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

Every Kid in the Park Program
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger
St. John Fourth Grade at Fort Larned

     The conclusion of Every Kid in the Park program was May 18, 2018, and the season of visiting students was a huge success. Fort Larned's geology program has been a new approach to teaching Fort history. Most of the students and teachers, along with the rangers leading the program, enjoyed the activities and the lessons communicated. The geology program was introduced at an opportune time since the Fort is commemorating the 150-year history of the sandstone buildings.

     The number of schools participating was about the same as last year, 26. We had 1,043 fourth-grade students, most arrived in March, April, and May. One reason the program was so successful was because of the pre-site program the rangers took into the classrooms. It proved very effective in preparing the students for the field trip.

     Highlights of the field trips include finding iron-ore concretions, fossils, and carvings from the Fort's era, mostly from the 1870s when the population was smaller. The students received an ample education on the Fort's mission of "protecting and preserving." The rangers pointed out lichens on the lower part of some buildings, caused by the back splash of acid rain, and described the bio wash used to remove the growth.

     The Fort's education program for the 2018-2019 school year will continue to blend some science with history. The staff applied for the National Park Foundation Transportation Grant in early June and will soon find out if Fort Larned is a chosen recipient. Hopefully we will be able to pass on bus money once again to our area school districts--it really helps! The Fort staff is very grateful to the Fort Larned Old Guard for administering the grant and distributing the funds to schools. The total number of school children visiting the Fort this past year was 1,704. We are true partners in education.

Officers' Staff Ride To Fort Larned,
Confrontation Ridge, And Village Site

     On August 2, Chuck Collins and Mike Moran at the Fort Leavenworth Command & General Staff College led a Staff Ride comprised of Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers from Fort Riley as part of a study of the Hancock Expedition of 1867. The officers traveled by bus from Fort Riley with visits to Fort Harker, Fort Larned, Confrontation Ridge, and the Cheyenne & Lakota Village Site where General Winfield S. Hancock burned the village on April 19, 1867. It has been several years since the most recent Staff Ride to these sites, and we hope they will continue.

Historical Note:
Fort Larned Museum Opening, May 1957
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     One of the steps along the way of Fort Larned becoming a National Historic Site was the 1957 opening of the Fort Larned Historical Society's Museum in the west end of what is now the Fort's visitor center. The Historical Society was formed to promote the history of Fort Larned as an active military post along the Santa Fe Trail. Robert Frizell, historical society board member and owner of the Frizell ranch which included the historic buildings of Fort Larned, was instrumental in getting the Fort to this point. An article from the Hutchinson News on May 20, 1957, reporting on the activities associated with that museum opening offers a window into the historical understanding of the time.

     The day's festivities included a mock Indian attack, repelled by 7th Cavalry re-enactors from Fort Wallace, speeches by state and local politicians, Boy Scouts, bands, and two authentic American Indians--a Kiowa, Horace B. Kaulaity, and a Cheyenne, Alfred Hamilton, both of Wichita.

     Terminology is one of the interesting ways this article "shows its age" regarding both the events and how they were reported. Historical accuracy was another casualty of the day. The events and the reporting of them both seem to rely on a Hollywood version of the old West. The caption beneath the image of the Seventh Cavalry Riding Club announces that "The U.S. Seventh Cavalry once again rode Sunday at Old Fort Larned." Although the Seventh was part of General Winfield Hancock's force that came to the Fort in the spring of 1867, they were never stationed here. In the conclusion, the writer also declares that it "takes little imagination to project yourself backward nearly 100 years to the time in 1867 when George A. Custer, then a colonel in command of the 7th Cavalry, conferred at the Fort with several famous Indian chiefs of the period." Of course, it was the expedition's commander, General Hancock, who conferred with the chiefs.

     While the two authentic American Indians at the event, Kaulaity and Hamilton, were there to shake hands and sign autographs, the "Indians" in the mock battle were actually members of the Larned Saddle Club. The "battle" is described as "replete with the blasts of blank cartridges and horrendous warwhoops." Fort Larned was never attacked by any of the Plains tribes in the area, although a group of Kiowa did manage to steal the Fort's herd of horses and mules in 1864. Along with the Saddle Club members portraying Indians in the mock battle, some of the Boy Scouts from the Great Bend troop provided entertainment, dressed in "multi-colored feathers and bells and smeared with orange make-up, they did a creditable job of dancing Indian style."

     Hopefully by July 2019, 62 years after the opening of the Historical Society museum, there will be new exhibits in the Fort Larned Visitor Center. These new exhibits are the result of a years' long process that has included consultation with subject matter experts and American Indian tribal members in order to offer a more balanced view of the history at Fort Larned. The new exhibits will not only be interpretive, explaining the context about people and events throughout the Fort's history, but also interactive, with hands-on activities for children of all ages.

     There will be a grand opening event at the Fort once the exhibits are installed. It might not be as lavish as that 1957 grand opening, but it will usher in a new interpretive era for the history that still lives at Fort Larned.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Janet Armstead
Did you know?

     As this summer season winds down and school begins, things seem to settle into a routine. Is it the time to think about a weekend jaunt or perhaps next summer's trip?

     Did you know that the Santa Fe Trail is the only national historic trail that has activity booklets for the entire trail? Did you know there are booklets for four different age groups, including adults? Did you know these booklets are available at Fort Larned and the Santa Fe Trail Center for anyone interested in working on them? Let me tell you about this!

