Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter
Cheyenne & Lakota Village Site
The photo above of a similar camp at Roman Nose State Park in Oklahoma is provided courtesy of Mark Doiron

Fort Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster, April 29, 2017
     The annual Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster, held at Fort Larned and the Cheyenne & Lakota Village Site (weather permitting), will commemorate the 150th anniversary of General Winfield S. Hancock's 1867 Expedition and Hancock's War. A schedule and registration form are inserts in this issue. Please note that reservations must be received by April 18 for the meals. The Old Guard is honored that the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail and the Old Hays City Corral of the Westerners will share Mess & Muster as a joint meeting.

     There will be an Indian village encampment (see story below) with program on Plains Indian material culture. Gordon Yellowman, the assistant executive director of the department of education for the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, will be the evening speaker at the Fort (see insert with his biography).

Indian Village At Pawnee Fork, 1867
by Ken Weidner

     (Fort Larned Old Guard member and former chairman of the board, Ken Weidner, has arranged for the tipi village at the site Hancock burned the Cheyenne and Lakota lodges in 1867. The photo above of a similar camp at Roman Nose State Park in Oklahoma is provided courtesy of Mark Doiron.)

     It is my pleasure to make a few comments about the tipi village to be set up at Pawnee Creek this April. We all know that General Hancock led a punitive expedition against the Plains tribes of the region in 1867. In April of that year he advanced upon, captured, and subsequently burned and destroyed over 150 tipis and other property of the Cheyenne and Lakota people who were camped on Pawnee Creek 30 miles northwest of Fort Larned. {Marker Added} - Lime Stone Marker -- Lme Stone Marker Plaque

     For the Fort Larned Old Guard annual Mess & Muster, we are planning on five very nicely-made tipis to be set up on the Pawnee Creek campsite. These tipis represent both Cheyenne and Lakota tribes. Aside from the tipis themselves (one of which is actually a sinew-sewn buffalo hide Cheyenne tipi), the lodges will be filled with bedding, clothing, cooking gear, weapons, tools, parfleches, beadwork, saddles, backrests, and various other items necessary for Indian life in 1867. I hate to be the one to break the news, but none of these lodges are native owned. The five guys setting up this camp are all white "hobbyists," but they devote their spare time to studying and replicating Indian life of the mid 1800s. By the time they are dressed and painted, most people will not realize they are not native. They are scattered over the four states of Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Wyoming, so you see they will be traveling a considerable distance to set up camp for Fort Larned Old Guard. The Old Guard is funding their expenses.

     These folks will have their tipis open and on display, and they will be willing to discuss daily camp life of the people of the time period. Guests will be free to wander around, go inside lodges, and visit with the owners. I am hoping visitors will leave with a better understanding of how difficult life was on the plains, and how quickly the native people adopted and adapted to the trade goods that were available to them. I would encourage people to study the inventory lists that Hancock and Wynkoop made (which will be provided to visitors), then see how many of these items you will recognize at this camp.

     A tipi camp of this size has not been seen on the Pawnee Creek site for over a decade, so I would highly encourage anyone who is interested to be sure to attend. I don't know when this opportunity will occur again.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Tom Seltmann

     It is hard to believe that winter is coming to a close and spring is just a few weeks away! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and the new year is bringing great things to all! My time as a member of the Fort Larned Old Guard board of directors and as chairman this past year will be coming to an end in April. As I reflect on the past six years, I must say Thank You to the many volunteers, Fort Larned staff, board members, Fort Larned Old Guard members, new friends, old friends, and the many visitors that I had the opportunity to interact with at programs, events, and especially the candlelight tours.

     The Mission of Fort Larned Old Guard is to help the Fort promote projects that are not usually covered by the National Park Service. Some of the projects we promoted in 2016 include The Ticket to Ride program (a National Park Foundation grant which paid for field-trip transportation costs to bring school children to the Fort), the purchase of a large street banner for the National Park Centennial, provide refreshments for the Naturalization Ceremony and for the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous afternoon at the Fort, purchase a new vinyl cover for the pop machine in the visitor center, provide photos with Santa during the annual Christmas Past celebration, and covering the transportation cost for Kansas Kids' Fitness Day which will be held May 5. Fort Larned Old Guard has received another grant from the National Park Foundation to fund field trips again in 2017. We continue to manage the Cheyenne and Sioux Village Site and Sibley's Camp and the Little Red House located in Larned. One of our future goals is to get Confirmation Ridge placed on the National Register of Historical Places. We are always looking for new projects and for volunteers to help.

     I hope all of you are planning to attend this year's Mess & Muster on April 29. We have planned a special day of events to evaluate the 150th Anniversary of General Hancock's Expedition, the burning of the Indian village, and the destructive "Hancock's War" that followed. If the weather cooperates we will spend the afternoon at the village site to enjoy living-history exhibits and programs. Please mark your calendar and make reservations to be here in April. For the meal count, we need your reservation no later than April 18. Because we have limited space for the evening dinner and program in the Quartermaster Storehouse, please make reservations as soon as possible. Because of meal contracts, we are unable to refund meal costs after April 18. If you have to cancel after that date, we will try to find someone to take your place.

     Again, the Fort Larned Old Guard board and I thank you for your support! It has been my pleasure to serve as board member and chairman.

     We always encourage you to take advantage of the many programs and educational opportunities that Fort Larned National Historic Site offers! The Fort is a Kansas treasure on the historic Santa Fe Trail. I hope to see you in April.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     Winter finally arrived in central Kansas and dumped a lot of ice. According to the American travel writer Paul Theroux, "Winter is a season of recovery and preparation." That is certainly true for Fort Larned. Winter is always a slow time of year for many National Park sites, giving park staff time to take a breath after a busy tourist season and reenergize for the next one. It's also a time when we can work on new programs and projects in preparation for the coming year.

