaster Steve Penick for special cancellation stamps for the Forts 2009 rededication and 2010 Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous.

     Worked with the Fort Larned Old Guard and the artist commissioned for the "Bold and Fearless" painting which was requested to be displayed off site occasionally throughout the year.

     Partnered with Ogallala Commons and area representative Tom Giessel to host two student interns completing a summer-long Oral History project focused on the fort's agricultural past.

     Fort staff traveled to Bent's Old Fort to participate in their 50th National Park Service anniversary event weekend.

     Fort staff and Volunteer Ron Drummond traveled to Fort Union in support of their annual celebration weekend.

     Fort staff traveled to Fort Scott in support of their Labor Day weekend special events.

     Completed work with the Santa Fe Trail Office and Harpers Ferry Center to construct the Santa Fe Trail Information exhibits at the four park sites along the trail.

     Partnered with the Larned Chamber/Pawnee County Tourism Committee to produce Television spots advertising fort and community events throughout the year.

     Continue to enjoy excellent relationships with three local newspapers, prompting very effective and appreciated coverage of park activities.

     Coordinated an article on the forts Department of Energy funded energy conservation projects with editors of Kansas Country Living magazine.

     Coordinated Kansas parks and dozens of GREAT Volunteers to staff the Kansas State Fair Exhibit.

     Again hosted Kansas Kids Fitness Day, one of only two locations in the State, the other being the Statehouse in Topeka.

     Completely recreated the parks web site, which landed Fort Larned on the nationwide "National Park Getaways" promotion in mid-October. Go to {} to see the improvements!

     The weekend of October 10, 2009, saw Fort Larned's 150th Anniversary Rededication weekend along with the annual volunteer recognition celebration and candlelight tour. Although the park was well prepared, the extreme weather conditions affected the crowd. However, in the true spirit of the plains, one letter we received afterwords included the comment "well yes, the weather was cold and terrible, but people were warm and wonderful and that certainly made it a grand visit to Fort Larned."

     The Volunteer Recognition event hosted some 125 of the Fort's dearest friends and supporters from as far away as Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and West Virginia in the Quartermaster Storehouse with a luncheon catered by the Barton County Community College Food Service team. 2009 Volunteer of the Year Janice Seymour was recognized along with the many other who combined contributed more than 10,000 hours of volunteer time to Fort Larned!

     The Candlelight Tour was a great experience and everyone did an incredible job acting out the scenes. The specially planned anniversary tour had trolley transportation, cannon fire, an Indian encampment, a cavalry squad, galvanized Yankee's dugout, and actual family memories of life during the ranch period to give visitors a look across the entire 150 years of Fort Larned history. Despite freezing temperatures and sleet all through the evening there were very few cancellations and many others were on a waiting list to take any available open tour spaces. Based on ecstatic comments we got from folks coming off the tours, this one will be talked about for years to come.

     The Fort's 150th Anniversary program on October 11, 2009, was truly inspirational with a special U.S. Post Office cancellation station at the 1859 Pawnee Fork Mail Station; U.S. Senator Brownback's Regional Director, Dennis Mesa; Commander of the 3rd United States Infantry, Colonel David Anders, accompanied by Command Sergeant Major, David Martell and Command Sergeant Major, Gregory Rock from Fort Myer Virginia; the United States Army, 1st Infantry Division Band from Fort Riley; Boy Scout Troop 112 from Great Bend, Kansas; Dr. Leo Oliva, Dr. David Clapsaddle and Dr. Rick Herrera, as well as Tom Seltmann from Fort Larned Historical Society, and former Fort Larned Ranch residents, Judy (Frizell) Redding and Phil Perez. Heaters were needed for the big tent but despite the cold and freezing drizzle, everything turned our great!

     In December and to conclude the 150th Anniversary celebrations, the Holiday Open House was held for the first time in the Quartermaster Warehouse rather than the smaller Post Hospital. The weather permitted convenient parking directly behind the building and the stoves kept both the crowd and the atmosphere cozy and warm. Candles and lanterns lighted a path into the 1860's post celebration with music, caroling, dancing, general merrymaking and even a visit from jolly old St. Nick for the children.

     The Fort Larned Employees Fund made cash donations to the Dodge City Veterans Home in partnership with the American Legion Riders and the Larned Food Pantry. It is hoped we can do even more during the upcoming holiday season.