     The National Park Service approached the education committee of the Santa Fe Trail in 2007 with the dream of putting together an activity booklet for families to carry along and learn about the Santa Fe Trail. Three teachers on the committee had meetings with the National Park Service and started writing and rewriting and rewriting. How can a 900-mile trail be put into a booklet?

     After four agonizing years and three rewrites, the vision became reality. In actuality, four booklets were developed: Cavvy for ages 5-8; Freighter for ages 9-11; Bullwhacker for ages 12-14; and Scout for ages 15 and up. Each is divided into four geographic sections; Eastern Terminus, Central, Routes, and Western Terminus. Four beautiful embroidered patches were designed, matching those sections.

     In 2012 the National Park Service printed and distributed the Freighter and Bullwhacker booklets to 21 selected sites along the trail. Each site had an answer key and the patches to give to those who completed 8 of the 12 activities within each section. As time passed, the Santa Fe Trail completed a second printing of the Freighter and Bullwhacker booklets. In June 2016 the National Park Service turned the administration of the program over to Santa Fe Trail.

     This year funds were obtained, most by donations, to print the Cavvy and Scout booklets for the first time. As of August 2018 all four booklets are available.

     As one of the three original writers of the booklets, I am Very excited about the completion of the dream! Please ask the rangers at Fort Larned for these booklets when you travel the Santa Fe Trail.

     On a different note: Fort Larned has the honor of hosting another Naturalization Ceremony, on September 19. If you have not seen this ceremony in person, please try to fit it into your schedule. You will be moved and extremely proud as you witness the swearing in. Please join us. will be helping with this event. Would you like to get involved? Let me know!

     If you are considering coming to the Naturalization Ceremony, contemplate staying an extra day or two. The Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous begins the day after the Naturalization Ceremony, September 20-22. The theme, "Death on the Santa Fe Trail," may sound a little morbid, but it sure sounds interesting! Some of the conference will be held at Fort Larned. For program details and registration information, go to {}. Come and learn!

     Put October 13 on your calendar for the annual Fort Larned Candlelight Tour. It will be hard for the rangers to top last year's Candlelight "Who Done It," but I'm sure they will come up with something just as exciting! Candlelight fills up quickly, so check out the Fort Larned website often for sign-up information, { Larned National Historic Site}.

     Hope to see you at the Naturalization Ceremony. Please look for the short, gray-haired gal in the light blue Fort Larned Old Guard shirt and hat, and give me a good old Kansas greeting!

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     Just as the summer visitation is picking up our visitor center has been temporarily moved to the Quartermaster Storehouse for the installation of new carpet in the bookstore and exhibit area. The Issue Room now has the information desk, bookstore and gift shop, as well as a space for viewing the AV program. All the museum exhibits, minus the artifacts, are now in the storehouse. Where are the artifacts you might ask? The ones that will be used in the new exhibits were shipped to the Western Archeological Center in March for conservation. The remaining ones were packed up after the 4th of July and put in storage in the park's curatorial storage area.

     This temporary move should only last a few weeks to a month. We hope to have everything moved back into the Visitor Center by the end of August, at the earliest, or after Labor Day at the latest.

     On May 31, 2018, the Fort's History and Nature Trail was designated as a National Historic Trail, making it part of the National Trails System. This is another reminder of the historical significance of this special place we preserve and protect with the Old Guard's help. If you haven't walked the History and Nature Trail you should definitely come and give it a try. It's a three-quarter-mile loop from the cemetery around to the South Officers' Quarters and points out significant historic and natural features related to the Fort's history.

     We are hosting another Naturalization Ceremony this year on September 19, just before Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous. This is the third one for Fort Larned and it's always a privilege to provide this historic location for the applicants to gain their permanent citizenship. Please join us in welcoming these new citizens to Fort Larned National Historic Site and the National Park Service.

Fort Larned Roll Call:
Courtney Buchkoski

     (Courtney joined the Fort Larned interpretive staff in late June as a seasonal ranger and will be on board through most of August. She has embraced the dynamics of the living-history interpretation and education we offer at the Fort. Courtney enjoys roving interpretation and portrays the Post Laundress on weekends. You can usually find her in or near the Post Hospital. She provides her introduction.)

     I grew up in Sammamish, Washington, as an avid love of the outdoors and history. A soccer scholarship took me to the University of Alabama for my undergraduate degree, where I studied history and political science. My interest in the nineteenth century and the American West led me to pursue a Master's Degree in history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I met and married my husband, John. John also studies history, and for the past three years, we have been pursuing our Doctorate degrees at the University of Oklahoma. My dissertation examines the emigrant aid societies that helped settlers move West on the overland trails. We love the opportunity to teach, research, and travel as we pursue our degrees.

     In our spare time, John and I are passionate about community service. Serving with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, and our local food pantry are the highlight of any given week. We also love to backpack, hike, bowl, and go to the movies. We have a terrier named George who joins us on our many road trips and explorations of America. Working at Fort Larned this summer has been a wonderful way to share history with the public and to learn more about the Santa Fe Trail. It is an honor to be a part of the Fort Larned team!

