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

Old Guard Mess & Muster, April 30, 2016
     The annual Mess and Muster will be held on April 30, 2016, with a program at the Cheyenne and Lakota village site during the afternoon and evening dinner and program at Fort Larned, Kansas. This year the Kansas Corral of the Westerners and the Old Hays City Corral of the Westerners will join in the activities. Fort Larned Old Guard likes to showcase the village site as often as possible. The focus there this year will be on the Indians. Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the Hancock Expedition, and the program in 2017 will devote the day's activities at the Fort and the village site to analysis of that expedition and Hancock's War.

     The evening program this year will be part of the centennial celebration of the National Park Service, with program by Dr. Alexa Roberts, superintendent at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, speaking on "National Parks and Plains Indians." Dr. Roberts holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and was a 2006 recipient of the prestigious Appleman Judd Lewis National Park Service Award for Excellence in Cultural Resources Stewardship and Management. The schedule for April 30 appears below, and a registration form is an insert in this issue (please note that reservations are required for the evening dinner and program by April 15, 2016). There will be parking and a porta-potty at the village site, and some walking is required. Limited seating is available, and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

     1:00 p.m.: Car caravan from Fort Larned National Historic Site parking lot to village site (carpooling encouraged)
     1:30 p.m.: Stop at Confrontation Ridge en route to Village Site
     2:15 p.m.: Ken Weidner & Leo E. Oliva, "Welcome and Village Site Overview"
     2:30 p.m.: Leo E. Oliva, "Cheyenne and Lakota Leaders at Pawnee Fork, 1867"
     3:30 p.m.: Ken Weidner, "Material Culture of the Plains Indians"
     4:30 p.m.: Return to Fort Larned National Historic Site
     5:30 p.m.: Retreat
     6:00 p.m.: Dinner (reservations required, $15)
     7:00 p.m.: Brief business meeting & presentation of Chalfant Award
     7:15 p.m.: Dr. Alexa Roberts, "National Parks and the Plains Indians"

Historians' Roundtable Discusses Ideas For
New Exhibits at Fort Larned Visitor Center
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     Fort Larned National Historic Site hosted historians from several disciplines on January 29-30, 2016, to gain perspective on a variety of subjects as planning moves forward for new museum exhibits in the Visitor Center. As part of the National Park Service museum exhibit planning process, a historians' roundtable brings together experts on the different subjects that will be covered in the new exhibits so that park staff and exhibit designers have the latest scholarly information, as well as fresh perspectives. In attendance at the roundtable were:

     Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard, speaking about Fort Larned, the Santa Fe Trail, and the military, as well as Hispanics on the Santa Fe Trail.

     Daniel Wildcat, Professor of Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, speaking on American Indians, treaties, and the Indian Agency.

     Matt Reed, curator of exhibits at the Oklahoma Historical Society and 2nd Chief of the Chaui Band of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, talked about portrayal of Plains tribes in the exhibits. Geoff Hunt, Professor of History at the Community College of Aurora in Colorado, speaking about the Buffalo Soldiers, especially Company A, 10th U.S. Cavalry, and their time at Fort Larned.

     Elliott West, Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, addressing trails and railroads, western migration, settlement, and the effects on prairie and wildlife environment.

     Gene Chavez, Hispanic scholar from Kansas City, addressed Hispanic culture along the Santa Fe Trail.

     Barry Tompkins from the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldier Foundation shared his insight into the African American cavalrymen who served in the frontier army.

     The event was moderated by Tom Richter, Chief of Education and Interpretation for the National Park Service's Midwest Region in Omaha. Each presentation was followed by questions, comments, and discussion.

     The process for getting new exhibits began when Fort staff requested project money to replace the existing exhibits, which were put up in the 1970s.

     The funding has been obtained, and the project is supervised by the Park Service's Interpretive Design Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to help guide the work through what will be an approximately two year process. Sarah Heald represented the Harpers Ferry Center at the roundtable. The staff at Harpers Ferry hired Design Minds as contractor (represented at the meeting by Lonny Schwartz, Mike Lenahan, and Steve Labar) who will develop and present concept and content ideas for the park's approval.

     Once the park and the Design Center agree on design and content, the exhibit cases and text will be fabricated. That design and text process is often the hardest part of the project since it requires hours of staff and contractor time reviewing text and design elements. All that work will pay off down the road with new exhibits in the Visitor Center that will reflect the latest scholarship, points of view, and exhibit design. Stay tuned for more updates as the project progresses.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Ken Weidner

     Oh my gosh! I can't believe how quickly time is flying by; winter is almost over and still I have not had (or rather have not made!) the time to get many projects done that I had planned. It's hard to believe that my term as chairman of Fort Larned Old Guard is nearly over, and even more surprising that I've served six years on the board of Fort Larned Old Guard. I will be stepping down from the board this spring, but I will continue to be active with Fort Larned Old Guard and try to attend as many of the great events at Fort Larned as I possibly can. It has been an honor to serve on this board, and I feel like there have been many very valuable acquisitions and projects that Fort Larned Old Guard has accomplished over the many years. I thank everyone for their support of Fort Larned, and I will continue to support Fort Larned as well.

     During 2015 Fort Larned celebrated many events tied to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Several more events will occur throughout 2016 as well.

     Just a few of these events include a Backyard Bird Count on February 12 and a program about Buffalo Soldiers that Ranger Celeste Dixon has put together on February 21. March 17 will bring Shadows of the Past to Fort Larned. And on May 2 Fort Larned will host Junior Ranger Day.