     One major project that's getting a lot of energy this winter are the new museum exhibits. We recently hosted Gordon Yellowman, Cheyenne artist and Assistant Executive Director of Education for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Concho, Oklahoma, and Reed Robinson, a member of the Lakota tribe who is also the Manager of Tribal Relations and Indian Affairs for the National Park Service Midwest Regional Office. They both came to look at the museum exhibit plans and offer their insights on the section dealing with the American Indian story at Fort Larned.

     Gordon and Reed started each discussion session with a traditional smudging ceremony and Gordon offered some traditional Cheyenne prayers and greetings. Participating in these activities was a great reminder of the rich and diverse cultural traditions that come together into one American culture.

     The Park Service Centennial is over and we now look forward to celebrating the 150 year history of the Buffalo Soldiers. Park staff are busy planning special events for the year, so stay tuned for more information.

     The Old Guard is presenting a 150th anniversary commemoration of the Hancock Expedition, which involved Fort Larned, on April 29, 2017. We hope to see you here.

Every Kid In The Park Program Targets 4th Grade
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     The staff at Fort Larned is preparing for the school field-trip season and it promises to be an exciting one. This year the Fort is able to assist the school districts with fuel costs like we have the last three years. But this year's grant is different. The Every Kid in the Park grant, awarded to the Fort through the National Park Foundation and in partnership with the Fort Larned Old Guard, is solely for the transportation of fourth graders visiting national parks. The Fort will certainly engage all grade levels with tours and activities but the fourth graders will be getting their own unique education program. More than once we have been asked the question, "Why particularly fourth grade?"

     Fourth graders across the nation learn about the history of their state. One Kansas state standard requires students to analyze transportation systems in the state's history. The Santa Fe Trail curriculum, along with several other trails, is flagged as a critical "event" in the development of transportation. Students will apply critical thinking skills to connect the Santa Fe Trail with growth in population and consequences of using or living by transportation routes in the 1800s. It is important to include individual and group roles along with outcomes. For example, this year we are celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Buffalo Soldiers nationwide and here at Fort Larned. The staff will include the Buffalo Soldier story, the 10th Cavalry, emphasizing their accomplishments and the hardships they endured. The students will be able to ask questions and be aware of historical perspectives.

     Students in fourth grade master the skill of constructing timelines. Historical thinking begins with a clear sense of time--past, present and future--and at the fourth-grade level this ability to construct timelines becomes more precise. They become skilled at reading maps. Both these examples of intellectual connections will play a key role in the Every Kid in the Park program this year at Fort Larned. The map activity we are planning will be fun but a sneaky way of teaching about the Kansas forts along the Santa Fe Trail. We own a large rug with a map of the Santa Fe Trail on one side and the Kansas forts on the other. A total of 24 students can be seated around the rug. Props include primary sources representing four different cultures: Military, Plains Indians, Pioneer Traveler, and Mexican Trader. The Kansas State standards for fourth grade history include analyzing perspectives and examining the content of primary sources. Choosing which records to examine in the activity can be difficult because the fort has an ample supply to assist with this standard. Teachers need not worry about lack of primary sources.

     Kansas State standards relating to different subjects will be integrated in the Fort's Every Kid in the Park program. Geography, nature conservation, and stewardship are targeted topics that line up with science and civics. Students will become aware that the principles of conservation and civic duty go hand in hand. Our program this year, "Without a Trace," was first presented by Jim Sellers at the Fort's Labor Day event. Jim set up camps that depicted horse and foot travel along with camping on Trails and in National Park settings. The eras highlighted in the program were 150 years (1866); 100 years (1916); 50 years (1966); and the present.

     The message as it pertains to each time period: the why and how for each era, tied the significance of conservation and stewardship to our civic duty. The vision of this program is for students to come to the conclusion illustrated with the camp setups and talks. "For today and 100, or 150 years from now, that trails less trashed will be here for future generations just as they are for us today, ideally without a trace that we were here in the interim," Jim said last summer, in his pitch for the program.

     Offering fourth graders this pathway of enjoyment and learning begins when they first arrive at the fort. The Every Kid in the Park grant pays for some or all of the fuel costs as long as the students are transported on a bus. The money for the school districts is an incentive but fruition of the program benefits the national parks in a lasting way. The program is helping us to fulfill our Second Century mission of "strengthening the National Park Service role as an educational unbiased translation of the complexities of the American experience" (A Call to Action 2016).

Fort Larned Roll Call: A First (And Second) Glance at Fort Larned
by Clayton Hanson, Park Ranger
     After three months at Fort Larned National Historic Site, it's easier to look back on my first impressions and how they were challenged and changed as I have gotten into the rhythm of life along the road to Santa Fe.

     Though I have lived and studied on the Great Plains at the University of Nebraska and many of my father's family still live on the prairies of the upper Midwest, this was my first time facing the High Plains as a new home. As I pulled into Pawnee County that morning in early November, I started to think of the first lines of Ole Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth. "Bright, clear shy over a plain so wide that the rim of the heavens cut down on it around the entire horizon. . . . Bright, clear sky, to-day, to-morrow, and for all time to come."

     But there was far more here than the vastness of a landscape seemingly suspended outside time. There were the stories of the road to Santa Fe. As I have settled in, I have discovered the personalities behind the names carved in the walls. Theodore Weichselbaum turned from simply the "post sutler" to a man of shrewd wit and shrewder business sense. Edward Wynkoop has taken up residence among the other tragic figures in the history of the West in my mental geography. They and many others are creeping into how I talk to visitors to this place.