Volunteer Roll Call:
Jana Wesley & Richard Moore
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is fortunate to be working now with two wonderful volunteers. Jana Wesley and husband, Richard Moore, are no strangers to volunteering for duty at national and state parks. They are full-time RV travelers with six years' experience in visitor services and history interpretation. Some of the duties they have immersed themselves in include museum docents, living-history interpreters, campground hosts, tour guides, and event photographers. They will leave Fort Larned on August 19, just shy of three months here but hundreds of hours donated.

     Grand Prairie, Texas, is home, so it's not surprising to learn that Jana and Richard consider Washington on the Brazos State Historic Park their home park. The state park is on the Brazos River and is where Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836. One of their favorite parks is another fort! Fort Morris State Historic Site in Sundbury, Georgia, has earthen works and beautiful views of scenic Saint Catherines Sound. The fort operated during the Revolutionary War and again in the War of 1812. Considering the gorgeous Georgia Coastline you would be surprised as to why Fort Morris is their favorite park. Simply because it was their first park they volunteered for, and the journey has taken them all over the United States. "Every place is special with many interested visitors coming and going," says Jana.

     Both Jana and Richard had exciting careers before retiring. Jana worked for American Airlines for 20 years and Richard worked for an Aeronautical Defense Company as a safety engineer. Incidentally, Richard has a keen understanding of 19th century artillery . . . maybe Chief Ranger George Elmore could use a little help with his Historic Weapons Program!

     Jana was a foster parent in the past and her patience with young visitors at the Fort proves it. She has a wonderful way of engaging children in history. Between them both they have over 30 children and many have blessed them with grandchildren to spoil. One of their daughters and her family lives close by in McPherson KS. With that close connection we can only hope they will be back in the future!

     To learn more about the Fort's volunteer program call 620-285-6911 or visit { /fols} and click "Get Involved" listed under the menu.

Post Surgeons: Francis H. Atkins
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
(This is the eleventh of the series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned.)

     Acting Assistant Surgeon Francis H. Atkins replaced Assistant Surgeon Augustus De Loffre in April 1876 as post surgeon at Fort Larned. He would serve two separate stints as the post surgeon--April 1876 to July 1, 1877, and November 28, 1877, to February 19, 1878.

     By June 1876 there were only 31 enlisted men at the post, further evidence of the decline of Fort Larned as an active military installation. This number would be reduced the following month when the men of Co. B, 19th Infantry, were ordered to Fort Riley on July 10 to care for public property there. This left only 10 enlisted men at the Fort, along with the post commander, the surgeon, and the chaplain.

     In his medical report in July 1876, Dr. Atkins reported that the 5th Infantry regiment at Fort Riley had been ordered into the field in the Dakota Territory. He predicted a "first-rate" war with the Indians along the northern frontier, meaning victorious. This was most likely written before news arrived of Custer's defeat along the Little Bighorn.

     In Fort Larned's declining days, the biggest enemy for the soldiers was boredom. With so few in the garrison and really nothing significant for them to do, they now spent their days attending lessons and taking part in dress parades and endless drills. For many of the men, drinking became a preferred method for dealing with the tedium of garrison life in a fort that was past its usefulness. In his November medical report, Surgeon Atkins reports that four intoxicated soldiers were admitted to the hospital. Two more were admitted to the hospital because their excessive drinking exacerbated an ulcer and caused them to have diarrhea. Other typical cases in the hospital were constipation, fevers, and sprains, although the majority of Dr. Atkin's reports stated "Troops' health good."

     Surgeon Atkins left his first stint as the post surgeon on July 1, 1877, when he accompanied Captain Lyster and Lieutenant Payne with a company of soldiers down to Camp Supply in Indian Territory. One of his last official duties was to transfer the money in the post treasury to his successor, Assistant Surgeon W. E. Whitehead. He returned to Fort Larned in November 1877 when Dr. Whitehead was ordered to New York City to appear before a medical board for an examination in preparation of a promotion.

     As the Fort's role in the surrounding area was diminishing and the civilian community was growing, tensions between the Army and the civilians grew. Dr. Atkins was named in a complaint about medical services provided by him. There is no indication of who the letter is addressed to or who it's from, but the writer is upset that the Army is charging what he believes to be an outrageous amount for medical services in comparison to civilian doctors.

     The writer starts with an account of a boy from Garfield with a broken leg treated by Dr. Atkins (who the writer claims "has a fat sinecure under the Gov. of near $2000 a year"). After treating the injury, the boy's family was presented with a bill for $38. The writer seems to have at least two misunderstandings about the Army. First, he assumes that Dr. Atkins, who is most likely a captain, has a salary of $2000 a year when the most he would be making at that rank would be about $900. He also seems to think that the Army should offer its medical services for free. The Army at frontier posts could treat civilians, however they were obligated to charge for the use of government supplies and time.

     Although there is minimal biographical information about Dr. Atkins, he was first appointed an Acting Assistant Surgeon in the Navy in 1864 and transferred to the Army later the same year. He married Sarah Edmonds of Louisiana, date unknown, and they had a daughter, Virginia. Research uncovered an 1879 testimonial he wrote for Horsford's Acid Phosphate, which appeared in the United Service: A Monthly Review of Military and Naval Affairs, while stationed at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. Atkins wrote: "The Acid Phosphate medicinal preparation I have used quite extensively since 1870, and with great satisfaction. Have half a dozen patients using it here now,--citizens as well as persons connected with the service. I have yet to meet a case where, being judiciously prescribed by a physician, it has failed to afford relief, and no other remedy have I seen people so generally hand about among their friends with commendation. For dyspepsia, whether in the lean or corpulent, in nervous debility, and in night sweats of consumption, it has commonly given speedy benefit, and some of my army friends are quite enthusiastic about it." This endorsement, for which he was most likely paid, appeared in Horsford's advertisements in newspapers throughout the United States.