     Hosted "Fort Larned weddings" for two local couples.

     Completed numerous projects with the Kansas State Prison, State Hospital and Juvenile Center.

     Fort staff continue to serve on the State Prison Community Advisory Board and the Juvenile Center Advisory Board.

     Chief Ranger George Elmore again coordinated the nationwide National Park Service Historic Weapons training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, and also traveled to numerous parks to inspect their weapons and programs.

     Rehabilitation of the North Officers' Quarters was successfully completed with daily oversight from Facility Manager William Chapman. After more than 30-years this will reopen to the public in May!

     Fort staff hosted and instructed a training course on "historic graining" techniques for interior wood work at the North Officers' Quarters. This was attended by trainees from across the nation.

     Completed installation of a mechanized entry door at the visitors center for greatly improved wheelchair access.

     Construction of restored and fully "accessible" walkways and company streets has been contracted for completion in the spring.

     Demolition and replacement of the failing concrete bridge with a "historic" wagon bridge in its original location are on track with the Federal Highway and Park Service Construction Offices in Denver.

     The National Park Service Midwest Archaeological Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, completed three weeks of work surveying sites on both banks of the Pawnee River.

     Working with Midwest Energy, completed replacement of the fort's entire high voltage electrical system, undergrounding everything to eliminate all poles and wires from the 1860's historic scene.

     "On Our Watch" and with continued generous assistance from all our employees, many partners and great volunteer friends, we provide Fort Larned and Santa Fe Trail related history for all to learn and enjoy. We hope to see you at Fort Larned and I personally invite you to join the Fort Larned Old Guard and support our work together!

Fort Larned Roll Call: Robert Sellers
by Nathan King
     Robert Sellers isn't the type of guy who likes to draw a lot of attention to himself. He lets his work do the talking instead.

Robert Sellers
Robert Sellers

     After working four summers as a Laborer in the Maintenance division at Fort Larned, Robert was recently promoted to Preservation Specialist. In his new roll, Robert is primarily responsible for maintaining the historic structures at the Fort weather it means painting, wood repairs, masonry, or major rehabilitation.

     Robert says his greatest satisfaction in working at Fort Larned is the hands-on work repairing the Fort's historic buildings. Through his hard work, visitors can continue to experience the best-preserved frontier fort in the nation. Currently, Robert is working to repair three chimneys on the Commanding Officer's Quarters.

     Sellers grew up in Stafford, Kansas. In 2010, he completed a degree from Pittsburg State University with a major in Construction Management.

     Outside work at Fort Larned, Robert enjoys outdoor hobbies including hunting, fishing, trapping and riding horses. He prefers to hunt for white-tail deer and ducks. He also enjoys listening to country music from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Introductions Please!
by Rex Abrahams
     Individual members of the Old Guard have a great opportunity to support the work of Fort Larned by one simple gesture. Contact your local school and ask if they would be interested in having Dr. David Clapsaddle come and present his "Traveling Trunks" program to the students. The program is aimed at grades 3-6 and last about 40 minutes. The program is free. Dr. Clapsaddle donates his time and Fort Larned covers his expenses. It is a wonderful opportunity for each of us to contribute in the promotion of Fort Larned.

     It is not a secret that school budget cuts have reduced the amount of field trips students are able to take. This program helps bring a piece of history to the children. A special treat many would enjoy and remember a lifetime. Dr. Clapsaddle presented his program to 2900 students this past year and we hope to bring this exciting and interactive piece of history to even more children next year.

     All we ask is that you contact the person at your local school that would have the most interest in this program and then relay that name, school and phone number to Dr. Clapsaddle at 620-285-3295.

     Please consider this request and do your part to bring a piece of Fort Larned history to your local school. Thank you for you consideration.

     The following is more detailed description of the program and Dr. Clapsaddle.

Vounteer Roll Call: David Clapsaddle
     [David Clapsaddle has served as a volunteer at Fort Larned National Historic Site and been a member of Fort Larned Old Guard for many years. He was named 2010 Volunteer of the Year at Fort Larned. He has contributed much to Fort Larned over the years and currently offers the Traveling Trunks Program for schools.]

