Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter
Volume 30, Number 3 ~*~ Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West ~*~ Winter 2020

     This Issue of Outpost is late so we could include information for the new museum exhibits' dedication on April 18.

Dedication and Celebration of Fort Larned's
New Museum Exhibits, April 18

     On Saturday, April 18, 2020, the public is invited to a special event at Fort Larned National Historic Site. There will be a ribbon-cutting to open the new museum exhibits, music, speakers, food, and living-history activities. The activities will begin at 10:30 with patriotic music and special speakers representing each of the ethnic cultures connected to Fort Larned, 1859-1878.

     The Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting will immediately follow the speakers, and the public will be allowed to tour the exhibits (in groups rather than all at once because of space). Some can sample the food while others are viewing the exhibits. A variety of music entertainment begins at 12:00, ranging from Gospel singing, American Indian hoop dancing, and the jubilant sound of a Mariachi band. Music will continue on the big stage until 2:30 or 3:00.

     Free food sample specialties that highlight several cultures will be offered after the morning ceremonies, and volunteers will be presenting living history in many of the buildings until retreat. The staff and volunteers look forward to the reaction from visitors when they see the beautiful new exhibits, telling a more complete story of the Fort's history.

     The day's festivities will lead into an evening with the Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster Dinner (reservations required), presentation of awards, and a 19th-century dance, period attire welcome but not required. Ladies, get out your ball gowns!

10:30-11:30 Music, Welcome & Introduction, Special Speakers
11:30-12:00 Chamber and Friends of the Fort Ribbon-Cutting
12:00-2:30 or 3:00 Musical performances given by:
          St. Paul AME Church Choir led by Pastor Pamela Mason, Wichita, Kansas
          Mariachi Los Reyes of Wichita, Kansas
          Charles Williams, Jazz & Gospel Pianist, Kansas City, Missouri
          Kevin Conwerty, Hoop Dancer, Tulsa, Oklahoma
          Phil Dixon, Soloist, Mancos, Colorado
12:00-4:00 Cultural food samples served to the public
          Living History Demonstration
Between 5:30 & 6:00 Retreat
6:00 Fort Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster Dinner followed by a period dance (ball)

Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster
     Fort Larned Old Guard's Mess & Muster will follow the dedication and celebration of the new exhibits on April 18, 2020 with dinner at 6:00 p.m. (reservations required by April 10, registration form on the back of the flyer insert in this issue). The menu is on that form.

     Following dinner, there will be a short business meeting with election of directors and officers for the coming year, followed by the presentation of awards to the winners of the student photo/art contest and other Fort Larned Old Guard awards.

     The evening program is a frontier-era Victorian Dance or Ball (often called a Hop at the frontier military posts). The dance is open to everyone who attends the dinner. Music is provided by the Kansas Brigade Band, headquartered at Abilene, KS.

     Fort Larned Volunteer Marla Matkin will provide a brief history of Victorian Balls and will also call the dances, including the Grand March, Virginia Reel, Waltz, and others. Marla will explain each of the dances, so you don't need prior experience to participate. It will be a grand finale to a great day.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Janet Armstead

     It seems like a longtime coming, but the new museum exhibits are installed and ready for viewing. April 18, 2020, is the day the Fort Larned staff will unveil and dedicate the new displays. This is cutting-edge technology in one of the oldest original buidings in the state! What a blend! The festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the big tent and run through the afternoon. Several speakers will address the various ethnic groups associated with the historic Fort, followed by tours of the new exhibits. Food will be available on site at noon. Live music is planned during the afternoon! Come, enjoy, and marvel at the wonderful new exhibits.