     After Dr. Atkins departed in February 1878, Fort Larned had only five months left as an active military post. In July of that year, the army closed the post and dispersed the small number of troops still here to other posts throughout the frontier.

     Atkins served at other military posts in the West, including Fort Wallace, Kansas, before serving at Fort Larned, and later at posts in New Mexico. After retirement from the Army, he was a civilian surgeon in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in the late 1880s and 1890s. His date of death has not been located.

     Dr. Atkins was at Fort Wallace in 1875 and was present at the Battle of Cheyenne Hole, where a party of Cheyenne from Indian Territory had camped along Sappa Creek under a bluff during the Red River War when troops from Fort Wallace attacked. Two documents sent by Dr. Atkins to the St. Cloud (MN) Journal, one written by Atkins, were printed May 27, 1875.

     Lieutenant Colonel Robert Williams, Assistant Adjutant General for the Department of the Missouri, issued Department Commander General John Pope's General Orders No. 11, May 11, 1875, which explains the engagement:

     "It is with much gratification that the Department Commander announces to his command the rapid pursuit of, and successful attack upon, a band of sixty hostile Cheyenne Indians, by 2d Lieut. Austin Henely with forty men of Co. "H," 6th Cavalry, accompanied by 2d Lieut. C. C. Hewit, 19th Infantry, and Acting Assistant Surgeon F. H. Atkins. Sent from Fort Wallace to look for this party of Indians. Lieut. Henely found their trail on Butte creek, and followed it with rapidity to Sappa creek, in Northern Kansas, for over a hundred miles, where he came up with the Indians at daylight on the morning of April 23d, 1875, and after a fight of some hours duration met with complete success. The energy and enterprise displayed by his command in the pursuit; the skill and good judgment of Lieut Henely in his management of the fight, as evinced by the results--nineteen warriers left dead on the field, and only two of his own men killed; the bright examples of courage exhibited by all concerned, cannot be too highly praised. The Department Commander feels justified in saying that no better managed affair has occurred in this Department for many years, and he commends it to the emulation of all, as a brilliant example of intelligent enterprise, rare zeal, and sound judgment in the discharge of duty.

     "Lieut. Henely was aided in the pursuit and during the fight by Messrs. Homer Wheeler, Post trader at Fort Wallace, Kansas, Henry Campbell, Charles Schroder and Samuel B. Srack, citizens, to whom for their intelligent aid, as well as for the courage displayed by them in the fight, entirely voluntary on their part, the thanks of the Department commander are specially due.

     "It is believed that the punishment inflicted upon this band of Cheyennes will go far to deter the tribe from the commission of such atrocities in future as have characterized it in the past."

     It should be noted that this small band of Cheyenne men, women, and children was attacked because they had left their reservations in Indian Territory, perhaps headed to the Black Hills. Their losses were avenged by Northern Cheyenne under Dull Knife and Little Wolf in the "last Indian raid in Kansas" in 1878 whey they took time to attack and kill 19 settlers along Sappa Creek as they fled from Indian Territory to their homeland in Montana.

     Dr. Atkins wrote the following letter to the editor of the St. Cloud Journal on May 17, 1875, to accompany the above order:

     "I enclose a copy of Gen. Pope's recent order concerning Lieut. Henely's fight in April, in which I was a participant--the first bit of bloodshed under my personal observation since the Rebellion. Lieut. Henely amply merits all the praise which the Commander and all others in the department have showered on him.

     "We left this post April 19th, 45 all told, and struck the trail the next day about 25 miles south-east of here, abandoning one of our two wagons, we followed the trail rapidly northward, and by the aid of some returning hunters, we crept up on the Indian camp during the night, springing on and surrounding it at sunrise the morning of April 23d. A number of the Indians slipped out as we rode up, but we enclosed over 27 in our lines, and soon killed every one of them. We lost two men, but should have lost none had our men been more patient and prudent; for we were on a bluff and the enemy under it, and their complete destruction was inevitable.

     "We captured 135 ponies, 97 of which were sold here last week for over $1200. We burnt the camp and its contents. These Indians--Cheyennes--have been robbing and murdering the whites for two years now, and this is the first severe blow they have received.

     "The fight occurred on the North Fork (Middle Fork) of Sappa creek--tributary of the Republican river--Kansas, about 50 miles south-east (northeast) of Fort Wallace.

     "We brought our dead in on our wagon, and buried them in the post cemetery with the usual military honors. We had many narrow escapes, but none wounded."

     Eight soldiers received a Medal of Honor for their action in this engagement. It was later called a massacre and there were reports that the Indians tried to surrender but were attacked without consideration of the offer. It remains a controversial engagement of the Indian Wars in Kansas. For a detailed analysis, see John Monnett's Massacre at Cheyenne Hole: Lieutenant Austin Henely and the Sappa Creek Controversy. Little did Surgeon Francis Atkins know that he participated in and reported on what became a major contentious engagement on the Kansas frontier.

The Enlisted Men of Company C, Third Infantry
Part XII - Sylvester Chamberland
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 twelfth installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report. There are no photos available for these enlisted soldiers.)