     It is not only reading, writing, and talking about history that drew me here, but the chance to live it. While the winter has been relatively quiet for living-history activities, I have already experienced children's faces lighting up when I appear in an infantry uniform. I have enjoyed meeting and hearing from our experienced volunteer corps. I am looking forward to portraying a soldier's daily life at a frontier post.

     There are so many stories to tell here--and ways of telling them--that it seems overwhelming. I am glad to be here. I am also glad for the encouragement and suggestions I've received from the whole Fort family. As we gear up for the summer, it is hard to imagine a better place to share the story of the West.

Volunteer Roll Call: Nwachukwu-Udaku Family
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Okey Nwachukwu-udaku moved from his home country of Nigeria to Kansas in the late 1980s. He arrived ready and willing to take on his duties as a parish priest. Before long, Okey realized the priesthood in America was not what he was expecting and decided to leave the profession. Okey went to work at the state complex in Larned and there he met his future wife, Nurse Shauna Webster.

     Today, Okey is a Doctor of Psychology at the state complex and an online professor. He and Shauna have three daughters under the age of 10: Adadze, Onyinye, and Amara. Shauna is a part-time nurse and home schools their daughters. The staff at Fort Larned has enjoyed seeing the family at almost every event held during the last couple of years. Okey began volunteering for the Candlelight Tours and usually portrays a wounded Buffalo Soldier in the hospital.

     Last June's Naturalization Ceremony event was very special to Okey. He remembered when he became a naturalized citizen over 20 years ago. He enjoyed volunteering for the event, and along with Shauna greeted dozens of new citizens being sworn in at Fort Larned. There were 69 new citizens that day. Several were from his home country of Nigeria.

     The whole family really enjoys coming out to the Fort. They are drawn to the Blacksmith Shop and the children's activities. Adadze, Onyinye, and Amara are very curious little girls with big imaginations! They love to dress up in 19th-century clothing and participate in the games and chores that children did back then. When the girls were washing laundry with a washboard and lye soap, Shauna couldn't help but compare the method to how laundry is done today in Nigeria. Although she and girls have never visited Okey's home country, she is hopeful that someday they will make the trip.

     Besides living history, the Nwachukwu-udaku family really appreciates the staff and other volunteers for all the work that goes into the programs and events. Shauna says, "You have all created such a welcome atmosphere. My mom (Sherry Webster) used to do living history at the fort, so this place has always been special to me."

     As Adadze, Onyinye, and Amara grow and learn, they are developing meaningful experiences at the Fort that connect them to the cultural and natural resources. They are becoming stewards of a very special place right in their own community. These are Fort Larned's future volunteers!

Post Surgeons: William H. Forwood
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

(This is fifth of the series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned.)
     On January 9, 1866, Dr. John J. Marston followed Dr. S. G. L. Armstrong as post surgeon at Fort Larned. He was a civilian contract surgeon. He served, except for leave from July 11 to August 3, 1866, until he was succeeded by Dr. William H. Forwood on October 10, 1867. There is limited biographical information about Dr. Marston. He wrote reports about Asiatic Cholera at the Fort in July and August 1867. Because so little is known about Marston, Dr. Forwood is next featured post surgeon in this series.

     William Henry Forwood was born September 7, 1838, in Brandywine Hundred, Delaware. As a child he attended Crozier Academy in Chester, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a medical degree, he was appointed an Assistant Surgeon in the U. S. Army, August 5, 1861.

     Dr. Forwood had a very distinguished Civil War service record. His first assignment was at Seminary Hospital in Georgetown as the hospital's executive officer before assignment as regimental surgeon of the 14th U. S. Infantry. He participated in the 1862 Peninsula Campaign as the acting medical director of General George Syke's division in the Army of the Potomac's Fifth Army Corps, taking part in the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Gaines Mill, and Malvern Hill. In October 1862 he was reassigned to the office of the Medical Director in Washington.

     Forwood was captured twice during the war. The first time was in May 1863 during his assignment as assistant surgeon to the 6th U. S. Cavalry. He was captured by a Lieutenant Fairchild in command of a group of John Mosby's raiders while accompanying acting regimental commander George H. Cram and two enlisted orderlies. Lt. Fairchild released Cram and the two orderlies after they gave their parole, but Forwood refused to give parole because medical officers on both sides could be released without parole if captured. Forwood was placed under guard but escaped as he was led away and rejoined his regiment later that evening. His second capture was during the Gettysburg Campaign when he was left behind to care for the regiment's wounded soldiers after the Battle of Fairchild. In this instance the Confederate officer in charge released him without requiring his parole.

     Forwood's Civil War combat service ended after he suffered a serious chest wound on October 11, 1863. He spent the remainder of the war in noncombat roles. Forwood received brevet promotions to captain and major for "faithful and meritorious service" during the war.

     Like many officers at the end of the Civil War, Forwood decided to stay in the Army and was sent to Fort Riley in Kansas, where he served until June 1867. While there he received a promotion to captain in the regular Army on July 28, 1866. While at Fort Riley, Forwood accompanied the 2nd Cavalry on an expedition against hostile Indians on the upper Arkansas River in 1866 and battled a severe Cholera outbreak at Fort Riley in 1867. He served as temporary post surgeon at Fort Larned, July 11 to August 3, 1866.