     The Old Guard annual Mess & Muster will follow that evening, with a banquet at 6 p.m. in the Quartermaster Storehouse. Shook-N-Cook out of Hoisington, Kansas will cater the meal. After dinner we will have a brief Fort Larned Old Guard meeting, followed by recognition of the winners of the photo/art contest and presentation of Fort Larned Old Guard awards. The highlight of the evening will be a Victorian dance, with a brief history of Victorian Balls by Marla Matkin who will also call the dances, featuring the Grand March, Virginia Reel, Waltz, and more. The Kansas Brigade Band will be playing for the dance. Check them out at their website. It should be a very enjoyable evening! To register for the evening, see the enclosed flyer with registration form in this issue.

     Do you have any pet peeves? A mispronunciation of a military word is one of mine, and I hear it almost every trip to any historic site. I know it bothers the Fort staff as well (I overheard instructions cautioning volunteers). The word so often mispronounced is CAVALRY. If you pronounce it as spelled, you are fine: Ca V alry. But often it is pronounced as C a L v a r y. CaLvary is the site outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. CaValry has to do with horse soldiers. Think about it! How do you say cavalry?

     Do you shop on Amazon? If you do, please use Amazon Smile, select a charity (we hope you choose Fort Larned Old Guard), and a portion of your payment will be donated to the Old Guard! Thank you!

     We hope to see you at the Fort on April 18, 2020 for the opening of the museum exhibits, speeches and music, and good food. Please register and join our Mess & Muster evening program and dance. Dancing was a favorite form of entertainment at frontier military posts.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     I hope everyone had a great holiday season and would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. So far 2020 has been off to a good start here at the Fort. Milder winter weather has slightly increased visitation for this time of year. We ended 2019 with one of our most successful Christmas Open House events in recent years. The increased visitation might have been due in part to the advertising in weeks prior, which included television spots and posts on social media. We enjoyed hosting the Chancel Bell Choir from Great Bend during the event and their music certainly enriched everyone's Christmas mood.

     Everything is on track for the new exhibits and no more delays are anticipated. We are finally to the point where we can count down the days for the dedication and celebration of the new museum exhibits. We look forward to making the celebration an all-day event with a formal program, food and music, and ending the day with Mess & Muster activities. There will be a lot of work in the coming weeks to get ready for the event, but the new exhibits deserve the best unveiling we can give them.

     We greatly appreciate all the support the Old Guard is providing for the dedication and especially for the private Blessing that will be given by a representative of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Nation the evening before the event.

     I look forward to seeing everyone for the dedication and anticipate a very successful and productive new year.

Fort Larned Roll Call: Pete Bethke
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Most of our readers know Pete Bethke, our Fort blacksmith. You may know he was a blacksmith and tour guide at Boot Hill in Dodge City before he came here. He has been the blacksmith at Fort Larned, first as a volunteer and then as a seasonal employee, for a total of 25 years. He is originally from Stuttgart, Kansas, a small town in Phillips County. Now he is a park ranger.

     Pete, whose birth name is Brian, recently retired from being a supervisor at Larned State Hospital. Upon reaching this milestone in his life, he applied and was rehired with a new title at Fort Larned-Permanent Part-time Park Ranger. He continues to be extremely popular with our visitors when demonstrating blacksmith skills, which is still his favorite part of the job. Over the years he has accumulated a lot of "Blacksmith Groupies." He's kind of like the Fort's own rock star on staff.

     Along with becoming a permanent employee, Pete's schedule has changed a bit. He works full-time during the Fort's busy season as a blacksmith, tour guide, and educator. During the winter months he works a few days a week as a frontline interpreter in the Visitor Center. Because of the increase in hours, Pete is able to see more students and is involved in creating education programs. He enjoys teaching and serves as a great role model for other rangers.

     His mentorship has grown over the years with a dozen or more blacksmith apprentices coming to the Fort and learning the skills. Some are young guys; others are older and have always wanted to learn blacksmithing. The Fort often benefits from the newly-trained blacksmiths, especially when Pete has their help during special events which often attract hundreds of visitors.

     Most recently he has trained, and trained well, Haynes Jones. Because of the level that Mr. Jones has reached in his newly-found skill, and because Pete has the extra help, new goals are being set in Pete's mind. He is confident that the projects, once finished, will enhance the living-history program at Fort Larned.