David Clapsaddle
David Clapsaddle

     Fort Larned National Historic Site initiated the Traveling Trunks Program in the fall of 2009. Designed to acquaint elementary age children with the Fort and the Santa Fe Trail, the presentations are geared for grades 3-6. Clapsaddle has created six separate trunks, each packed with artifacts related to a story he has written to go with the respective trunk. In the school year 2009-2010, Clapsaddle visited 32 schools in Kansas and Colorado. Presentations were made to 2900 students.

     The fall semester 2010 is on track to exceed the numbers tallied in fall/2009. The spring semester/2011 will feature a new trunk with the true story of seven-year old Marion Russell who traveled to Santa Fe in 1852, accompanied by her mother and older brother. The story takes little Marion down the Santa Fe Tail where adventure after adventure is encountered. While most of the artifacts are girl oriented, attention is also given to brother Will.

     Each presentation is about forty minutes in length. Clapsaddle reads the story, distributes artifacts, and responds to questions, after which a follow-up question/answer session is conducted.

     There is no charge for the program as the Fort Larned National Historic Site defrays Clapsaddle's travel expenses and his time is donated.

     With many schools forced to curtail field trips, these presentations can accommodate learning experiences otherwise denied to schools children.

     Dr. Clapsaddle will be pleased to contact schools and schedule presentations. Please call 620-285-3295. He will be out of state from December 14-January 1 making presentations in Texas. Call him at your earliest convenience. Leave a message if necessary.

     Teachers may be interested to know that Clapsaddle has served as a public school teacher in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. After completing graduate studies at Kansas State University, he has served in teacher preparation programs at Kansas State University, Wichita State University, and the University of Montana. He is no stranger to the classroom.

Fort Larned Old Guard Roll Call: Tim Zwink
     Tim Zwink was born in Council Grove and reared in the small Kansas towns of Burrton, Coldwater, Kensington, and Macksville. He earned B.A and M.A degrees in history at Fort Hays State University. His Master's thesis was on the Hancock Expedition. While working on his Master's degree, Zwink began a professional career as an educator teaching the seventh and eight-grade classes at Munjor Elementary School near Hays.

Tim Zwink
Tim Zwink

     Zwink received the Ph.D. in history at Oklahoma State University in 1980. His doctoral dissertation was a history of Fort Larned. He taught history at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva for 11 years. In 1990 he was named academic vice-president for the university, serving in the position until he took early retirement in 2002.

     From Northwestern Zwink entered service at the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City, initially as a development officer. He now holds the position of deputy executive director and recently was named the editor of the Oklahoma Historical Society publications program. During his time at the historical society, Zwink has taught history classes for the University of Oklahoma.

     Zwink's primary field of interest has been the American West, with a major emphasis on teaching, researching, and writing about the post-Civil War frontier military and Plains Indians. He has co-authored or co-edited four books and monographs, contributed chapter to books, written numerous book reviews and encyclopedia entries, and authored magazine and journal articles, including "E. W. Wynkoop and the Bluff Creek Council, 1866" Kansas Historical Quarterly (Autumn 1977).

     Zwink has served on the boards of Westerners International and the Oklahoma Historical Society. He currently is on the National Santa Fe Trail Board. Zwink is serving a second term on the Old Guard Board.

     Tim and his wife, Ann, have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Quartermaster Report:
Old & New Commissaries (HS-4 & HS-5)
     [This is the sixth in a series on the structures at Fort Larned.]
     The Old Commissary, HS-5, is actually the oldest of the stone structures at Fort Larned, built in 1866. The fort was in dire need of a new commissary at the time because the old structure it replaced no longer protected the commissary stores. Since part of the building was being used as a squad room at the time.

Old & New Commissaries
New Commissary HS-4 & Old Commissary HS-5
Portion of Blockhouse Visible to Left of New Commisary

     Construction started in July 1866 and was finished in November. According to an officer visiting in October, this was due mainly to a shortage of lime: "General (Brevet) (Cuvier) Grover hopes to complete his storehouse by the 1st of November. It would have been completed now but for the delay in procuring lime. It has been demonstrated by repeated trials that lime cannot be made economically from the stone here. It must be obtained from Fort Riley."

     Construction of HS-4, or the New Commissary began in the fall of 1867, although it was not finished until around September of 1868. That was when the army brought in about 70 civilians to finish construction on the stone buildings. Both buildings were used for storing food supplies throughout the fort's active period, although half of the New Commissary was used for the post school beginning in 1872. Loop holes along the south side of the Old Commissary would have allowed for its use as a block house if needed.