     Captain Forwood was permanently assigned as Fort Larned's post surgeon on October 10, 1867, where he soon became known as a bit eccentric. He kept both a bison and a wolf as pets and collected all types of plant and animal specimens to study and send to museums in the East. His exotic pets were not appreciated by other inhabitants of the post. The post commander ordered him to get rid of the bison, calling it a "public nuisance." There were so many complaints to the post adjutant about the wolf howling at night that Forwood was eventually ordered to "have the animal removed someplace where it will not be an annoyance to the garrison."

     In the same month that Forwood arrived at Fort Larned, Major M. J. Ludington, department quartermaster, arrived to inspect the post. The fort was in the process of replacing the old sod and adobe buildings with new sandstone buildings. He reported that the old adobe hospital was in "good repair." In October 1868 Forwood disagreed and wrote the Army Surgeon General requesting funds for a new hospital at the post: "Sir: I have the honor to request that I may be furnished with one hospital in good order, for the use of the sick at this post. The adobe building now used for this purpose is about worn out, and in a condition which renders it liable to fall down on the sick at every storm that comes. It has already given way in one wall, and has been propped up. The steward has spent most of the past summer in patching it up to keep out the dust and rain, and still more exertion will be required this winter to keep out the snow. It has been frequently inspected by the post commander, and by other officers, and pronounced unfit for the proper treatment of the sick, and this unfitness becomes still more apparent by comparison with the new and commodious stone buildings occupied as store-rooms and offices, and with the comfortable houses of the officers."

     The adobe hospital at Fort Larned would not be replaced until approximately three years after Forwood left, when one-half of the east enlisted barracks was converted into the post hospital.

     On the night of August 5, 1868, a rabid wolf ran past post sentries and rampaged through the fort before it was finally shot. First the wolf ran into the post hospital and bit Corporal Michael McGillicuddy, Co. C, 3rd Infantry, on the left hand and right arm. After that it ran onto the porch of Indian Agent Wynkoop's quarters where a group of officers and their wives were sitting and bit 1st Lt. S. T. Thompson on both legs. The wolf then ran into the stables and bit Private Thomas Mason of the 10th Cavalry on the right foot. The wolf was finally shot by a sentry at the guardhouse. The only one to die of rabies after the attack was Corp. McGillicuddy, who might have survived had he agreed to have his severely damaged finger amputated. Dr. Forwood made sure that all the other victims had their wounds washed frequently with alkali acids and cauterized with lunar caustic. One other victim to die of rabies was a large Newfoundland dog that fought with the wolf before it was shot. Visiting some surrounding Indian villages shortly after the rabid wolf attack, Forwood discovered that was a fairly common occurrence for the Indians, especially in February and March. None of the Indians bitten by rabid wolves ever survived. Sketch of Wolf Attack at Fort Larned

     Captain Forwood was at Fort Larned when the post stables were burned on January 2, 1869. The fire came after an altercation between the African-American troopers of the 10th Cavalry and white soldiers in the 3rd Infantry at the sutler's store the day before. The post commander, Major John Yard, decided the Buffalo Soldiers were to blame and the entire company was sent to guard the post wood pile. Forwood frequently commented on events at Fort Larned and this is what he thought about this particular incident: "On the night of Janr. 2nd, just after revile the Stables of Troop A, 10th Cavalry took fire and were burned to the ground, destroying at the same time thirty-nine public and several private horses together with ordnance stores, camp and garrison equipage &c &c. The origin of the fire is unexplained. The night of the 1st and 2nd, was stormy and bitter cold and A Troop 10th Cav, had been sent out of the post to do penance by guarding the woodpile!!! One sentinel had been sufficient before, but this night a larger force was deemed necessary. The darkey spent a cold night on the wood pile and was absent at stables in the morning where he otherwise would have been to put out the fire."

     After leaving Fort Larned in June 1870 Forwood continued to serve as post surgeon at several other Army posts around the country. He married Mary Osbourne on September 28, 1870. He was promoted to major on June 26, 1876. In December 1879 he was transferred to Fort Omaha in Nebraska where he served as post surgeon for the next three years and was also a naturalist for the annual military reconnaissance and exploring expeditions ordered by General Philip Sheridan. In November 1882 he transferred to Chicago as the attending surgeon for the headquarters of the Division of the Missouri. Once again his skills as a naturalist were put to use when he accompanied the exploring expedition in the summer of 1883. Also on that trip were President Chester Arthur and Secretary of War Robert Lincoln. His observations on this trip were published in a book in 1881, Observations on Flora, etc., During Journey through Portions of Wyoming and Montana.

     From May 27, 1890, to December 12, 1898, Forwood served as the attending surgeon at the United States Soldiers' Home in Washington, D. C. During that time he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on June 15, 1891, appointed as professor of military surgery when the Army Medical School was created in 1893, served as the department chair of surgery and surgical pathology at Georgetown University, and promoted to colonel on May 3, 1897.

     In the summer of 1898 Forwood left his teaching duties behind to establish hospitals in New York and Georgia for sick and wounded soldiers from the Spanish-American War. In December of that same year he was transferred to San Francisco as the chief surgeon for the Department of California. In 1901 he was back on the east coast with an assignment in the office of the Surgeon General in Washington. In the fall of that year he became faculty president of the Army Medical School. In June 1902 he was promoted to the post of Army Surgeon General, which position he held for the last three months of his career before reaching the compulsory retirement age of 64 on his birthday, September 7.

     Dr. Forwood settled in Washington for his retirement and died on May 12, 1915, after a long illness. Forwood and his wife are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Social Media At Fort Larned
by Clayton Hanson, Park Ranger

     For over a decade social media have changed the way people connect with one another. National parks now share America's heritage through Facebook, Twitter, and others. At Fort Larned we have been using these services to reach people across the region and the world, before, during, and after their visits. To keep reaching them, we need stories in many voices and from many viewpoints.