     Pete's family has grown recently too, adding sons-in-law and a granddaughter! Don't you love how time keeps forging ahead (make note of the pun)? Both daughters, Andrea and Marla, live in Lincoln, Nebraska, with their families. Pete's wife, Linda, retired from the State Hospital, too, right in time to welcome a new grandchild, Mazyee, who will soon be a three-year old. Andrea is expecting a second child, a son, in May.

     When you visit the blacksmith at Fort Larned, you can watch a great demonstration and receive a souvenir. He often makes a wall hook or chain link for visitors. Last summer Mazyee visited her grandfather at the blacksmith shop, and looked on with a serious countenance, perhaps aware of the smell from the burning coal or maybe wondering about the leather apron Pete was wearing. There is sure to be more visits during her childhood with her little brother in tow! Congratulations Pete on your new position at Fort Larned. Our visitors will learn a lot from you.

Retiring Park Ranger: Ellen Jones
     (Ranger Ellen Jones is retiring soon and shares this farewell. She has been co-editor of OUTPOST for many years. Fort Larned and this newsletter will not be the same without her.)

     Those of you who haven't heard the news--I am planning to retire this April and am ready to start a new chapter in my life. My husband and I will eventually be moving to the eastern part of the state to be closer to our family. I have worked at Fort Larned National Historic Site for nine years and will have 17 years with the park service because of a previous eight years at George Washington Carver National Monument. I also worked for the Three Rivers Park District out of Minneapolis MN and for the Santa Fe Trail Center, which brings it to a 21-year career in the field of History Education and Interpretation. What a wonderful decision I made back in February 1999!

     In the past 21 years I've experienced so much learning and growth in my chosen occupation. There have been many successes and very few disappointments. I found out in 2014 that managing five grants all at once for Fort Larned was too difficult and trying for me. Since that eye-opening experience, I have managed one grant annually--the largest and most important grant--bus transportation funds that bring students to the Fort. That responsibility, along with leading education programs, has been the most rewarding. I have repeated countless times to any listening ear that it's a great day at Fort Larned when the students show up!

     I thank the Old Guard for partnering with us on three transportation grants: Ticket to Ride, Every Kid in the Park, and our current one, Open Outdoors for Kids Transportation. The Fort saw the busiest fall season in 2019 with almost 500 students coming to the Fort for an annual field trip. We are gearing up for the spring season and will see many more classes. I especially recognize Fort Larned Old Guard board member and park volunteer Kristin Keith, who assists with every school group that crosses that bridge. She is the most valuable educator to our education program and her hours of volunteering are vital to the life of our volunteer program. Thank you Kristin.

     Over the years I became known as the "kid's ranger." Long ago I lost count of the number of children's programs and activities I have done. I took over the late historian David K. Clapsaddle's Traveling Trunk Program and went into many classrooms to share about the Santa Fe Trail and am still doing it. I brought more nature programs and opportunities for viewing nature to the Fort with the Great Backyard Bird Count, Monarch Watch Tagging, winter hikes, and night-sky programs. These were not always well attended, but all it took was one family or one young person to show a keen interest for being at Fort Larned and that made the program worthwhile.

     Coordinating the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Program (TRT) at the Fort has enhanced my professional experience and benefitted the Fort in many ways. We most definitely have worked with some very smart and dedicated teachers in this area. The high school Survivor Day event has been one of my favorites and was created by Lou Ann and AC Barker, educators who worked in the TRT program. Katy Sperry was our TRT during 2016, the Centennial year of National Park Service. She brought the high school band to play for the Naturalization Ceremony. They came back and played for the next two ceremonies. TRT Laci Radke from Langdon, Kansas, planted the seed for a very successful 19th amendment program by creating a site bulletin highlighting women of the 19th century Army posts. I have a deep respect for our teachers and feel honored to share in the same mission--encouraging every student to become a life-long learner. I plan to continue working in the education field, possible part time.