     The commissary department at a frontier post was responsible for the storage and distribution of food supplies and was headed by the commissary officer, who was usually a line officer assigned to this duty for a short time. He was assisted by a commissary sergeant and sometimes a civilian clerk. The main duty of the commissary officer was keeping track of and accounting for all the food supplies brought into and distributed from the fort. Between supplies used by the Army and Indian annuities, the commissary officer at Fort Larned was probably kept fairly busy. He also had to keep track of any Army supplies issued to Indians so they could be reimbursed by the Office of Indian Affairs.

     The main staple at any frontier post was beef, for which the commissary officer placed ads in local newspapers for bids from local ranchers. The chosen rancher would deliver a herd to the post and the animals would be butchered as needed. The other food items provided to the soldiers were shipped from Fort Leavenworth, including vegetables, canned fruit, salt, coffee, hardtack, and salted pork, which, because of the distance between the two forts, was often spoiled on arrival. Rations at the fort were distributed to individual company cooks, who cooked and served them in the company mess halls.

     While it might seem superfluous for a relatively small post like Fort Larned to have two commissaries the Army did have good reasons for it. First, Fort Larned was a distribution point for Indian annuities in the 1860s, which required extra storage space for those supplies. Secondly, the Army needed to keep a large amount of supplies ready for cavalry troops operating in the area, whose pursuit of Indians was often stopped due to lack of supplies at various forts. To prevent that from happening, and ensure the cavalry could operate efficiently, forts along the trails were required to serve as supply bases, which of course, required extra storage space. Commissary officers also had to keep a supply of items for purchase for people on the post who were not issued rations. This would include civilian employees and officers' families.

Maintenance Report
by William Chapman and Nathan King
     Members of Fort Larned National Historic Site maintenance staff are participating in PAST, or the Preservation And Skills Training Program, a nationwide competency based two-year training program to increase proficiency in trade and preservation skills. From Fort Larned, Robert Sellers is participating as a student and William Chapman is a mentor in the program. For the PAST program, Fort Larned National Historic Site will host skills development opportunities for program participants.

     In October 2010, Fort Larned National Historic Site hosted its first training session, a faux wood-graining workshop in the North Company Officers' Quarters. Faux wood-graining is a multi-layered painting process that gives a smooth surface the appearance of natural wood George Elmore served as the instructor for the PAST workshop, which included Fort Larned staff as well as Washington, D.C. area National Park Service Employees Stanley Briscoe and Catherine Dewey.

Robert Sellers
Faux Wood-graining Workshop

     Together, the staff and program participants completed the majority of the wood-graining project in the officers' quarters during the week-long session. The North Company Officers' Quarters, which has been undergoing extensive restoration since 2009, is scheduled to reopen to the public in the Spring of 2011.

Post Commander: Lieutenant Loyd Beall
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
     [This is the fourth in a series on the commanding officers of Fort Larned.]

     In the fall of 1860, Fort Larned Post Commander Major Henry W. Wessells received orders to return to Fort Riley. Before leaving, he turned command of Fort Larned over to 1st Lieutenant Loyd Beall, head of Company H, 2nd U.S. Infantry. Lieutenant Beall was from Missouri. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd U. S. Artillery on March 29, 1848. On June 30, 1851, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. He was transferred to the 2nd U.S Artillery on October 21, 1859. Companies G and H of the 2nd Infantry were sent to Fort Larned with Major Wessells in 1860. Lieutenant Beall is listed as sitting on the board of a general court-martial on September 26, 1860, at Fort Larned. Along with his duties as post commander, Beall was also the assistant quartermaster and the assistant commissary officer for the small garrison.

     Beall commanded a greatly reduced garrison that winter. Of the 101 men who had been stationed there during the summer, half were ordered to return to Fort Riley. Remaining at Fort Larned were 23 dragoons and 25 infantrymen, along with a dozen men who were to sick to make the journey to Fort Riley. In December the garrison was further reduced when 12 infantrymen left on detached service to Paradise Creek, 30 miles northeast of Fort Hays, leaving only 38 men (25 dragoons and 13 infantrymen) at Fort Larned.