     Fort Larned first dipped its toe into the fast-flowing stream of social media in 2010. Since that time, Fort staff have posted, liked, and shared our way to over 3,500 Facebook fans at {}. Many of them live next door in Kansas. Many more live across the country and around the globe. With Facebook's new live-video service, our fans will be able to hear the boom of a howitzer or watch the sizzle of grease in a pan as they happen. With their likes, comments, and shares, those fans will stay one of our largest and most important social media audiences.

     The Fort also maintains an active Twitter account at {}. Unlike Facebook, Twitter posts, or tweets, are limited to 140 characters and an attached image or video. Because of those limits, quick and easily digested messages rule the roost. Twitter users might prize brevity, but they will link together multiple posts or join ongoing conversations with "hashtags." Starting with a "#" - also known as a "hash" --these words or short phrases say something important about a tweet. A short format makes telling complex stories more difficult, so most of our tweets focus on sharing urgent news and announcements, photos, and brief facts about the Fort.

     Instant images and video clips are what really matter on Instagram. Just like tweets, hashtags fill Instagram posts. Unlike tweets, that text is mostly a quick way to find interesting still and moving images. Users can also string together quick snapshots and video clips into temporary "stories." Visitors to {} have already been wowed by images of dramatic Great Plains weather and details of Fort life. Even if a visitor cannot come to the Fort every day, Instagram brings the Fort to them.

     These three services are only a small part of the broader world of social media. The one constant in that world is "change." We need to be ready to go to new places to meet and share with our potential audiences. More than ever, we need storytellers like our staff and volunteers. If you want to learn how to share an image, a story, or a video of the Fort with the world, contact me at {}.

Living In The North Officers' Quarters
Part 3: Today vs. 1868
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     Was it time for lights' out? I had not heard Tattoo played by the trumpeter to tell the soldiers it was time for their last Roll Call of the day and to prepare for bed. I also had not heard Taps, the time for soldiers to turn out their lights, go to bed, and to cease loud talking. But it was not 1868 and there were no soldiers at Fort Larned. Had there been, those bugle calls would not have applied to me--an officer. I could have been socializing with other officers in my or their quarters, or at the Post Sutler. Since I had spent the evening in my quarters working on my journal and other correspondence with only a kerosene lamp for light, and with limited heat from the small wood stove, I experienced that parlor as if it was 1868. And whether 1868 or today, my body was telling me it was past time to go to bed.

     The first thing I had to do before I retired for the night was to secure the fire in the parlor stove to ensure no stray sparks could escape and ignite the buffalo robe that covered the center of the floor. Then, with candle in hand, I walked to the door to the bedroom. I had closed it to keep the heat from the parlor stove in the parlor while I worked in there, since it was a very cold night on the Kansas prairie and the daytime sun was not hot enough to warm the stone walls of my quarters. I knew the fire in the parlor stove would go out soon after I went to bed, and that was fine as I would not use the parlor until sometime the next morning, near midday. I did not want to waste any firewood because we were only then in late fall and there were many more cold days and cold winds before the sun would get high enough to give us its warmth. Maybe the morning sun would come in the front windows, if it was not cloudy, and warm the parlor.

     Brrrrr! It was cold in the bedroom and my poor little candle put out very little light and even less heat. I had left the door to the kitchen closed to keep what little heat remained from the kitchen stove in the kitchen. I was thankful I had plenty of blankets to sleep under. After closing the door to the parlor, I moved the Windsor chair over to the head of the bed beside the closed door to serve as my night stand, as there was no room there for the night stand which was on the other side of the bed, completely filing the space between the bed and the outside wall. Since I was going to bed, I did not start a fire in the bedroom stove.

     I did make sure there was wood and kindling in the stove if I wanted a fire when I got up. However, I probably would not light that fire then because I would go to the kitchen since it easier and quicker to heat that room. I could add wood to the coals in the kitchen stove on which I would heat water before preparing my breakfast. The kitchen, with the pantry and cellar doors closed, was really, during the cold days and nights, the room where I spent most of my time, except for sleeping.

     I quickly stripped off my uniform and long underwear, put on my nightshirt, which was cold, and crawled into the cold bed. Yes, I could have left on the warm underwear, but it was slightly damp, and I had learned many years ago, if possible, to wear dry garments for warmth when I went to bed. Once I was warm under the blankets, I pulled off the night shirt, to reduce the effects of night sweats which would make it harder to be warm in bed and colder when I got out of bed. I put it under the pillow from which I would pull it to put on when I got up to keep from freezing while starting the fire in the kitchen stove. I did the same thing with dry socks that I did with the nightshirt.

     Next I blew out the candle and laid back with my head on the pillow. It was very dark in the room. Due to heavy clouds there was no moon light. As I started to roll over, I saw it--the little red light from the smoke detector. While for the past few hours I had been living in the same conditions as Captain Parker had lived in almost 150 years ago, the little red light reminded me it is not 1868.

     My bed was not a rope bed, for which I was most thankful. It had boards on which the new mattress had been placed. But it was not a firm mattress. And each time I turned some of the stuffing was pushed by my weight toward the center of the bed. Thankfully I was not overweight and most of the stuffing remained under me. Once I settled into a somewhat comfortable position, I actually slept pretty good.

     Since I knew there was no trumpeter to play Reveille, I had to set the alarm on my "body clock." It was dark when the alarm sounded, which I immediately silenced. My left arm and hand then tested the air temperature outside the warm blankets when I reached for my pocket watch to check the time. It was COLD! I hated getting out of a warm bed on cold mornings, but I remembered "duty calls." I had to have my quarters ready when Fort Larned National Historic Site was opened to the public at 0830.