     March-April-May will bring field trips from various schools throughout western Kansas to Fort Larned. Many of these trips are made possible due to the Ticket to Ride grant that Fort Larned Old Guard was awarded from the National Park Foundation. With this money, which covers transportation costs, hundreds of school children will be able to explore and learn about Fort Larned. I think we all know of the tight budgets in school systems today, so it is very nice that Fort Larned Old Guard was able to secure these funds, making the trips available to the various schools.

     But probably the biggest event Fort Larned Old Guard is involved with is its annual Mess and Muster on April 30, 2016. This is our annual gathering with an afternoon program at the village site, visiting the Fort, and culminating in a fine banquet, meeting, and guest speaker in the evening. This year we are pleased to have the Kansas Corral of the Westerners and the Old Hays City Corral of the Westerners join with Fort Larned Old Guard for these programs.

     This year Fort Larned Old Guard will also be focusing on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The afternoon will be an auto caravan (drive your own vehicle or carpool from the Fort parking lot) to Confrontation Ridge and the Cheyenne-Lakota village site on Pawnee Creek, captured by General W. S. Hancock in 1867. At the village site talks will be presented about the Cheyenne and Lakota leaders and the material culture of the Cheyenne and Lakota.

     We will return to the Fort for retreat, banquet, and short business meeting. Our guest speaker, Dr. Alexa Roberts, will discuss National Parks and the Plains Indians. Dr. Roberts is the superintendent at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Colorado. This will be an interesting program that ties the National Park Service anniversary into the day's activities at the village site. As has been noted many times, the National Park Service is one of the greatest achievements of the United States. Come celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service with us.

     I am pleased to share that Fort Larned Old Guard received a special Christmas card from Leota Klingberg. She and her late husband Frank Klingberg owned the village site and sold it to Fort Larned Old Guard so it will be preserved. Mrs. Klingberg, who is now 102 years old, notes that she plays bridge a couple of times a month and attends meetings of interest. She is very upset with the state of the world today. She enjoys receiving OUTPOST. At the end of her note she wrote, "I wish I could visit Kansas."

     We appreciate the continued interest and are forever grateful to the Klingbergs for understanding the historical significance of this site and entrusting it to Fort Larned Old Guard. It is our plan, when it can be arranged, to transfer the village site to the National Park Service to be administered as a detached site of Fort Larned National Historic Site. That requires an act of Congress. Until that happens, Fort Larned Old Guard is dedicated to preservation and maintenance of this historic property. By holding public programs at the site, we help tell the story of Fort Larned and the Plains Indians. Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the Hancock Expedition, and Fort Larned Old Guard is planning a full day of activities at the Fort and the village site in 2017 to analyze the expedition and Hancock's War.

     For the annual Christmas open house at Fort Larned, Fort Larned Old Guard again covered the expense to provide photos of children visiting with Santa. There was a good turnout for this event, and we hope it will create some long term fans of Fort Larned.

     I hope to see you all at Mess and Muster on April 30, 2016. Plan to be there and bring a friend.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     After many months of planning and preparing, your National Park Service Centennial is here. Get ready to learn and explore! In every state throughout the country, national parks will be promoting the stories of our shared heritage. Most recently the Tournament of Roses and the National Park Service partnered to help highlight the centennial celebration of our nation's national parks. Barrett Young, a volunteer at Fort Scott National Historic Site and Fort Larned National Historic Site, was chosen to ride on the Theme Banner Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1. What a great way to start the National Park Service Centennial year! Many of you may have met Barrett at Fort Larned when he portrayed an enlisted soldier during the Fort's special events. We are proud that a volunteer from Kansas was chosen to represent the park service volunteer program and was given the opportunity to promote the National Park Service units in Kansas.

     The cold winter days have not stopped Fort Larned from moving forward with our centennial activities. Fort Larned National Historic Site staff and the staff of Homestead National Park of America represented the National Park Service by participating in the First Day Hike on Friday, January 1, at Tuttle Creek State Park, Manhattan, Kansas. Many state parks throughout the country have a "First Day Hike" event and through a partnership agreement with the National Park Service we were given another opportunity to highlight the centennial at this event. We engaged approximately 75 hikers and state park personnel while handing out postcards with the Centennial stamp.

     The interpretive staff at Fort Larned will be presenting programs promoting the Centennial and associated upcoming events to area civic groups. Visits to area schools to highlight the "Kid in Every Park" initiative have been scheduled, and recently Ranger Ellen Jones visited Southwest Elementary, Pratt, Kansas, to show the students how easy it is complete an online activity and receive the Every Kid in the Park pass. The program provides fourth graders and their families access to hundreds of national parks free of charge. If you have a fourth grader in your family, encourage them to explore this kid friendly website: {www.everykidinapark. gov/} and download a pass. You won't need a pass for the five National Parks in Kansas because they do not charge fees.

     Other events scheduled this year at the Fort include a visit in April by the music classes of Fort Larned USD 495 to sing "Centennial Children's Anthem for National Parks." This is in commemoration of the National Park Service 100th Birthday. Schools throughout the nation will be learning the same anthem. The anthem was written by writer/ artist Louise Philips and song composer Charles Eversole. The Fort Larned staff plans to have several activities for the students to participate in after the recording. All participating schools will be featured in a very creative compilation on YouTube. The Ticket to Ride grant, which Fort Larned has received for the third year, will offset the cost of bringing the students and their melodic voices to the Fort.