     With barely enough men to maintain watches and get daily chores done, Lieutenant Beall did away with some of the normal routine Army functions that were not essential to maintaining the post and its security. He canceled drills and full dress parades, keeping only the guard mount at full strength. He even ordered some of the non-commissioned officers to stand lookout duty in order to keep those stations properly manned. Work duty that winter was mostly concerned with cutting ice out of the Pawnee River and storing it in the ice house for use of the garrison the following summer.

     Despite the reduced garrison, escort duty for the mail coaches continued under the direction of 2nd Lieutenant Solomon Williams. There was apparently no danger from Indians that winter, although snow drifts across the Santa Fe Trail occasionally interrupted the mail service.

     Other than maintaining the security of the post and ensuring the mail coaches were provided with escorts, the major dilemma facing Beall during the winter of 1860-1861 was the fact that he had no funds with which to operate. Lieutenant William Lee, the post quartermaster, had taken all the money with him to Fort Riley. This meant that several civilian workers who had helped build the fort's adobe structures had to spend the winter with the soldiers because Lieutenant Beall could not pay them the wages they were owed. He was not able to pay the enlisted soldiers their extra-duty wages either. On the bright side, though, everyone at least had a roof over their heads and food to eat that winter.

     On April 19, 1861, a military caravan with 67 officers and men of the 2nd U.S. Infantry arrived at Fort Larned, along with a herd of cattle to provide fresh meat for the garrison. At this time, Captain Julius Hayden, 2nd Infantry, took command of the post, allowing Lieutenant Beall to step down and assume command of the infantry company. He also continued his duties as quartermaster and commissary officer without the added burden of Post commander.

     Beall was promoted to captain on April 30, 1861. When the Civil War erupted, Beall's sympathies lay with the Southern cause. He continued to serve in the U.S. Army until dismissed by order of President Abraham Lincoln, September 12, 1862. He served as a private in a Confederate artillery company through the remainder of the war. No information was located about his life after the Civil War.

     Lieutenant Beall's stint as Fort Larned's commanding officer was relatively uneventful. He served mainly as a caretaker through the winter of 1860-1861 until the new commander arrived in the spring. Fulfilling that role, though, however unexciting, is every bit as important as commanding the post through periods of high activity. It helped maintain the continuity of the garrison at Fort Larned, allowing the Army to continue it vital mission of providing protection along the Santa Fe Trail.

Kansas Quilt Blocks Project - Focuses on Historic Craft
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
     Fourth-grade students in communities around Kansas got an idea of what quilting is all about last year with the National Parks of Kansas Quilt Blocks Project. Students from elementary schools connected to the five Kansas National Parks drew pictures depicting their ideas about these national parks. Besides Fort Larned, the other parks are Brown v. Board National Historic Site, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Fort Scott National Historic Site and Nicodemus National Historic Site.

     The students' pictures or "quilt blocks" were made into quilts by various quilting bees around the state. The students of Northside Elementary in Larned made pictures about Fort Larned that the women of the Larned Quilting Bee made into a quilt. Once all the quilts were finished, they traveled to each National Park site, where visitors voted for the best one. The Larned quilt was a runner up in the competition.

     Two students who tied for first place for their quilt block pictures were both from Larned. Cody Lemuz and Trenton Wright, now fifth-graders at Larned Middle School, each received $25 for winning the top honors in the competition.

     The project was conceived as a way to familiarize students with the craft of quilting, an art that is not as popular as it once was.

Rough Riding on the Plains (continued)
by Robert Morris Peck
     [Robert Morris Peck, a private in Company K, First U.S. Cavalry, in 1859, was present at the founding of Camp on Pawnee Fork that became Fort Larned. Peck published his memoirs in 1901. The portion of his memoirs detailing the background and establishment of the military camp are continued here and will continue in future issues. This portion of his memoirs picks up his story of events following the killing of Kiowa Chief Pawnee near Peacock's Ranch on Walnut Creek in September 1859 and the Kiowa attack on the mail wagon near Pawnee Fork, in which Michael and Lawrence Smith were killed and Bill Cole was wounded. Peck tells of the founding of Camp on Pawnee Fork that became Fort Larned. He wrote:]

     Although the Indians had some firearms, Cole said, there seemed to have been no shots fired save the one he fired at the Indian who tried to stop the team. Evidently they refrained for making any unnecessary noise for fear of attracting the attention of our men or the emigrant party, and discreetly relied on the bows and arrows to do the work quietly.