     I have really enjoyed working with the staff and volunteers of the Fort. A highlight of my career at Fort Larned has been working with Volunteer Jan Elder in the Fort Larned Historic Garden. We both enjoy interpreting the diets of the soldiers and officers' families, especially the wives. We have collaborated on many programs at the special events, from making sauerkraut to cooking apple-radish slices on the wood burning stove. Jan wrote a hilarious story about a bunny raid we had one spring when we found the early cabbage shoots she brought from home all chewed up. It's a true story. We have developed a close friendship and I'm excited to be moving closer to her and gleaning her garden tips.

     I have three children and three grandchildren and my heart aches to be closer to them. After the Dedication and Celebration of the new museum exhibits on Saturday, April 18, 2020 I will be cleaning out my desk (sigh). I will always enjoy having awesome memories of working for the park service, especially for Fort Larned. I'm so grateful that Chief Ranger George Elmore gave me a chance by hiring me and that he also gave me a long tether which allowed me to create, to engage students, and to become a real park ranger. A big thanks to Leo Oliva for putting up with me as his co-editor of this newsletter for all these years. See you on the Trail!

     (Editor's note: It has been an honor to work with you, Ellen, and we will miss you at Fort Larned. The Fort staff and the Fort Larned Old Guard board and members extend thanks for all you have done here, and we wish you the best in your new ventures.)

A New Face At An Old Fort
     Conner Owens is the newest addition to the team at Fort Larned. He comes all the way from a small town in Mississippi. He attended the University of Mississippi and has traveled to many of our national parks, including Zion, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone. During this time, he felt a call to work in nature and to help preserve what our country holds important.

     Now, he is working at Fort Larned through the Conservation Legacy and their Community Volunteer Ambassadors (CVA) program. His job is to meet with the larger community, gather people who are passionate about the Fort, and promote it as one of the best historic sites in the West. The new exhibits bring many great things but also great challenges, one of which is the question of "where to go now?"

     With added attention through the renovations of the museum exhibits, predictions are that the Fort's visitation will grow and, with it, will come a need for more volunteers to help the small staff take on the monumental and minute projects.

     Volunteeers can serve in a multitude of capacities: writing articles like this one, working the front desk of the visitor center, outfitting for living-history events, helping to share a skill by presenting a class, or working in the historic garden at the Fort. Volunteering has many different faces in today's environment.

     You are invited to call the Fort and talk to one of the dedicated rangers about how you can join the volunteers who help make public programs possible, or if you want to learn more about Conner Owens, our current Ambassador, and the CVA program at Fort Larned.

Volunteer Roll Call: Carolyn Polston
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     We recently welcomed a new volunteer, Carolyn Polston, middle-school science teacher who moved to Larned last summer from Horton, Kansas. When she met her students for the first time, she told them a trick to remembering her last name. Just think of "poles that weigh a ton." Carolyn is passionate about teaching science. As a teacher of both science and social studies in Horton, the rewards were great, watching her students question, experiment, and find conclusions. When an opportunity to teach only science at Larned Middle School was offered, she grabbed it. She wasn't going to miss preparing social studies lessons.

     Carolyn was born in St. Louis and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. Her family still resides in Blue Springs, Missouri, but Carolyn has a connection to Larned. Carolyn's mother, Barbara Brenner-Polston, lived here as a child. Although Carolyn never lived here before, she feels at home in Larned now and has fond memories of visiting her grandparents. She frequently visited Fort Larned.

     Carolyn earned a BA in Biology with a minor in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Missouri Western State University at St. Joseph. She worked as a Naturalist Interpreter III (official title) at Prairie State Park in Missouri, 2008-2009. As much as she loved interpretation, she missed the classroom, so back to school she went. Her teaching degree was earned from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. She taught elementary science in Covington, Indiana, and 8th-grade science in St. Joseph, Missouri, before heading to Horton.