     Several special programs will soon be presented at the Fort, including a Buffalo Soldier program in February in celebration of Black History Month and Spring break program for students. Information can be found on Fort Larned's website, The Fort Larned Old Guard's annual Mess and Muster is April 30 and includes a presentation by Dr. Alexa Roberts, superintendent of Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, about "The National Park Service and Plains Indians." Planning for Fort Larned's annual events continues and will lead up to the Centennial event celebration on Founder's Day on August 27. "Picnic in the Park" will feature special speakers, music, children's activities, party refreshments, and much more. Stay tuned to hear more about it in the coming months!

     I encourage all of you to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial in your own special way. If you are interested in culture and history or nature and outdoor activities, you can find your adventure at Fort Larned National Historic Site!

Fort Larned Roll Call: Steve Linderer
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     [Steve Linderer was superintendent at Fort Larned National Historic Site from 1990- 2005. He retired from the National Park Service and Fort Larned in 2005 and moved with his wife Margaret to Westcliffe CO where they reside today. Margaret is still an active volunteer at sewing and cooking for the annual Fort Larned events. Their son Russell stayed in Larned, is married with two children, so the Linderers visit family and Fort throughout the year.]

Excerpt from an interview with former Superintendent Steve Linderer on September 4, 2015.
What did you do before you started here at the Fort?
     Steve: I was Site Manager at Friendship Hill National Historic Site in Pennsylvania. Before that, I was at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Battlefields, and before that Hawaii Volcanoes and before that Yellowstone, and before that Craters of the Moon National Monument.

What started you on your path in the National Parks?
     Steve: When I was in high school, a friend and I took a trip to Yellowstone. And I liked it so well that– I was going to be a music major–and I was just totally fascinated with the National Parks, and with Yellowstone in particular. I started at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in music–as a music major–and after a year and a half I decided I'm going to go for it, and moved to Colorado State University and majored in Parks and Recreation management. Then my first permanent assignment happened to be in Yellowstone. Probably would have stayed there, except Hawaii Volcanoes called one day and offered me a job there, and I couldn't resist going to Hawaii because I like volcanoes and I like geology in particular. So that's what got me started.

How long were you in Hawaii?
     Steve: I was there three years. Met my wife there, she was a park ranger there already when I got transferred there. And we started dating and got married in the park in Hawaii. In fact, we were probably the only two park rangers that ever got married by a third park ranger. There was a native Hawaiian seasonal ranger in the park who was also an ordained minister. So he actually performed the service. I don't know of any other park rangers that got married by a park ranger–in a park! And our son actually worked out here for a while too . . . he was a seasonal for two summers. We're kind of a Park Service family now.

What brought you out here to Kansas?
     Steve: I was originally from Oklahoma, and we were in Friendship Hill at the time. I saw the job opening, and it's close to where my parents were. They were kind of getting along in years. My wife is from Oregon originally–and we always made at least one trip to Oklahoma and one trip to Oregon every year. That's a lot of traveling. This is about four hours from where I was born and raised, so I decided to apply for it, we got here and liked it, so we stayed here. We particularly wanted to stay here because our son started school as soon as we got here. We liked having him in the same school system . . . so we stayed longer than I probably had intended to when we first came out here. I would like to have gone back to a natural area at some point, maybe. But we liked it here and got into the Santa Fe Trail history. My wife sews historic clothing, and she probably put almost as many hours in as a volunteer out here as I did working. So we became part of the community and just stayed. . . . They couldn't get rid of us. [laughs]

Old Guard Roll Call: Newman Family
     [Fort Larned Old Guard does not have many family members, including children, who also volunteer at the Fort. James, Colleen, Lindsey, and Dinah Newman are longtime members, and Colleen and the girls are perennial volunteers. The following is a combination of an interview with Colleen by Ranger Ellen Jones and some notes written by Colleen.]

     Colleen Newman, Great Bend, Kansas, has been a Fort Larned Old Guard member for almost 20 years. She is a voracious reader of Santa Fe Trail history and a modern day traveler of the Trail–especially enjoying Bent's Old Fort and Raton Pass as well as Fort Larned. She shares her love of history with her two daughters, Lindsey and Dinah, and all three volunteer at Fort Larned. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Public Libraries in Great Bend. Born in Ohio and raised in the Kansas areas of Topeka and Manhattan, she never thought she would end up this far west nor did she realize how much she would love this region's history. She can thank her husband James for accepting a position as a forensic scientist with the KBI in Great Bend. The whole family really loves this part of Kansas.

     Colleen wrote: "I came to Fort Larned for the first time in 1994, I think, when I was applying for a National Park Service summer internship. I didn't get the internship, but I did really enjoy my day at the Fort. It was a very cold day in January, and I remember thinking how cold the men must have been in the barracks with just a fire, one coat, and one blanket. When my husband and I moved to Great Bend in January 1997, I was excited to be close enough to volunteer. My undergrad degree from KU is in American History, and my graduate degree (also from KU) is in Historical Administration and Museum Studies, so I had hoped to have a career in that field, but life took me in another direction. I am now in my ninth year of working at Lincoln School in Great Bend, where I am currently the secretary."

     The Fort staff has watched Lindsey and Dinah grow up as "fort" children, especially enjoying the Candlelight event. Lindsey has taken an active speaking role the past few years and is proving to be a valuable "cast" member. Dinah loves her scenes at the post school and will soon be old enough to play the role of teacher's assistant. Colleen started out in the Candlelight scenes back in 1997. A couple of years later she participated when Lindsey was an infant in her arms. Now Colleen enjoys being one of the guides, a very important role, and one which allows her to watch the history scenes. Dinah and Lindsey Newman at Fort Larned dressed for the annual Candlelight Tour, 2015.