     Sylvester Chamberlain enlisted in the Army on September 24, 1867, in New Haven, Connecticut. It's possible that, like many young men, he entered the Army with thoughts of adventure, only to end up at a frontier post where garrison duty could be dull and lonely. As will be seen from his time at Fort Larned, Private Chamberlain apparently did not find Army life to his liking.

     Chamberlain begins 1868 on company duty from the 1st of January until February 11th, when he was assigned extra duty in the Post Subsistence (Commissary) Department as a laborer for the rest of the month. He continued in this job until May 29th, when he reported to sick call with constipation and was allowed to remain in the barracks until the end of the month. On June 1st he returned to company duty until July 18, when he came down with constipation again, not returning to company duty until the 20th. He remained on company duty through the end of July.

     He began August on company duty but at this point he seems to have decided he had had enough of army life because he deserted on the 14th. Most deserters try to get as much distance as possible between themselves and the post they're leaving, but instead of getting out of the area as quickly as he could, Private Chamberlain headed in the direction of Fort Zarah and camped near the post. He was captured the next day and sent back to Fort Larned. He was placed in confinement on August 16, where he remained until the end of the year.

     His exceptionally long time in the guardhouse was due to the fact that it took a while to convene a court-martial board. In fact, when one had not been convened by October 25, 1868, the post commander, Captain Dangerfield Parker, wrote to the Department Adjutant General recommending that the charges be dropped and Chamberlain returned to duty.

     The charges weren't dropped and he had to wait in confinement for his trial, which wasn't until the end of February. He was found guilty and sentenced to six months hard labor as well as forfeiture of $10 of each month's pay during that time. Once his time was up, he was then, "indelibly marked" or "tattooed, with a one and a half inch long letter "D" on his hip and dishonorably discharged from the Army.

Baking Bread At Fort Larned, 1868
by Wayne Young, Fort Larned Bakery Volunteer

Not just baking bread, but BAKING BREAD. That was the life of the Army Baker.
     Baking Bread yourself as a young Private in the Army at Fort Larned in 1868. You are in the prime of your youth, away from home and living in a cramped barrack's room with sixty of your fellow Company C 3rd Infantry Regiment soldiers. The First Sergeant walks into the room and everyone snaps to attention. The First Sergeant points to you and says you are assigned to the bakery in the Fort's "Shops Building," effective immediately, to bake bread for soldiers for the next four months.

     You think back to your mother baking bread and, although she never had you help her, you thought, "how hard can this be." That is until you find out that the bakery bakes an 18 oz. loaf of bread in a very large oven, for each Fort Larned soldier, every day! That is a lot more bread than your mom ever baked in a day! With approximately 300 soldiers stationed at Fort Larned, that is 300 loaves of bread every day for your four-month assignment.

     You know that Private Carter, one of your Company's soldiers, had "bakery duty" the past four months and that this is his last day, and that baking was his only duty. You also know that during the past 30 days he was the baker and lived in the bedroom adjacent to the bakery. Now he is returning to the barracks and resuming the Infantry soldier's daily routine that is regulated by bugle calls and the company First Sergeant. Fortunately the First Sergeant told you to immediately report to the baker to learn all you could before he returned to the Company at the end of the duty day.

     You have always enjoyed the wonderful aroma of bread baking when you were near the bakery, but you never had reason to venture inside the bakery even though you know baked bread is one of every soldier's basic wants. You also know that bakeries are one of the first things operational whenever a new post is established. Now you are going there.

     As you enter the bakery you immediately feel the heat and realize that is going to be your constant companion while you are working in the bakery. Private Carter meets you as he comes through the door of a small room inside the bakery. You see it has shelves with many loaves of bread on them. Carter tells you fresh baked bread is placed on those shelves for one day, by order of the Surgeon General of the Army, before they can be issued to the company commissary sergeants. The Surgeon General does not want soldiers eating freshly baked bread in which the yeast might still be rising and make them sick.

     Private Carter is very excited about returning to the Company and gives you a very informative tour of the bakery and explains your duties. It is obvious he feels pride in the bread he baked. The duty is for four months if the company remains at Fort Larned for that long. Since there are four companies currently at Fort Larned, four soldiers work in the bakery. Their time in the bakery is as follows: for the soldier newly assigned to the Bakery the first 30 days he is to ensure the post wood detail maintains a more than adequate supply of firewood, ensure water barrels are filled daily by the post water detail, maintain the oven fire and the bake temperature at 400 degrees, empty the ash box and ensure the ashes are deposited in the prescribed location near the bakery to ensure nothing catches fire from the smoldering ash, wash bread-making tools and equipment, learn the bread-making routine, keep the floor swept, and perform other duties as assigned; second 30 days, mix bread dough and prepare it for baking, place fresh baked bread on storage shelves, prepare the "day-old" bread for distribution to the company commissary sergeants, learn duties of the assistant baker, and perform other duties as assigned; during the third 30 days serve as the assistant baker, ensure the post commissary detail delivers the daily requirement of flour, yeast, and salt to the bakery for the next day's baking, oversee the performance of duty by the two newest members of the bakery team, continue to learn the process of baking bread, and perform other duties as assigned. The last 30-day period the individual is the baker. If he is a good baker he has probably previously served as the baker. He is responsible for the entire bakery operation and process. His place of duty, day and night, is the bakery. He lives and sleeps there in a room that is his, which is also where he keeps his uniforms, equipment, rifle, and anything personal.