     Yes, it was very cold when I pushed the covers off and I was so tempted to snuggle back under them for a few more minutes as I pulled out my somewhat warm nightshirt and socks and slipped into my brogans. I then lit my candle with a match and headed to the kitchen.

     The stove felt cold, but under the ashes a few small coals still glowed. I placed some pieces of old dry rope on the coals and slowly blew on them until they started to burn. Next came bigger kindling and then some small pieces of wood. Fortunately I had dry wood and it quickly caught fire.

     With the light from my fire and the candle, I could see to put my pot with water in it on the stove to heat while I returned to the bedroom to get my soap, towel, and razor, along with my uniform, underwear, and boots.

     When I returned to the kitchen, I closed the bedroom door to keep the little bit of warmth in the kitchen. I added another piece of wood to the fire and commenced preparing me for the day.

     Next came breakfast which I had to cook myself since it was not 1868. There was not a Sutler Store to go to for breakfast, and no cook to prepare it for me. What did I want to fix? I could fix oatmeal or bacon and eggs. Since the water was hot, I decided oatmeal so I would have fewer dishes to wash. However, I then decided to go ahead and fry up some bacon and eggs which I could put with bread for my lunch.

     While eating breakfast I felt a slight breeze of cold air coming in around the door. At least it was no worse than the cold breeze coming in around some of the windows. I guess the air coming in was to help the draft of the wood stoves! My stoves all had good drafts.

     When it was time to wash my dishes, I also washed the glass chimneys for each of the candle holders I had been using so the faint light put out by the burning candles would not be blocked by the soot on the glass.

     With breakfast over and dishes cleaned, it was time to return to the cold bedroom and parlor to put everything in order. Fortunately the clouds had moved on and the sun shown brightly. While the rooms were cold, standing by the parlor windows I could feel faint heat through the glass. Because I lived such that it takes little time and effort to put everything in order, I was quickly back in the warm kitchen drinking a cup of hot coffee and going over the schedule of my activities for the day. (to be continued)

The Other Fort Larned
by Ken Gilpin, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     It's 5:00 p.m. and the rangers have locked up. The flag is down and the doors are locked. Another day is done at Fort Larned National Historic Site.

     For eight hours the Fort has worn its Park Service uniform and hosted people from all over the world. These people have seen what a frontier fort was really like 150 years ago. The Fort has been a credit to the National Park Service. The rangers cross the bridge and go home; for the next 16 hours Fort Larned is still a magnificent historic site, gathering the memories of 157 years.

     All day the sun has baked the stones of buildings' walls. In the shade under the porch the warm stone gives the warmth back to the air. I love to sit on the porch in front of the hospital and watch the day slowly slip into the other Fort Larned.

     There is nothing to hear; it is quiet, painfully quiet. You are listening for any sound. And then, slowly, the evening sounds come--the gobble of a single turkey, then a whole flock of turkeys start talking to each other as they eat bugs on the parade ground. A vole on the grass squeaks at the turkeys. Barn swallows feed in the air above the grass and fly down the porch. Later in the night bats take over from the swallows.

     The sun is down and light slowly fades to a warm clear night. In the Shops building candlelight gleams from the bakery window. Some sparks come out of both chimneys; the bakers are putting logs on the fire to keep the oven hot all night. Their bread is the best I've ever had, and they work hard to make it. Tomorrow's meals will be great!

     At the other end of the Shops building the windows are open. The glow from the forge goes up and down as the blacksmith heats something over the fire. The fire becomes a steady glow and the sound of a hammer on iron rings across the Fort. It sounds like a bell marking the seconds of the night. The sound ends and the fire glow goes up and down again.

     The school is dark and vacant. The soldiers sometimes took schooling at night, but tonight it's empty. Near the Blockhouse is a tipi glowing from the fire inside. There is also a small fire on the Oxbow by the dugout. Some figures huddled around the fire could easily be hunters from 150 years ago.

     The Quartermaster Building is dark except for one lighted window on the west end, the sergeant's quarters. I guess he's getting ready for bed. There's a large space between the end of the Quartermaster Storehouse and Officers' Row. That space is dark, but far to the west there is a flash of lightning in the thunderheads. There's no sound of thunder, it's still too far away but coming this way. It should be here sometime after midnight. That will cool things down for a good night's sleep. It remains clear overhead while the lightning is like a constant flash across the western sky. It's quite a show!

     I look away from the storm to the darkness, and in my mind see a large wagon train encamped. The oxen inside the circled wagons occasionally protest loudly about something. The wagons are full to the top with trade goods. The traders are resting before they head out early next morning. They still have hundreds of long, dusty, weary, and dangerous miles until they reach Santa Fe.

     The bench is hard so I get up and walk out onto the parade ground. I look up and the night sky is awe inspiring. I live near Denver where the night sky is so obscured by dust and light pollution one can only see a few hundred stars. Here on the plains there are no lights and the sky is so clear I can see thousands of stars. There so many stars that constellations are hard to pick out. The Milky Way is a band of light in the dark that starts in the east and arches up and overhead to the western horizon. Small meteors that would be lost in the night sky over Denver show up as small streaks of light. Eventually my neck gets sore from looking up so long and I return to the porch. The night is cool.

     The thunderstorm is rolling east and getting bigger. I watch the clouds. The lightning is faster too. I remember times in the tent and am thankful that tonight I'll sleep inside a building, dry and warm.