     Colleen wrote: "It has been a great gift to me to be able to hang out with "history people" at the Fort whenever possible. I like to bring out-of-town guests to the Fort. I used to give programs about Fort Larned to various local civic groups and always encouraged them to come and visit. It is such a unique place–a treasure, and I am so grateful that the Park Service and the people of Larned recognized its importance and take such good care of it.

     "My daughters have been coming to the Fort since they were babies. Lindsey rode in the sling at her first Candlelight Tour in 1999, when she was just seven weeks old! They both love dressing out and portraying someone else in a scene. When Lindsey was about three, I was dressed up as an officer's wife, talking to some visitors in the Officers' Quarters, when I noticed that they were looking at something behind me and laughing. I turned around to see Lindsey imitating my gestures, right behind me!

     Dinah used to love to run all over the parade ground with her sister, looking for snakes and other wildlife. When I was reading the 'Little House' books to them, they would pretend to be Laura and Mary when we came to the Fort. They both said their favorite memory of volunteering at the Fort was the year we had the big anniversary celebration, when we had a special, longer Candlelight Tour (people rode for part of it, and it snowed and was very cold for October!). Lindsey and Dinah were in the final scene, pretending to be kids in the 1960s, stopping by to see the Fort with their parents. They had a great time that night!"

     Colleen has volunteered at the Visitor Center's front desk, orienting new visitors and answering questions about the Fort. She plans to increase her volunteer hours as her daughters become more independent.

     When asked how she found out about the Old Guard, she replied, "When I discovered Fort Larned I wanted to know every facet of the past and present. I wanted to expand my learning, and joining the friend's group has helped me do that." Colleen enjoys the OUTPOST articles, especially the history pieces written about the troops and their leaders in the 1860s.

     Colleen's hobbies are quilting and reading. She is interested in national parks and recognizes the importance of our nation's heritage and protecting it. Her daughters have earned countless Junior Ranger badges during their travels. The Newman family is a great asset to Fort Larned and the Old Guard.

Volunteer Roll Call: Janice Seymour
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Janice Seymour volunteered during the coldest weeks of January and that's unusual. We ordinarily don't see Janice until the weeks leading up to the Memorial Day weekend event, when the sun is warm and the ice tea is refreshing. She lives in Tonganoxie, Kansas, which is almost a five-hour drive east of the Fort, and has volunteered here since 1997. Because of a variety of projects keeping the interpretive staff busy, it turned out to be the perfect time of year for her to chalk up some volunteer hours.

     Janice is married to Park Ranger Mike Seymour who is the Fort's curatorial ranger from April through mid October. A history conference brought Mike and Janice to this neck of the woods in the dead of winter. Janice helped Mike prepare for the conference by cleaning exhibits, "wearing my white gloves," she says–a task she has experience in through her volunteer work at Fort Larned. Her interest in visitors and warm manner make her an ideal greeter at the front desk too. Janice Symour cleaning exhibits at Fort Larned.

     Janice was born in Kansas City and grew up in Tonganoxie. She dated Mike in high school. They were true high school sweethearts with a plan. A year after Janice graduated they married and in the years to follow two sons completed their family. Celebrating a 50 year anniversary this summer, the Seymours have five grandchildren ranging in ages from 18 months to 17 years old. It is evident their plan worked out beautifully. Very soon she will be teaching Hannah, age 9, how to quilt. "We will be using Hannah's own artwork for the squares of the quilt." Janice beams as she explains the process.

     While raising the boys Janice enjoyed a successful career in medical records and pharmacy management. For 31 years she worked at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas, becoming one of the first medical coders in the health industry. The only time she took a short break was in 1994 when Mike's mother was ill. While tending to her charge she took a part time job with the Peruvian Connection, an elite catalogue company in Kansas City, where she still enjoys working today. She surrounds herself with finely designed handmade garments while filling orders.

     At Fort Larned's special events you will find Janice with the exhibit of rifles and hand guns in the Commanding Officer's Quarters. She is quick to say meeting the visitors at the exhibit and on the front porch is her favorite volunteer role here. She certainly knows how to entertain the children on a hot event day, inviting them to enjoy a frozen popsicle! But hearing her describe the "scavenger hunt," when helping Mike locate each and every artifact–an annual inventory–well, who doesn't like a scavenger hunt? Janice goes about every task with a great attitude. The Volunteer In Parks program is lucky to count Janice Seymour in the ranks.

Post Surgeons: Augustus L. Breysacher
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     [This is the beginning of a new series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned. An acting assistant surgeon, such as Dr. Breysacher, was a civilian medical doctor under contract with the Army, while an assistant surgeon and a surgeon held military appointment in the Regular Army.]

     One very important aspect of frontier military life was maintaining the health and well being of the enlisted men and officers. In a time when deadly diseases lurked everywhere, and a scratch could kill if it got infected, one of the most important people on an Army post was the post surgeon. Not only did the post surgeon have to assess soldiers at daily sick call and attend to the ones who had been admitted to the post hospital, he was also responsible for ensuring decent living conditions for the soldiers and the sanitary condition of the post. This meant maintaining a safe water supply, inspecting the kitchens, and maintaining the hospital and the pharmacy that went along with it. He was also required to record weather observations, take notes on the flora and fauna of the area, and was obliged to attend to general military duties such as serving on the various boards convened regularly on military posts, as well as on courts martial. The post surgeon's records are one of the important resources for understanding the history of a military post and its garrison.