     There is no doubt Carolyn's interpretive skills will come in handy at the Fort. She was a first-time guide during the Candlelight event and coordinated the crafts at the Christmas event. Both are good warm-up volunteer experiences that will lead to living-history interpretation during our busy season. We know Carolyn likes to dress up. She is known amongst her students to dress like Scientist Alfred Wagner, wearing a lab coat, a white wig, and a mustache.

     What Carolyn likes about Fort Larned is the time period. She was influenced by her dad who has always been interested in the 19th century, and never missed a chance to take Carolyn to various sites, including Fort Larnesd.

Social Media Recap, 2019
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     This past year of 2019 saw a great and positive relationship between Fort Larned National Historic Site and social media. Fans of Fort Larned were quickly and easily able to learn about people of Fort Larned and surrounding areas, our events, and the purpose of the Fort along the Santa Fe Trail. By increasing the quality and quantity of our content and by researching the best days and times to post, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who know about Fort Larned.

     On our Facebook page this past year, we were able to gain over 500 new page likes. That means over 500 people who automatically see the information and alerts we post in their news feed. Additionally, our Facebook posts reached a combined total of over 275,000 people. Our best post this past year was about the Buffalo Soldiers in the 10th US Cavalry that were here at the Fort. This post alone with an accompanying image reached more than 124,000 people.

     As we look into 2020, we want to expand our use of social media to include steady utilization of Instagram and Twitter. Not only will expanding our uses of social media reach different demographics than we reach on Facebook, but we will be able to reach more people. Already this year, we have had a fantastic start on Facebook and we hope to keep that up.

A Cache of Fort Larned History
by Sam Young Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     If you are interested in the history of Fort Larned or just enjoy reading the stories of Fort Larned, there is a source readily available. It is the Old Guard's website at {}.

     I have no idea why I never thought of looking for that site or at the Old Guard's Facebook page at {}. Maybe it is because I did not find them listed on the Outpost information page.

     Since I write articles for Outpost, I asked if there is an index of the contents, especially since I have over ten years of issues. The index would make it easier to do research. I was told there is no index. I am working on that.

     I started looking at the Old Guard's website and Facebook page. The website is a treasure trove of Fort Larned's history and stories. Its "home page" contains Old Guard information, including the Old Guard Brochure, membership, annual Mess & Muster, contact information, a link to the Fort Larned National Historic Site website, and information on the Fort Larned soldiers and those buried in the Fort's cemetery who were disinterred and reburied in the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. On this site you can access copies of the quarterly Outpost, from 1991-present.

     I have copies of the Outpost from the Summer 2009 issue through 2019. Thus I started reading some of the "old" ones. Thay are very informative. You will enjoy them.

     The Old Guard Facebook page has a multitude of pictures of Fort Larned, events, and volunteers and staff, as well as other typical Facebook information regarding Fort Larned and the Old Guard.

     Take a few minutes (or a few hours) and explore the Old Guard's website and Facebook page. You will be glad you did.

     Oh, by the way, look at what is on bottom of the front page of every issue of Outpost--the Old Guard's website is listed there! Now, with this issue, the link to Fort Larned Old Guard Facebook is also there. Have a great day!

Former Fort Larned Commanding Officer
William John Lyster - 1833-1897:
There Is More To His Story!
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     Frequently, George Elmore and I chat about potential articles I could pursue for Outpost. One he recommended concerned Colonel William J. Lyster, U.S. Army (Retired), who, as Commander, Company A, 19th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was the commanding officer of Fort Larned from July 1874-June1877. He hinted there was more to his story than his time at Fort Larned. I commenced researching.

     In the summer 2015 edition of Outpost (Vol. 26, No. 1), there is a detailed article of Post Commander William J. Lyster by Park Ranger Celeste Dixon. The article is available on the Fort Larned National Historic Site website {}. Celeste gives a brief picture of Lyster's life and a good overview of the events involving Fort Larned and is soldiers under Lyster's command. That gave me a starting place.