     It gets cooler so I go inside, close and lock the hospital doors. They are heavy iron bolts and make a solid sound as they lock, too loud for the quiet of the Fort. Even the sound my boots make as I walk to my bed seems too loud. All day long I've been in the hospital steward uniform, a heavy dark blue wool coat. Getting ready for bed, I hang my uniform on the pegs above the bed. I use a candle lantern. The entire room is lit up, not a lot of light, but enough to see everything. When I blow out the candle, the room is totally dark. Slowly I drift to sleep.

     I quickly come awake! There are claps of thunder and lightning flashes light up the room. The thunderstorm has grown into a monster, and it has arrived. This is something to see so I go out to the porch and watch. It is much cooler now. I sit on the porch under the roof and watch the rain pour down. I see the wind blow bands of water across the parade ground. There is a solid stream of water rolling off the roof, and the parade ground looks like a lake. It's cold so I go back inside and lock up. Slowly the thunder and rain put me to sleep.

     I awake after dawn and hear pots and pans in the kitchen as Margaret starts breakfast. My bed is so warm and comfortable I really don't want to get up. But the rangers will soon be back and then park visitors will arrive, so I get into my uniform and open the doors. Another day has started at Fort Larned, the Fort we are accustomed to seeing.

Buffalo Soldiers
Celebrating the 150th Of The 10th Cavalry
Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Larned
by Clayton Hanson, Park Ranger

     During 2017 Fort Larned National Historic Site is joining the nationwide commemoration of 150th anniversary of African American regulars, the "Buffalo Soldiers," including the 10th U. S. Cavalry. The men of these famed units demonstrated valor and courage while they sought equality, respect, self-sufficiency, education, and adventure. You can help celebrate this 150-year history by joining special programs and events about the first assignment of the soldiers of the 10th Cavalry at Fort Larned National Historic Site. Fort Hays State Historic Site, where members of the 10th Cavalry and 38th Infantry were assigned, is also presenting programs on the Buffalo Soldiers this year. Many of the African-American soldiers marched over the road to Santa Fe, camping near Fort Larned.

     Shortly after the end of the Civil War, in 1866, Congress passed bills to shrink and restructure the U. S. Army. Under the new law, African-American enlistees would fill six new regiments in the regular Army, the 9th and 10th U. S. Cavalry and 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st U. S. Infantry regiments. For many years these regiments were commanded only by white officers, and African-American enlisted men could serve as noncommissioned personnel.

     Lacking social and economic opportunities after the war, many African-American Civil War veterans jumped at a career in the U. S. Army. Eventually, in another reorganization of the Army in 1869, which reduced the number of regiments again, the 38th and 41st regiments were consolidated into the 24th Infantry and the 39th and 40th regiments became the 25th Infantry. the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments were not affected.

     The four African-American regiments, commonly known as Buffalo Soldiers, compiled admirable records and served with distinction during the Indian Wars of the West (African-American soldiers were awarded 18 Medals of Honor and 12 Certificates of Merit during the Indian Wars), on the battlefields of the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, and they patrolled and helped administer the first national parks until the National Park Service was created in 1916. The Black units had the lowest desertion rate in the Army during the Indian wars. At least one African-American woman served in the U. S. Army. Cathy Williams, disguised as a man, enlisted in the 38th Infantry under name of William Cathey and traveled the Santa Fe Trail, marching past Fort Larned in 1867. These segregated regiment served the nation until President Harry S. Truman integrated the military services in 1948.

     The new Company A, 10th Cavalry, was assigned to Fort Larned in the spring of 1867. Only one of the 98 enlisted men could read or write, but their commander, Captain Nicholas Nolan, was impressed with their devotion to duty, hard work, and eagerness to prove themselves in the field. Their mission was to protect the people and commence on the road to Santa Fe and the railroad that replace the wagon road. During their time at Fort Larned, they performed their duties admirably despite discrimination and racial tension.

     Fort Larned commemorates the Buffalo Soldiers' 150th anniversary so we can all embrace a symbol of human courage and appreciate a shared heritage. Keep an eye out soon for a schedule of talks, reenactments, and special programs throughout the rest of the year. Follow their motto: "Ready and Forward!"

Ice On The Fort
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     A major winter storm brought a 1/2-inch or more of ice to the central Kansas region over the MLK holiday weekend. The park was closed for safety reasons on Sunday and Monday, and it's a good thing it was. The Fort buildings and grounds were encased in ice by the time the storm ended on Monday. Fortunately, the Fort suffered no damage, other than quite a few tree branches down in the Pawnee River bed. The Fort was open again on Tuesday, January 17, and with the relatively warmer temperatures, and plenty of sunshine, the ice was gone by the end of the day.

     Winter storms like this remind us of how isolated the soldiers and civilians stationed at Fort Larned were. While they didn't have to worry about their electricity going out, the severe winter weather most likely made them realize how far from civilization they truly were.

Crossroads Of Cultures:
The Weichselbaum Family
by Clayton Hanson, Park Ranger

     Off-and-on throughout the 1860s, a young, energetic, and ambitious merchant named Theodore Weichselbaum owned the sutler buildings at Fort Larned and other army posts in western Kansas. His younger brothers Samuel and Albert clerked for him at Fort Larned and Fort Dodge. They were recent emigrants to Kansas from Bavaria by way of New York City. Theodore settled in Ogden KS in 1857.

     There seems to be no account of them lighting candles in the windows of the new, stone sutler's store, nor of them reading the Haggadah during the first full moon of the spring, nor of following the chevra kadisha when Albert was found dead near Fort Dodge. But, by Theodore's own testimony, he and his family were "Israelites by birth" who clung "with faithful tenacity to the noble faith of our fathers."