     The surgeons stationed at remote military posts such as Fort Larned had to perform their duties in less than ideal conditions. It wasn't until 1872 that half of the east enlisted men's barracks was converted to a neat, comfortable hospital, with plenty of space for beds, a spacious pharmacy, office, exam and operating room, and a well appointed kitchen. For the first 13 years of Fort Larned's 19 year existence, the post surgeons operated out of a sod or an adobe building.

     Unlike the post commanders at Fort Larned, who changed often, the post surgeons were few, maintaining a consistent medical presence at the Fort. There were 23 post surgeons at Fort Larned with six additional surgeons present for short times. Of that total, five were civilian doctors working for the Army under contract. In order to be appointed a military surgeon, doctors had to be a credentialed physician and pass an examination. The testing requirements became quite rigorous early in the Civil War because many doctors proved to be incompetent. The test could last up to a week and covered more than medicine, including subjects such as anatomy, toxicology, pathology, and forensics, just to name a few. Doctors were also expected to have a good general education and be familiar with mathematics, geology, and even a foreign language or two.

     Fort Larned's first post surgeon was actually one of those five civilian doctors, Acting Assistant Surgeon Augustus L. Breysacher. He arrived at Camp on Pawnee Fork, which became Camp Alert and then Fort Larned, on December 22, 1859, exactly two months from the day the post was founded, with a 21 man contingent from the 2nd U.S. Infantry sent to reinforce the 1st U.S. Cavalry forces stationed there. Since the surgeons often doubled as the official "record keeper," Dr. Breysacher left a description of the initial camp in the medical records:

     "Looking out over a vast, rolling prairie of 'scabby vegetation,' rapidly merging to the west with an arid wasteland skirting the base of the Rocky Mountains . . . the post is situated in a shallow ravine . . . an old creek bed which once supported a large segment of the Arkansas River, beyond which a low range of sandhills terminated the view. Prairie soil was granular sand, intermixed with alluvial animal and vegetable matter . . . river bottomland a few feet above water level, varying in width from half a mile to five miles . . . covered with good ground rises to a wilderness of sandhills, affording shelter to prairie whose principal growth is buffalo grass, gourd and various species of cactus. Occasionally the ground terminates in an abrupt sandstone hill."

     Augustus Louis Breysacher was born in Canton, Ohio, on February 2, 1831, but grew up in St. Louis after his family moved there in 1832. After a general college education in both St. Louis and Cincinnati, Breysacher attended the Missouri Medical College in St. Louis. He graduated in 1859 with certifications in chemistry and pharmacology. He was appointed an acting assistant surgeon immediately after his graduation and was assigned to Camp Alert, Kansas.

     In January 1860 Dr. Breysacher treated Lieutenant William G. Robinson for arm wounds he suffered on the way to the camp. Robinson's wound kept him hospitalized for several months before he eventually took command of Co. G, 2nd U.S. Infantry. He also treated five soldiers of the 1st U.S. Cavalry during his last month at the post for wounds they received during the expedition against the Kiowa. Unfortunately, all five subsequently died of their wounds.

     Dr. Breysacher was replaced on August 20, 1860, by Assistant Surgeon Warren Webster of the United States Army. Although not officially part of the Army, Dr. Breysacher was present during the formation of Fort Larned as an active military post. And like many military doctors before and after him, he performed his duties in the roughness of a frontier outpost devoid of many conveniences available to doctors of his day.

     After serving his year at Fort Larned, Dr. Breysacher went back to St. Louis where he started his medical practice. At the start of the Civil War Breysacher turned down a commission in the U.S. Army and enlisted in a Tennessee unit that came under the command of Lieutenant General William J. Hardee. Dr. Breysacher served as a staff surgeon for four years, ending up in Greenville, North Carolina, at the end of the war.

     Dr. Breysacher met his future wife, Caroline Drucilla Pynchon, while stationed in Huntsville Alabama during the war. They would later marry in January 1867 and move to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where Breysacher developed a flourishing medical practice. Because of his interest in obstetrics and gynecology he was soon recognized as an expert in the treatment of women's disorders. After six years he moved his practice and his family, which now included a son and two daughters, to Little Rock.

     In 1879 Dr. Breysacher and seven of his colleagues set up a private Medical Department under the charter of the Arkansas Industrial University in Fayetteville, which would later become the University of Arkansas. The men were prompted by concerns about the level of medical knowledge among doctors in Arkansas and wanted to improve medical training for new doctors. Breysacher became a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, remaining in that position for the rest of his life. He split his time between maintaining a successful practice in town and training medical students at the school he helped found.

     Although Dr. Breysacher delivered many babies throughout the course of his medical career, probably his most notable delivery was the future general Douglas MacArthur on January 26, 1880. The MacArthurs were stationed at the Little Rock Arsenal at the time. The post surgeon, Dr. Edwin Bentley, had provided prenatal care to Mrs. MacArthur, but since he was out of town when young Douglas was ready to greet the world, Dr. Breysacher performed the delivery. According to all accounts, the delivery was perfect.

     Dr. Breysacher died of heart failure on March 31, 1897. Dedicated to his profession to the last, he was in his office when he died. He is buried in Mount Holly Cemetery at Little Rock, beside his wife who died in 1893.

The Enlisted Men of Company C, Third Infantry
Part III - Damen P. Allen
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     [Fort Larned's main interpretive year is 1868, which is the year the stone buildings were completed. Company C, 3rd U.S. Infantry, was stationed at Fort Larned during that year and part of the research for the restoration of the barracks and hospital building was finding out information for most of these enlisted men. That information was compiled in the Historic Furnishing Study: Enlisted Men's Barracks and Post Hospital, HS-2. Here is the third installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report.]