     While at Fort Larned, Captain Lyster and his wife (Martha Doughty Lyster) were blessed with a son. Theodore C. Lyster - 1875-1933 was born on 10 July 1875. Young Theodore spent his childhood on numerous Army posts where his father was stationed. At one of these posts, Fort Brown in Texas across the Rio Grande river from the city of Matamoras, Mexico, yellow fever was spreading, sickening and killing many Anglo-Americans and Mexicans. The Lyster family, except Mrs. Lyster, was stricken with yellow fever but survived, thanks to Dr. William Gorgas, the Fort Brown post surgeon. Gorgas himself was seriously ill with yellow fever but survived. Individuals who survived yellow fever had a lifelong immunity to it.

     Theodore's exposure to the military did not end when his father died on 3 September 1897 and was buried in the U.S. Military Academy Cemetery, because his uncle, Dr. Gorgas, was still serving as an Army surgeon. Gorgas, in 1885, married Marie Cook Doughty, Theodore's mother's, sister, who he met at Fort Brown. (Note: after the Spanish-American War ended in 1898, Dr. Gorgas successfully worked in Florida, Havana, and during the building of the Panama Canal to reduce the mosquito menace-he knew mosquitoes spread yellow fever and malaria.)

     Theodore enlisted in the Army as a hospital steward in June 1898 after he received his Ph.D., and a year before he received his medical degree, both from the University of Michigan. On 3 October 1900, he was commissioned an Army assistant surgeon, specializing in eye, ear, nose, and throat. His early medical assignments included the Panama Canal Zone Ancon Hospital, University of Philippines, Manila, and Chief Health Officer in 1914 during the U.S. occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico.

     In 1918, Lieutenant Colonel Lyster, because of the deaths of many army aviators who were not physically and mentally capable of being pilots, became an aviation pioneer when he established processes to standardize and expedite physical examinations, organized the Medical Research Board, established the aviation medicine program, and created the position of flight surgeon in the flying squadrons. Additionally, his actions in creating and directing the U.S. Army Air Medical Service earned him the title "Father of Aviation Medicine." Other positions he held were the first chief surgeon in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps (Army aviation was originally part of the Signal Corps), and Chief of Aviation and Professional Services in the Surgeon General's Office for which he earned the Distinguished Service Medal. In March 1918, with the expansion of the army for World War I, he was promoted to brigadier general. Lyster reverted to his permanent rank of colonel when he retired from active duty on 28 February 1919.

     As a civilian, he continued the work of William C. Gorgas - 1854-1920, who died in 1920, to eliminate yellow fever in Mexico and Central America. By working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, he initiated the issuing of pilot's licenses to commercial aviators. Dr. Lyster died on 5 August 1933, age 58, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

     By an act of Congress in June 1940, Theodore C. Lyster was promoted to Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired). On 5 March 1964, the Surgeon General of the Army named the future hospital at the Aviation Center and Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama, the Lyster Army Hospital in honor of the Father of Aviation Medicine.

But the Lyster story did not end there.

     Brigadier General Lyster's son, Theodore C. Lyster, Jr. - 1914-1942, nicknamed Ted, was born on 20 September 1914, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1936, and married Tekla Henningsen, with whom they produced Theodore C. Lyster III. As a U.S. Navy lieutenant (equivalent rank to a U.S. Army captain), Ted was serving on the USS Juneau, a light cruiser, when it was attacked and sunk by the Japanese navy during the naval battle of Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942. Ted was one of the 687 Juneau crew members killed in action. Their remains were never found. On that same ship were the five Sullivan brothers who also were killed (The Sullivan brothers were from Waterloo, Iowa, and joined the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. For more information, see the book The Fighting Sullivans by Bruce Kuklick.). Lieutenant Lyster is memorialized on one of the Tablets of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Philippines.

     I found little information while searching for Theodore C. Lyster III. He was present when Lyster Army Hospital was dedicated on 18 February 1967. A search online shows Theodore C. Lyster IV living in Oregon.