An Unsuccessful Pursuit
     We placed the two bodies in the wagon to keep them out of the reach of the coyotes, and mounting again took the trail of the Indians, but after following it a few miles it became evident to Lieut. Otis that we could not overtake them, so we retraced our steps to the abandoned wagon and proceeded to bury the two victims.

     Our mess wagon--which we had left in camp with a few men to pack up and follow us--had now caught up, and we got out a spade and pick, dug a hole in the ground large enough to contain the two bodies, and placing them in the rude grave thus prepared, spreading a piece of wagon sheet over them, filled the grave nearly fulll of earth and then shoveled in a lot of prickly pears--which are everywhere in abundance on the plains--to keep the wolves from digging the bodies up, topping the grave out with earth. One of our men got a piece of pine box out of the wagon and wrote on it with a pencil the Smith brothers' names and the date of their deaths; adding that familiar legend, "Killed by Indians," and placed it at the head of the grave.

     Our last sad duty to the dead being performed we collected the scattered letters and papers, returned them to the mail bags, and hitching the mail wagon behind ours, we started back to the Big Bend, where we had left the rest of the command. We had fixed Cole a comfortable place in the mail wagon, and when we reached Peacock's Ranch, where the mail contractors have a station, we left their man and outfit, or what was left of it.

     The emigrants before mentioned, being a well armed, strong party, proceeded on their way to the mountains without molestation.

     We reached the Big Bend that night, and after Otis had reported to Maj. Sedgwick the disastrous result of our trip the detachment was dismissed each squad to its own respective company. Another detail of 40 men was made, under command of a Lieutenant, to remain on the road to escort mails from Beach's Ranch, Cow Creek--the next station east of Peacock's which is considered the eastern limit of the range of hostiles--through to the Santa Fe Crossing of the Arkansas (west of where Dodge City, Kansas now stands). This detachment will continue to perform escort duty till further orders. The rest of our command will proceed into Fort Riley, as per orders, although we are certain that some of us will be sent back on the Santa Fe road as soon as the report already sent by Maj. Sedgwick reaches Department Headquarters.

     In a few days after leaving the Big Bend we were again in our old quarters at Fort Riley; but scarcely had we settled down to garrison duty when an order came for one company of cavalry to be sent back to the Arkansas to establish permanent camp in some convenient place near the center of the Kiowa's range and on the line of the Santa Fe trail to escort mails and furnish what protection they could to travel.

     This was unpleasant news, and as we contrasted in our minds the comfortable place we would have here, in good quarters and light duty, with the discomforts of a Winter on the plains, escorting mails, etc., each one sincerely hoped that his company would not be the unfortunate one detailed to go; but we were not kept long in supense, for that evening at dress parade the order was published by the Adjutant detailing Capt. George H. Steuart's company (K) for the unwelcome task.

     Accustomed as we were to obeying orders promptly, whether agreeable or otherwise, we soon had our best uniforms and other surplus property packed away to leave behind us, and were busy making preparations for the trip.

     We take plenty of rations and feed and a few tools to build us some sort of temporary quarters by the time it gets to be cold weather, for we know the Winters are pretty severe on the plains, and tents are but a poor protection from the piercing winds. We also take along a mowing machine and rake to put up hay for our horses and mules.

     Our company laundresses will be left at Riley till their husbands can prepare quarters for them where we are going.

     The second day after getting the order we load up our wagons, saddle our horses, mount and march out of the fort, accompanied by a small train of six-mule teams hauling our supplies.

     Striking the Santa Fe road at Lost Springs, we met with no incident worthy of note on the way out to the Arkansas.

     At the Big Bend we met our detachment of 40 men that had been left there to escort the mails, and right glad they were to be relieved and allowed to go on into their cozy quarters at Riley. They reported having had no trouble with the Indians from Cow Creek to the Santa Fe Crossing, but had heard of some emigrants being murdered at points out of their range.

     Leaving a detail of 10 men and a Sergeant, of which party I was one, to wait for the next mail from Independence, Mo., Capt. Steuart, with the rest of the company and train, moved on to Pawnee Fork.

     When the mail that we were waiting for came up next day we found they were accompanied by an extra wagon hauling some men and material to establish a station at Pawnee Fork, or wherever we establish our Winter camp. When we reached Pawnee Fork we found the company which had proceed us encamped in a well sheltered bend of the creek, two or three miles north of the main road, almost surrounded by timber, but having a good view of everything approaching for several miles around, our camp being concealed from observation.