     Damen Allen enlisted on August 3, 1867, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It's possible that he served with another company before then because his home is listed as New York. The soldier's life is not for everyone, and from Private Allen's experience at Fort Larned it's apparent that it definitely was not for him. He had three courts martial while stationed at the post, the first one in March 1868. He had been caught stealing 34 cans of oysters from the commissary on November 11, 1867, which had landed him in the guardhouse until his trial the following Spring.

     Despite a plea of innocent, he was found guilty and sentenced to one month of hard labor and forfeiture of $10 pay for the same period. At the time the Army did not take into account "time served" so Allen still had to serve out the month's punishment after he was found guilty. While serving that sentence, Allen was again court martialed when he refused to leave the guardhouse when ordered to fall out for fatigue duty. He was also charged with using "mutinous and seditious language" while trying to get the other prisoners also to disobey the order. In this case he was found not guilty.

     By May 1868 he was out of jail and taking part in regular post activities. For May and June he had company duty. He was on company duty for most of July, but was assigned to escort duty with Paymaster Smith on the 28th, which lasted until August 4th, when he assumed company duties for the rest of the month. In September he had company duty until the 5th, when he was assigned to escort duty to Fort Dodge. He returned from Fort Dodge on September 12, after which he had company duty for the rest of the month. For the last three months of the year, Allen was on company duty.

     Allen's third court martial while stationed at Fort Larned was for a much more serious offense than theft or refusing to obey orders. On July 20, 1869, he fell asleep while on guard duty. Since those on guard duty have the safety of the entire post under their responsibility, this charge carried much more weight than the others. He was found guilty and sentenced to "forfeit to the United States all pay that is now due or may become due, except the just dues of the laundress; to have the left side of his head shaved; to be dishonorably discharged from the service of the United States, and to be drummed out of the garrison."

Bugler Charles Clarke
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     The above painting, "Get 'Em, Boys!" by Jerry Thomas, shows Captain Albert Barnitz, Commander, Company G, 7th U.S. Cavalry, Bugler Edward Botzer, and G Company cavalrymen at Fort Wallace, Kansas, on June 26, 1867, in their first fight there with Indians. To Barnitz's left is another bugler (on a white or gray horse), possibly Bugler Charles Clarke. What it does not show is that a short time after the moment this painting depicts, Clarke was killed by the Indians.

     Captain Barnitz, in his June 29, 1867, letter to his wife Jennie, described Clarke's death. "When Clarke, the chief Bugler was killed and fell from his horse (while following me from the centre across the skirmish line–a very hot ride, by the way, for us all!) a powerful Indian was seen to reach down, as he rode at full speed, seize the body with one hand, and jerk it across his pony, strip off the clothes in an instant, dash out the brains with a tomahawk, and hasten on to another victim."

     Since I am a living history volunteer at Fort Larned National Historic Site where I portray a cavalry chief trumpeter, I decided to research Bugler Clarke to see if he had any connection with Fort Larned. Thanks to, I found the U.S. Army register which contains his enlistment information. It shows that Charles Clarke enlisted at Carlisle, Pennsylvania on November 27, 1866. He was sworn in by Lieutenant Irwin for a period of five years. From there he was sent as a recruit to Fort Riley, KS. The record further shows Clarke was from Troy, NY, was 24 years old, with hazel eyes, light hair, fair complexion, and 5 feet 1½ inches tall. His occupation was cigar maker.

     A review of microfilm containing the 7th Cavalry's Muster Rolls and other reports from December 1866 through June 1867 reveals that Clarke, while at Fort Riley on December 23, 1867, was assigned to Company G, 7th Cavalry, which he joined at Fort Harker on 27 December. While at Fort Harker Company G built stables and in February accompanied Custer in pursuit of Indians after their villages were abandoned. Also in February Clarke and Botzer were designated as buglers. Company G accompanied the 7th Cavalry as part of General Winfield S. Hancock's Expedition, was at Fort Larned 8-12 April, and was with the 7th when it pursued the Indians after they fled their village on the Pawnee Fork, which was later burned by Hancock. From late April to mid June Company G was camped at Big Creek near Fort Hays. While there, its soldiers conducted several forays against hostile Indians along the Smoky Hill Trail, though much of the time was spent in restoring the physical condition of the horses.

     During this time, Captain Barnitz wrote that Lieutenant Colonel Custer, on 17 May, ordered the Officer of the Day to have the heads of six men shaved to the scalp on one side and then paraded through camp as punishment for leaving camp without permission to go a half mile to purchase canned fruit because of their poor diet from Army rations. Clarke was ordered to be the barber.

     Thus ends the information I was able to find on Charles Clarke. However, because he was designated a bugler, and the chief bugler of Captain Barnitz, leads me to believe he served in the cavalry during the Civil War. How else would he have known and been able to play the multitude of cavalry and garrison bugle calls. I was not able to find the answer, nor was a close friend who does such research. Clarke may have enlisted under a different name is my guess.

     Charles Clarke was initially buried in the Fort Wallace Military Cemetery, and later disinterred and reburied in the Fort Leavenworth Military Cemetery, along with the other cavalrymen killed with him. Interestingly, his last name is spelled Clark on his headstone as it is on a typed list of soldiers buried in the Fort Wallace Military Cemetery. However, in the Register of Enlistments, Record Book of Internments, other military reports, Barnitz's journal and letters, and, it is spelled Clarke. My next "bucket list" item is to get his headstone corrected. The picture shows me at Bugler Clarke's gravesite at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. I had just played Taps in honor of him.