     Private Carter introduces you to your bakery teammates and shows you where the supplies are kept. He explains the recipe is simple enough--flour, water, salt, and yeast with maybe some lard to brush in the pans to keep the bread from sticking. You look around in the bakery and take notice of the equipment. There are stacks of bread pans that hold eight loaves of bread each, a huge dough trough, large kegs of flour, smaller kegs of salt, buckets for carrying water from the water barrels, and a canister of yeast, as well as multiple smaller tools used by the baker. A long wooden peel (paddle) hangs on the wall--gosh, that thing must be 12' long. Then you look in the oven and understand why you need something so long. You mother's oven was not even a tenth of that size. You take note of the wood pile and realize the need to make sure it is stacked full. You feel totally overwhelmed with all you have to do. It will be hot, sweaty, and very tiring work; 4 months!

     Soon enough you are learning to mix the bread dough and you remember words that you heard while in the barracks and when eating in the mess hall. You knew from your experience that bread was an important part of each meal, but it was the quote from Major General Winfield Scott that came to mind, "Bread and soup are the great items of a soldier's diet in every situation: to make them well is an essential part of his instruction. Those great scourges of camp, scurvy and diarrhea, more frequently result from want of skill in cooking than from any other cause whatever. Officers in command, and more immediately, regimental officers, will, therefore, give strict attention to this vital branch of interior economy." You smile to yourself thinking how something so important can be left to someone so inexperienced. You start to mix your dough. The more you mix and knead, your arms get more fatigued, and you begin to wonder if maybe the Infantry daily drills would be easier. The slight rest that you get while waiting for the dough to rise is but oh so brief, considering you need to stoke the fire, get more water and clean up after yourself so as not to get behind in that area.

     You continue to knead the dough which is getting stiffer and stiffer each minute, all the while thinking about the ribbing you will get from your unit if you aren't successful in your baking. You melt some lard and coat the pans. As you form the bread into loaves and place them in the pans, you coat them with lard as well hoping that you are doing all of this right and trying your best to remember the steps your mom took when baking bread. Oh, if you would only have paid more attention to her when you were at home. And then you remember Private Carter will soon be eating your bread.

     The final rising is complete and you prepare to slide the pans into the oven, hoping it's not too hot and not too cold. One test is to toss a little flour inside, then close the door for one minute. If the flour browns nicely, it is ready, but if it scorched black "the heat is too furious." Nervously you place the pans into the oven. You remember the hint that Private Carter told you, "even if you have the oven at the right temperature, watch out for the cold spots and hot spots." You keep a close eye on your bread pans, rotating them, with the 12' peel, through the oven and making a mental note the areas where the bread seems to be browning too slow or too fast. After about 50 minutes you start to pull out the pans as the bread in them reaches the appearance they are done. Well you obviously didn't get it totally right--the first pan out is almost as black as coal, but some of the others seem to be better. You pull them from the pans and set the loaves on the proofing shelves to cool and sit there for 24 hours, remembering the medical officer's instructions, since it was considered unhealthy to eat fresh bread as the yeast was believed to be still active. The army felt that the yeast would retain its activity when consumed and wreak havoc on a soldier's digestive system. After a day of sitting, the yeast would die, and the bread would be fit for consumption. Good bread, according to regulations, had a crust that was not detached from the crumb and upon opening it when fresh one smelled a sweet and balsamic odor.

     No rest yet as you need to clean things up to prepare for the next baking, gather yet more wood to your wood pile by the oven, clean out the ashes (being sure to save them for soap making by others), fill your water buckets from the water barrels, and make sure you don't need any other supplies from the quartermaster.

     As you sweep the floor, you look at the bread sitting on the proofing shelves and think to yourself, hoping your mother would be proud, yet seeing the loaves with burnt crust hoping the others in your unit will not be too hard on you while remembering that they too may be called on one day to serve in the bakery. You realize this is only your tenth day working in the bakery and in a few days you intend to be baking bread that both looks and tastes good.

     (Look for the article, "Baking Bread at Fort Larned, 2018" in the autumn Outpost.)

Rendezvous, September 20-22, 2018
Death On The Santa Fe Trail
by Becca Hiller, Director, Santa Fe Trail Center

     All peoples, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or age will experience death. However, how we die, the customs we follow to bury and mourn the dead, and our beliefs about the afterlife differ greatly from one group and individual to another. The Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous 2018 history seminar brings together speakers who will help broaden our understanding of the different causes of death on the Trail and, more importantly, the diverse ways that Anglo, Hispanic, and American Indians viewed this topic.

     While not quite on the theme of "death," one interesting presentation is "LiDar: A Deeper Look at the Santa Fe Trail from Above." Using an aerial platform to generate digital elevation models, Doug Shaver has been able to complete the most detailed map of existing Santa Fe Trail swales across Kansas. When compared to modern ground-level pictures of the Trail it provides an amazing example of the historic route's lasting impact on the land--even if it is just below the surface.

     Attendees will also have the unique opportunity to experience a Cheyenne Blessing ceremony and learn about Cheyenne burial and mourning customs. Furthermore, Minoma Littlehawk Sills will share the impact of the desecration of those laid to rest during the plains-war era on the Cheyenne people.