     Our little squad was here relieved and another detail sent to escort the mail as far as the Santa Fe Crossing.

The Winter Camp
     Officers and men were now as busy as bees making all the preparations we could to establish ourselves as comfortably as possible before "the cold, chilly winds of December" strike up, for it is now the fore part of November. Two parties of 10 men, each under non-coms., are kept going, escorting the mails; another detail of 10 men is sent down on the river bottom, about seven miles south of our camp, to cut hay, while the rest are busy building quarters, stables, etc.

     We build the houses of sod, turned over with a breaking-plow, cut into convenient lengths with shovels and laid up in walls like brick. For roofs we split slats out of the timber and lay closely overhead to support a foot thickness of mud, which when dry, forms the Mexican style of roof, but which will certainly be a poor protection against rain. Our floors are the earth. Having no lumber, we hew and split our rough pieces of timber to make doors.

     A few window-sash were brought out from Riley but as there were not enough of them for all the windows we need, for the rest we cut holes in the sod walls and cover them with canvas. We manage to find stone enough, by hunting over the country for several miles around, to build fireplaces and by fastening up some old wagon-covers on the inside of the walls and overhead to keep the dirt for falling down on us, our quarters begin to look somewhat comfortable.

     While building we still occupy our tents near by.

     Our teams are kept busy hauling sod, timbers, hay, etc. Our hay camp is on the bank of the Arkansas about two miles west of the mouth of Pawnee Fork (Near where the town of Larned, Kan., now stands)

     The Arkansas here is destitute of timber. There is an abundance of game around us, such as buffalo and antelope, and swarms of wild geese, cranes, brants and ducks along the river and adjacent sloughs; but we have little time now to hunt them. We kill enough however, to keep us supplied with fresh meat. Wolves are very numerous, both big gray ones and coyotes. Prairie-dogs abound in every direction, and in the creek (Pawnee Fork) there are beaver and otter.

The Enemy Sighted
     During the daytime we keep but one sentinel on post, and he is posted at a point that commands a good view of the prairie south and west of us for several miles. One day, about a week after our arrival, the sentry reported that he saw what seemed to be a party of mounted Indians crossing the prairie several miles south between our post and the hay camp, going west.

     The officers got out their glasses and took a look at them, but the distance and rolling ground in that direction prevented a clear view; there seemed, however, to be a party of 12 or 15. Our First Lieutenant, David Bell, got permission from the Captain to mount a dozen men and go after them to find out who they were and what they were doing. I being one of the number detailed, we hurriedly saddled up and were soon on the gallop across the prairie in the direction they were last seen, as the Indians were now out of sight, having reached a low piece of ground out of view.

     We did not catch sight of them again till we were within about a quarter of a mile of them, when as we came over a rise of ground, there they were in plain view only a little way off. There were only two Indians, with 15 pack-ponies.

     They had certainly not seen us or our camp, nor suspected our presence in the vicinity until we rode over the ridge very near them, or they would surely have tried to avoid being seen. When they first noticed us their movements indicated that they were taken by surprise and inclined to run for it, but as that seemed to be a hopeless chance--they being in very open ground and we so near them--they seemed to determine to bluff it through, and continued to trot along, driving their pack animals in front, and casting anxious glances over their shoulders at us as we loped up to them.

     They held their arms in their hands ready for instant use. One was a large, powerful-built fellow, while the other was smaller and slim. The larger one had a rifle across his lap and a bow and quiver of arrows slung over his left shoulder. The other had no rifle, but held his bow in his left hand with an arrow fitted to the bow-string. He also had a full quiver at his left shoulder.

     It is difficult for one who is not an experienced frontiersman and quite familiar with the different tribes to tell at a glance to what tribe and Indian belongs.

     If these two should claim to be Comanches, Arapahoes or Cheyennes they would be safe, for a while, at least, until Bell could investigate their claim. To do this he would have to hold them as prisoners until he could find someone to identify them. We concluded that the were either Kiowas or Comanches, but could not decide which.

The Kiowas At Bay
     Seeing that escape was impossible, as we neared them they halted and faced us. Bell seemed to expect that they would claim to be Comanches, in which case he told us not to hurt them, but if Kiowas we were to kill them. Each man of us had slung carbine and drawn his revolver, as the handiest arm for close work.