     Chief Ranger George Elmore gave a presentation on Corporal Leander Herron's rescue of a mail wagon in 1868, see the story in last issue of Outpost. The January program was for the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail at Kinsley. He asked two young people in the audience, Kayla Leiker and Blake Crandell, to model what was worn the night Herron's reinforcements arrived on the scene. Herron was in his uniform (Kayla in corporal's coat, holding the rifle carried by the infantry in 1868) but the reinforcements arrived in their underwear (Blake's outfit). They didn't have time to dress! Blake is fitted out in a nightshirt, underwear, and boots, carrying the carbine and revolver used by cavalry troops at the time. Special thanks to both young people.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is a unit of the U.S. National Park Service located six miles west of Larned on Kansas Highway 156. Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, the park's Visitor Center/Museum and all furnished buildings are admission free. Information on Fort Larned may be found at { fols}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {}. For information on other area tourism partners, lodging, dining, and community services go to {} or call (620) 285-6916.

Adopt a Class, Ticket to Ride, and More
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     The park rangers at Fort Larned are always looking for ways to get area youth involved at the Fort. This school year the Adopt a Class initiative and the Ticket to Ride program are helping with that endeavor. On November 7, students from Larned High School arrived on a "Ticket to Ride" bus to participate in challenging activities. The "adopted" students are freshman who will graduate in 2019, but all grades were invited to "conquer the prairie." The students came from the integrated classes of Family and Consumer Science and American History.

     We divided the 70 students into four groups called Companies. The challenges included building a campfire, erecting a 14 pole lodge, rescuing a soldier (2-mile hike), saddling a horse, and cooking stew on a wood burning stove. The day was tiring yet rewarding, and the feedback from the students and teachers was tremendously positive. The cooking was the favorite challenge of the day. Before the students went back to school they were able to taste test the stews. The Fort Larned staff met afterwards to add up points for the winning company. The results were posted on Fort Larned's Facebook page making Company D very happy! Our two volunteers, Marla Matkin and Andrea Deckart, did a great job relating to the students and making the day extra fun. Larned High School Student Saddling the Horse Mannequin.

     Next on our Adopt a Class agenda the Mexican Trader exhibit will debut at the Larned High School library. The new exhibit will be easy to transport and will have English and Spanish text interpretation of the typical hired hand from Mexico traveling the Santa Fe Trail in the 19th Century. In April we will again host the high school students for an activity chosen by their teachers to bake bread! Weather in April can't always be sunny and warm, but if the students are baking bread in wood burning stove ovens, they shouldn't suffer too much!

     The Ticket to Ride grant we received again this year is helping offset the fuel costs for more schools besides Larned USD 495. Dodge City USD 443 is sending four Fourth Grade classes for the first time in several years. The Fort is looking forward to hosting 21 Ticket to Ride schools this spring for field trips. The students will be encouraged to capture their experiences as modern day Artist Correspondents. They can share the Fort's story by submitting an array of media art to be displayed in the Visitor Center.

     The Ticket to Ride grant is made possible by the National Park Foundation and Disney along with other supporters.

Fort Larned to Host New Citizens
     Fort Larned will be hosting a Naturalization Ceremony on June 24. Fort staff are working with the U.S. Federal Court in Wichita, which serves the western half of Kansas, to organize a swearing in ceremony for approximately 200 new U.S. citizens. This will be one of many special programs throughout 2016 to celebrate the National Park Service's centennial. Many volunteers are needed for this special event, so please consider coming out to lend a hand with parking, serving the meal to the new citizens, or doing living history.

Maintenance News
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     At this time we are in the process of installing new shutters on the north and south buildings of Officers' Row, focusing on the north elevation of the structures. This will provide protection to the windows as spring storms approach. Kari Fergusen and Jan Elder on Officers' Porch with New Shutters

     Planning work is continuing on the revegetation project for areas of the park affected with the new parking lot and entrance road. Other projects include improvements to security and the picnic area of the park. We will be increasing the summer staff this year with seasonal work. If you or a friend or family members are interested, please keep an eye out on USAJOBS.GOV.

The Tools That Built Fort Larned
Part I: The Square
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     We are introducing a new series for the newsletter, "The Tools that Built Fort Larned." This inaugural article introduces the Steel Square, a.k.a. carpenter or framing square.

     Each article will provide a brief history of the tool and demonstrate with examples how it was used in the construction of the Fort's buildings and their architectural features. The goal is to share the basics, providing information and showing applications. The square was used in many aspects of the construction process. Each tool will be presented to show how it addressed a particular part of the building process.

     The Greek architect Theodorus of Samos (6th century BCE) is accredited with the invention of the square, but examples of the square have appeared in earlier historic sites, the Egyptian pyramids, ancient city of Petra, and Pompeii, to name a few. The square found in Pompeii is of bronze, and each blade is of equal length and width. The end of each blade is on an angle, creating a 90° and 45° scale tool.

     Earliest accounts of the modern carpenter square, which is of iron, are found in the middle of the 19th century. This square has come a long way since the bronze square of Pompeii. This square has one part the body (blade) which is 24 inches long and 2 inches wide. The tongue blade of the square is 18 inches long and 1.5 inch wide. The modern square is also embossed with inch measurements in multiple increments and scales on both the face and back of the square. The measurements aid in calculation of board feet of lumber. Brace scales are for calculation of rafters, braces, and stairs. Octagon scales are for dividing circles into diameters. These are just a few of the increased technologies available with this tool.