     The event, funded in part by Humanities Kansas, and jointly sponsored by the Trail Center, Fort Larned National Historic Site, and the Santa Fe Trail, will begin on Thursday, September 20, with the dedication of a historical marker on the Larned State Hospital grounds, followed by dinner and a program at the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum. Friday, September 21, and the morning of Saturday, September 22, the seminar will be held at the Larned Community Center. Saturday afternoon Rendezvous will move to Fort Larned National Historic Site for the conclusion of the event. Of special interest to Old Guard members will be two presentations at Fort Larned National Historic Site: Saturday afternoon "Living-History Vignettes: Deaths at Fort Larned," and Doug Scott's Saturday evening presentation, "The Army Cemetery: Death, Burial on the Overland Trails."

     Full event details and registration materials are online at {}. Please call 620-285-2054 or email {} with any questions you may have. Fort Larned Old Guard members and Fort Larned volunteers are especially invited to attend all or portions of the Rendezvous.

Marker Dedication, September 20
by Becca Hiller

     During the upcoming Rendezvous, the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail will dedicate the Pawnee Fork Dry Route Crossing & Boyd's Ranch Marker, shown below, on Thursday, September 20, 5:30 p.m., across from the Dillon Building on the Larned State Hospital complex, located between Fort Larned and the Trail Center. Leo Oliva will present a program on the major landmark and trading ranch near the crossing.

     While this dedication is officially part of Rendezvous there is no need to register for the seminar unless you are planning to attend other parts of it. However, because there is limited parking near the marker it is suggested that attendees meet at the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum ahead of time and carpool to the site located from the Trail Center as follows: Turn left out of Santa Fe Trail Center parking lot onto K-156 Hwy and go .4 miles to Hwy 264. Turn left and go 1 mile to stop sign at T intersection. Turn right and marker is .3 miles on the right.

     The Santa Fe Trail Dry Route Crossing and Boyd's Ranch and its predecessors were important to the history of Fort Larned. Please join us at the site on September 20, 2018, 5:30 p.m.

The Bugle At Fort Larned
by Sam Young, Fort Larned NHS Volunteer

In late summer/early fall of 1859 when cavalrymen from the U.S. First Cavalry Regiment arrived in the area of what is now Fort Larned they carried the most common tool necessary to communicate their commander's intent and orders when in combat or spread over an area about the size of a large city block--a bugle. The bugle was and is a musical instrument with a history that extends into the earliest of Biblical times.

     As the years passed, artillery, cavalry, and infantry units were either assigned to or visited Fort Larned. They all had buglers to sound the bugle calls. There were bugle calls for when in a garrison environment like Fort Larned or in the field. Garrison calls included Guard Mount, Call to Quarters, and Drill Call. Field calls included As Skirmishers, Charge, and Commence Firing. Bugle calls for both Field and Garrison included Reveille, Officer's Call, and Taps. Bugles were also used to play bugle marches such as The American Flag, Our Regular Army, Infantry Forever, and Chicken on a Fence.

     Interestingly, there was no standard U.S. Army bugle until 1879. Historical researches by individuals that include Taps Bugler Jari Villaneuva have determined, "The Clairon is the most common type of bugle used during the American Civil War. It is a single twist instrument made of copper with a brass garland or made entirely of brass. Its length is approximately 17 in. with crook and approximately 14 1/2 in. without crook. Its bell diameter is 5 1/2 in. It is in the key of C but can be lowered to B flat with the use of a crook. (A crook is usually a pigtailed piece of tubing.) The Clairon is of European origin although some American companies (Graves, Stratton and E. G. Wright for example) produced them under wartime contracts. During the Civil War many of these bugles were imported from Europe, mainly France and Prussia (Germany)."

     Since much of the equipment issued to the Army after the Civil War was surplus from that war, it is highly likely that during and after the Civil War Army units at Fort Larned carried the Clarion bugle. The cord on the bugle illustrated is blue, signifying it is an Infantry bugle.

An accurate copy of a regulation Civil War copper Clairon bugle, reproduction by Jan Henrik Berger in 2004.

An Infantry bugler with his Clairon.


Maintenance Matters
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     The maintenance staff is working on many items simultaneously to keep the park in good condition.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is in a partnership with Historic Preservation Training Center, a service unit within the National Park Service, located in Frederick, Maryland. We have tuck pointed the Shops Building and replaced four failed stones on the west and north elevations. Fort Larned National Historic Site removed the 16 window sashes of the eight windows on the east elevation and shipped them to the Historic Preservation Training Center shop in Maryland. They will be repaired, joints tightened, along with all new glazing and paint. We are also continuing the experiment with laminated restoration glass in these sashes. This is a new technology that we hope will reduce the broken glass during seasonal weather events. In early August they will return with these sashes and complete wood repairs to window jambs and sills then install the repaired sashes. They will also paint the exterior wood features.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site staff has demolished the interior features of the theater in the visitor center. This is one of the beginning phases for the new museum exhibits. We removed the projectionist room and the storage areas. It is amazing when you look at an area for a long time and see such a drastic change. They also opened the new doorway into the theater room from the exhibit gallery as designed for the new museum. We have also removed the exhibit cases from the museum and modified the electrical system to accommodate the new exhibits.

     We have contractors from Iowa as well as a local subcontractor to remove carpeting. They have worked at abating the asbestos material and are installing the new carpet in the theater, exhibits area, visitor center, and field rangers work area. Rangers have developed and staffed a temporary visitor center in the Issuing Room of the Quartermaster Storehouse.