     Judging by his biographical and autobiographical sketches, that faith colored his sense of place in the world. The first line of his entry in an autobiographical album joked that "Saul was prominent in the nation of Israel by reason of his great height, but the subject of this notice is prominent in his community by reason of his eminent executive and financial abilities." This was a perfect line for a man acutely aware of his short stature but proud of his accomplishments.

     He sold his post trader business in 1869 and continued to operate his general store and livestock herds at Ogden. His store remained a stop on the road between Topeka and Junction City until his death in 1914. Early automobile travelers would stop to hear him jokingly haggle over candy, gasoline, and more in German-accented English.

     With the Weichselbaum clan, you can easily imagine Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, and more being celebrated at this crossroads of cultures.

Theodore Weichselbaum Memoirs, 1908
(The following excerpts are from Weichselbaum's memoirs published in Kansas Historical Collections, XI (1909-1910), pp. 561-571.)
     I early became financially interested in the sutler stores at Forts Larned, Dodge, Harker, Wallace and Camp Supply. I sold out my interest in all of them in May, 1869, to Charles F. Tracy, of St. Louis, who had received the appointment as sutler at Dodge and Larned. During the '60's I filled several government contracts at these posts putting by hay and wood. . . .

     Jesse Crane got the original appointment for the sutler's store at Fort Larned, in 1859, and asked me to help him. He had clerked for Bob Wilson, the original post sutler at Fort Riley, and secured his appointment in that way. So we started in partnership and continued four years. Our first goods were taken to Camp Alert, right across the timbered ravine, northeast of where they were building Fort Larned. We were there perhaps six or eight months before the completion of the fort. Maj. Henry W. Wessels and Capt. Julius Hayden (of company H, Second Infantry) commanded the soldiers at Fort Larned then, company G and H, Second infantry, sent there to establish the fort. Major Wessels was a very fine old man. I hauled out the baggage and provisions for these men.

     F. W. Schaurte was orderly sergeant when I went down to Fort Larned with Major Wessels. Schaurte had his wife and one child with him there. . . . One of the captains had his family there too. I think it was Capt. Julius Hayden; just his wife. . . .

     Jesse Crane got the appointment at Fort Dodge when the fort was first established in 1865, and I became his partner. I would go to St. Louis and buy the goods, and haul them with my teams from Leavenworth to all the posts. Crane had the oversight of the work at the posts, at each of which we had a clerk. George W. Crane, now head of a Topeka printing office, was head clerk at Fort Larned. A brother of mine, Albert Weichselbaum, was at Fort Dodge. He was killed there on Sunday, August 27, 1865. It was our custom to close the store at one o'clock on Sundays. My brother and one of the soldiers, a cavalry sergeant, went out hunting. As they did not come back, news was sent to my brother Sam, who was clerking for me at Fort Larned. The commander there furnished him with a company of cavalry to escort him to Fort Dodge. They found my brother Albert's body on a sand bar in the Arkansas river, about a mile above Fort Dodge, but they never found the soldier's remains. I was never satisfied as to whether Albert was killed by the Indians or by the sergeant who went out with him.

William E. Unrau, 1929-2016
     Bill Unrau died October 4, 2016, in Boulder, CO. He was born in Goessel KS and grew up on the family farm in the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church community where he developed a passion for learning, a strong sense of humanity, and opposition to any social injustice (which defined his writings about American Indians).

     He earned a B. A. in history at Bethany College at Lindsborg in 1951 and his M.A. at the University of Wyoming where his thesis was the history of Fort Larned, which was later published. He received a Ph.D. in history at the University of Colorado, 1963. He taught at Bethany College, 1959-1965, at the University of Wichita, 1965-1996, and retired as distinguished research professor. He was always a good friend of Fort Larned National Historic Site.

     He wrote several significant books, including The Kansa Indians: a History of the Wind People (1971), The Kaw People (1975), The End of Indian Kansas, Craig Miner co-author (1978), The Emigrant Indians of Kansas (1979), Tending the Talking Wire (1979), Tribal Dispossession and Ottawa Indian University Fraud (1985), Mixed Bloods and Tribal Dissolution (1989), Indians of Kansas (1991), White Man's Wicked Water (1996), The Rise and Fall of Indian Country (2007), and Indians, Alcohol, and the Roads to Taos and Santa Fe (2013). He was a pioneer scholar in the study of alcohol and American Indians.

     Bill Unrau was a scholar and a gentleman. He will be missed. Sincere condolences are extended to his wife, Millie, and their family.

Use Smile.Amazon To Benefit Fort Larned Old Guard
     The request for readers to use Smile.Amazon to benefit the Old Guard in the last issue mistakenly gave the incorrect sign-in for the website. The correct sign-in is Smile.Amazon. Fort Larned Old Guard has received donations from several orders, all greatly appreciated. If you order from Amazon, please consider using Smile.Amazon and choose Fort Larned Old Guard, Inc. for your donations. Thank you.

Fort Hays Celebrating 150 Years
     New Fort Hays was established in 1867, and the Society of Friends of Historic Fort Hays has planned a series of programs during the year (please see insert with the schedule).

New Memberships
Fort Larned Old Guard welcomes the following new members:
     John Vincent & Elizabeth Harris, 112 E. 16th St. Hays KS 67601

April 29, 2017: Fort Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster, commemoration of Hancock Expedition in 1867 with programs at Fort Larned and the Cheyenne and Sioux Village Site {Registration}

Speaker Tour on!
     Fort Hays 150 Years Guarding the Plains 1867-2017
     Deadline for next issue: May 1, 2017

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

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2017, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard. Thank you so much for all your support!!!

Deadline for next issue: May 1, 2017

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 {}.

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