     Let's begin with the laying out of the first completed stone building of the Fort–the Blockhouse. When laying out a nontraditional shape, the common place to begin is with the basic shape of a circle, square, or rectangle, then subdivide it into the desired shape. The block house lay out would have begun with a rectangle, 43½ feet long and 37 feet wide. The length would be subdivided into quarters (10 ft, 9 in). The width would be subdivided in half (18 ft, 6 in).

     Using the brace scale on the face of the square, you would use the (18 ft, 6 in) measurement as the rise and the (10 ft, 9 in) measurement as the run to determine the diagonal measurement (21 ft, 6 in).

     The next article will look at the shaping of stones for the buildings. The stone buildings are the reason Fort Larned is so well preserved today.

Rough Riding on the Plains (continued)
by Robert Morris Peck

     [Robert Morris Peck's memoirs, published in the National Tribune in 1901, telling about life at Camp on Pawnee Fork, renamed Camp Alert, continue with his account of life at the post during the winter of 1859-1860. He is telling about whiskey at the post, and a portion of the last installment is repeated here to provide continuity of the story.]

     The man who had charge of the new mail station near our post, a Mr. Stark had brought out from the States a few goods for traffic, and among other things several barrels and kegs of whisky, brandy, etc. There is an immense profit in these things at the usual prices in this country, though they are cheap enough in the States. For instance, good common whisky that sells for 25 cents a gallon there will here bring several dollars. The Government furnishes good common whisky through the Commissary Department to officers at 25 cents a gallon; that is what it costs Uncle Sam, minus cost of transportation, which is never included in the price of any supplies sold to officers.

     Whisky is sometimes issued to soldiers by order of the commanding officer, when they are doing hard duty or exposed to very severe weather in fatigue parties, or whenever the commander thinks they need it.

     We had not had much "commissary" of late, and some of the men having found out (and it didn't take them long to find it out) that the Mail Agent kept whisky, managed one day to get enough from him to get drunk on, and came back to the quarters so noisy that they created quite a disturbance.

     As soon as our commander found out that the station keeper had been letting the men have liquor he became very wroth and called for the Sergeant of the Guard and file of men to go with him to the mail station for the purpose of spilling all the liquor they could find.

     I and my chums, Crowly and Harrison, heard the order given, and resolved that something ought to be done quickly to try and save some of that liquor.

     So the other two appointed me a committee of one to do what I could, and do it quickly. I slipped into the brush and was soon tearing through the timber on my way to the station, about a half mile away, so as to get there as much ahead of the Lieutenant and his guard as possible.

     By keeping in the timber and bushes I managed to get to the station unobserved by Bell and his party, and far enough in advance of their arrival to warn the station keeper of their coming and intentions, and to assist him as he was alone to roll out and hide in the bushes back of the corral every barrel and keg except one half empty five gallon cask of whisky.

     This, I told Stark, we had better leave in the house, and let them find and spill it, reasoning that if they didn't find some liquor they would make a close search of the premises and adjacent brush, and probably find all; and if they found the partly filled keg they would conclude that it was all there had been in the ranch, would spill it, and go off satisfied.

     This was all done quickly, and I advised Stark to go into the front room and lie down and pretend to be asleep when the searchers arrived, and I would skip out the back way and return to the quarters, through the timber, as I had come, before I was seen or missed. This was agreed to and done, but as I went by the barrels and kegs we had hidden I concluded that the Lieutenant would be likely to find it all and waste it, which would be an awful pity, and that the boysmy chums, Bill and Dave would expect something "to take the taste out of their mouths," as a return for all the trouble we had taken to warn the mail man and save his liquors; and reasoning that as it was all to be destroyed what an awful shame! it would be no harm for me to appropriate some of it and store it away for future use.

     No quicker thought than done. I picked up a partially filled 10 gallon keg not knowing what kind of liquor it contained and carried it off into the timber and hid it securely in a place where I could easily find it again, or direct someone else to it. I reached the quarters without anyone except my chums having suspected where I had been. Pretty soon Bell and his guard returned, and we learned from the men that they had only found and spilled the little bit that we had intended they should.
     (to be continued)

     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.

New Memberships
     Fort Larned Old Guard welcomes the following new members:
     Jan Elder, 1105 Chapel St, Baldwin City KS 66006
     Kenneth J. Gilpin, 4500 19th St #237, Boulder CO 80304

     Feb. 21, 2016: Park Ranger Celeste Dixon program on Buffalo Soldiers: An American Legend on the Western Frontier, 1:00 p.m.

     March 17, 2016: Shadows of the Past at the Fort

     April 30, 2016: Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster

     May 2, 2016: Junior Ranger Day at the Fort

     Sept. 22-24: Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous

Deadline For Next Issue: May 1, 2016

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2016, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard.. Thank you so much for all your support!!!

Fort Larned Old Guard Contact Information
     The officers, members of the board of directors, dues information and email's are listed on this page of Information. Please feel free to contact any of us.

Schedule of Annual Events
     True to life stories of the Indian Wars along the Santa Fe Trail, brought to life by some of the greatest volunteers in the West. . . ! Visit the most complete Indian fort surviving from the days when Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody rode through this part of the West on their missions. Original restored buildings to that time period, a visitor center, Park Rangers will guide you through this adventure of the Old West.

     Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) largest living history event in western Kansas - experience a working frontier fort.

     Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) Re-enactors bring Fort Larned back to life for the holiday weekend.

     Candlelight Tour (2nd Saturday of October) Entertaining evening tours with vignettes from the fort's history.

     Christmas Open House (2nd Saturday of December) Old-fashioned Yuletide celebration with hot apple cider, cookies and Christmas carols.

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

Santa Fe Trail Research Site

Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.
© "Forever"