     We are also very involved with the revegetation project, assisting the National Park Service Federal Highway staff of Denver with watering plantings. We are currently mowing planted areas at a taller height then the rest of the park. This is to encourage native seed production which will take some time. We ask and are asked to be patient. According to the plant expert working with us the planting establishment may need two years before it looks part of the natural environment.

Preserving The Remains Of The Past
by Keely Rennie-Tucker, Museum Curator,
Midwest Regional Office

     The museum artifacts at Fort Larned that are slated for the new exhibits were transported to the Western Archeological Conservation Center (WACC) in Tucson AZ and Harper's Ferry Center (HFC) in Charles Town WV for conservation treatment, which includes cleaning by a professional objects conservator. Depending on the condition of the object, repairs may need to be made to the object before exhibition. All the objects for the new Fort Larned NHS exhibits are being conserved.

     Prior to exhibition of museum objects or specimens, they are to undergo a condition survey to determine if the object is stable enough to be on exhibit. In some cases, objects may need to be rotated with a similar object to prevent further damage over a long period of time. Professional curators and conservators are trained in the proper handling, packing, and shipment of museum objects and specimens. Specialty supplies, such as archival tissue and polyethylene foam are frequently used in packing and transportation of museum collections.

     The artifact will return to Fort Larned National Historic Site at the same time the museum exhibits are installed. This reduces the amount of handling of the objects. Many parks have museum collections that need to be transported for various reasons. Some parks don't have proper environmentally-controlled space and we sometimes transport them to facilities that can better manage those collections. All the decisions about where collections are stored or exhibited are to ensure the long-term preservation of the resource.

     The team who packed and transported the objects from the park included, LtoR: Emily Fendya, MWRO Museum Collections Intern; Audrey Harrison, Museum Technician, WACC; Maria Lee, Museum Technician, WACC; and Keely Rennie-Tucker, MWRO Museum Curator.

For more information about:
     National Park Service Museum Collections -- {}
     National Park Service Museum Publications: -- {}
     National Park Service Museum Virtual Museum Exhibits: -- {}
     Teaching with Museum Collections -- {www.nps.ov/museum/tmc/tmc_links.html}

Fort Larned Old Guard
Acquires Historic Document

     Fort Larned Chief Ranger George Elmore recently spotted a rare document related to the Fort for sale on eBay, an original receipt for items shipped from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Larned, October 11, 1860, when the Fort was still in its first year of operation. Because the Old Guard exists to help the Fort any way possible, Elmore contacted Fort Larned Old Guard Chair Janet Armstead to request that the Old Guard consider purchasing this item for Fort Larned. The board immediately approved and the Old Guard placed the opening bid. Waiting patiently for three days to see if there were other bids, there were none, the document was acquired and will be accessed to the Fort's archives and preserved for posterity.

Upcoming Events
Labor Day Weekend

     Experience the excitement of a working frontier fort as Fort Larned National Historic Site hosts Labor Day Weekend activities September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd! Visitors will see blacksmithing, weapons demonstrations, 19th-century cooking, and soldiers living in the barracks. Children can participate in old-fashioned games, try on pioneer-style clothing, and learn some lessons in the one-room school. All three days, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The event is free.

Naturalization Ceremony
     Fort Larned National Historic Site, along with the U.S. District Court in Wichita, is pleased to announce the third Naturalization Ceremony at the Fort. The public is invited to witness 35 applicants celebrate a milestone in their lives by becoming U.S. citizens. The ceremony will be on Wednesday, September 19, noon to 1 p.m., with a reception after the ceremony.

Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous
     Fort Larned National Historic Site joins the Santa Fe Trail Center and Santa Fe Trail to present Rendezvous 2018, September 20-22. Please see article on page 9.

Candlelight Tours
     Fort Larned's annual Candlelight Tours are Saturday, October 13. Visitors are guided to various dramas in and around the Fort. The theme has not yet been announced but will be taken from the actual records of Fort happenings. Tours begin at 7 p.m. and the last tour will be at 10:15 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made on Monday, October 1, by calling 620-285-6911. The event is free.

Christmas Open House
     The staff and volunteers at Fort Larned can take a bleak and windy day and turn it into a nostalgic holiday celebration for the whole family! This year's Christmas event is Saturday, December 8, from noon to 4:30. Christmas caroling, crafts and games, soups and desserts, and souvenir pictures with Santa are the offerings planned for this fun event! the event is free.

New Membership
Fort Larned Old Guard

Welcomes the following new members:
     Belinda Schlesener & Bud Southard, 2059 Rd H, Emporia KS 66801

     Sept. 1-3, 2018: Labor Day Weekend Living-History Activities, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.
     Sept. 19, 2018: Naturalization Ceremony, noon-1 p.m. Welcome 35 new citizens.
     Sept. 20-22, 2018: Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous at the Trail Center, Larned Community Center, and Fort Larned.
     Oct. 13, 2018: Fort Larned Old Guard Board Meeting and Fort 's Annual Candlelight Tours.
     Dec. 8, 2018: Christmas Open House with activities for adults & children, including photos with Santa, noon to 4:30 p.m.
     April 27, 2019: Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster.

Deadline for Next Issue: November 1, 2018

     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!!!

     For more information, please call the Fort at 620-285-6911.
     Dec. 10, 2016: Christmas Open House
     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

Deadline for next issue: Febuary 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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