     When we had approached within a few paces of them the Lieutenant halted us, and turning to the Indians he asked:

     "You Comanche?"

     What was our surprise to hear the biggest Indian exclaim as he drew himself up defiantly and struck his breast with his hand:

     "No! Me Kiowa!"

     We couldn't help admiring the grit of the Indian who so proudly proclaimed himself a Kiowa, when he must have known that that was his death sentence. Bell simply turned his head and said:

     "Kill 'em."

     The big Indian understood the remark and raised his rifle to shoot the Lieutenant, but before he could pull the trigger there was several navy balls tearing through his body, and he dropped off his horse dead.

     The other Kiowa started to run, and as he did so turned in his saddle and shot his arrows back at us very rapidly, but not with much precision, as only one of our men was hit. Two horses also got arrow wounds, but were not seriously hurt.

     The Indian did not get far before he, to was brought down. He was not yet killed, but lay on the ground standing our men off by making the arrows fly as fast as he could draw them from the quiver till someone put a Sharps carbine ball through him, when he fell over, gave a few convulsive kicks, and died.

     The man who was shot by one of the arrows was pinned to his saddle--the arrow going through the fleshy part of his thigh and burying the head in the saddle-tree so firmly that the shaft had to be cut off just above the leg and the limb lifted off the piece of arrow, which then was worked loose from the saddle. The wound was painful, but not serious. (I think this was either Killinger or Miller 2d but am not sure).

     Leaving the dead Kiowas were they fell, without scalping, we rounded up their pack and riding animals and drove them back to our camp.

     Scalping, though not forbidden by our officers, was not encouraged, and our men seldom indulged in that barbarous practice.

     When we reached camp Capt. Steuart did not "take a fit" when Bell reported the result of our trip, as Capt. Walker had done at the killing of Pawnee, but simply remarked, "All right," but as John Adkins, who personally knew every Kiowa in the tribe, had just come up from Peacock's Ranch, the Captain sent a team out and had the dead Indians hauled to camp to have him identify them.

     As soon as Adkins saw the bodies he knew them, and told us their names. He stated that these two Indians with their packs had been making a pilgrimage to the grave of Pawnee at Walnut Creek. They were near relatives of the dead Chief, and in accordance with Indian custom, had gone to his grave, opened it and place by his side his bow and arrows, shield, tomahawk, scalps, and other paraphernalia of an Indian brave.

     Adkins saw them at the ranch and talked to them as did Peacock also, the day before they were killed. He saw them deposit the trinkets in Pawnee's grave which is near the ranch, and they then started to return to Kiowa camp, which is supposed to be somewhere west of us.

     But we had now made "good Indians" of them; we dug a hole, tumbled them in and covered them up; but as we took no precautions against the wolves they were soon dug up and devoured by the coyotes, and in a few days their well-picked bones were scattered around over the prairie.

     As it was found to be impracticable to keep our horses here with so little preparation for feeding and sheltering them through the Winter as the requisite grain would have to be hauled from Fort Riley and the horses would necessarily suffer a great deal from exposure to the sever weather if used on escort duty--it was deemed best by the Department Commander to have them sent back to Riley, where they could be comfortably wintered, and be in good fix for a comapaign after the Kiowas next Summer. Accordingly a detachment of 25 men of the 2d Inf. (from the companies of Capts. Lyon and Wessells) was sent out from Riley, which, together with one Sergeant, two Corporals, one bugler and 25 privates of our company, with Lieut. Bell as commanding officer, would remain here to escort mails, while Capt Steuart, with the balance of the company and all the horses (except six good ones that we were to keep to hunt buffalo with), would return to Riley.

     I am one of he unfortunate 25 detailed to remain here and escort mails all Winter. This arrangement separates me from my old bunkie, Jim Cupples, as he is to go back to Riley.

     While on escort we will ride in six-mule wagons-eight or 10 men to the wagon and travel as nearly as possible to suit the gait of the mails, which is a brisk trot, making 40 to 45 miles a day. Each wagon will carry, besides the men, plenty of grain for the teams, and rations, bedding, a tent, and some wood (cut short and split fine), to be used in places where buffalo chips are not to be had.
continued next issue

     December 11, 2010: Christmas Open House.
     April 30, 2011: Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster.

Membership Reminder
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"Deadline for Next Issue of Outpost: January 20, 2011

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