     One additional Lyster research item was the Lyster Bag, a canvas bag with spigots from which to draw water. In 1910, Major Carl R. Darnell, a chemistry professor at the Army Medical School, developed the method of using liquid chlorine to purify drinking water. Major William J. L. Lyster of the Army Medical Department during the same time frame, used a linen bag in which he mixed a solution of calcium hypochlorite with water to provide purified drinking water. The bag became known as a Lyster Bag and was used by the U.S. Army until at least the mid-1980s. Are you ready for this? William J. L. Lyster was the son of Henry Francis LeHunte Lyster who was a younger brother of William John Lyster, former commander of Fort Larned.

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

     Richard Fulkerson enlisted on April 13, 1867, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but was only at Fort Larned for October and November of 1868. He spent January through September of that year sick at Fort Hays. The illness that kept him off duty for so long is not listed.

     By October 6, Pvt. Fulkerson was listed as on duty at Fort Larned, assigned to the Post Adjutant's office as a clerk for the remainder of the month. He started off November on company duty until he reported to sick call for diarrhea on the 3rd. He was back on company duty until the 29th when he died by suicide after consuming some sulphate of morphine he took from the post hospital.

     Sulphate of morphine is the main alkaloid found in opium. Doctors used morphine extensively in the 19th century to relieve chronic pain. The Army came to rely on it heavily during the Civil War to help ease the pain of severely wounded soldiers and amputees. Of course, like any strong narcotic, it could be very addictive. An estimated 400,000 soldiers became addicted to morphine as a result of its use during the war. Also, as Pvt. Fulkerson apparently knew, an overdose could be fatal.

     There is no information on what might have prompted him to end his life so tragically. Nineteenth-century frontier Army duty could be unpleasant even in the best of circumstance but was often miserable for a lot of soldiers. Loneliness was one of the biggest problems most soldiers faced, being so far from home and family. Combine that with bad food and housing, as well as long hours, low pay, and harsh punishments and it's no wonder that some soldiers took their own lives.

A Starry Evening At Fort Larned
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     On Saturday, February 22, 2020, Fort Larned greeted special guests from the Kansas Astronomical Observers from Wichita. Jerelyn Ramirez, president of the organization, brought a special device called a Sky Quality Meter to measure the infiltrating light in the night sky after dusk. Jerelyn presented many visual activities to show our visitors the different types of light pollution, glare, and sky glow. She reported that light pollution affects migrating birds, insects' reproductive cycle, and sea turtle population to name a few. This also influences human health, being able to see at night while driving, and security.

     She was able to demonstrate how glare can affect people with cataracts by using an eye chart and four layers of transparencies. Each layer of transparency simulates the severity of a person's cataracts. As you stack the layers of transparencies you increase the simulation of the visual severity of a person's cataracts, the added glare from street lights, makes it so much more difficult for that person to see as well at night than a person without cataracts.

     Ramirez brought three additional members of the organization with her to help with the construction of Galileoscopes, which the Fort provided. A total of 34 people enjoyed the astronomy lessons dealing with preserving our night sky. One member, Christopher Rippel, shared with participants the magnitude of stars and how light pollution prevents people seeing the dimmer stars of the constellations. He went on to explain before man made lights, the sky was a glow with many more stars than we can see today because of the different degrees of light pollution in your visual area.

     At the end of the evening, after 8 p.m., Jerelyn took the measurement of light pollution with the Sky Quality Meter. The measurement is pretty good and warrants the Fort's effort in becoming a Dark Sky Designated park. To find more information on preserving the dark sky and visiting dark sky places, visit the International Dark Sky Places at {}.

Tom Seltmann, 1953-2019
     Thomas (Tom) Joe Seltmann, member of the Fort Larned Old Guard and former board member and chairman of Fort Larned Old Guard, died November 20, 2019, three days before his 66th birthday. He was born at Larned on November 23, 1953. He was Vocational Director at the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility until his retirement in 2007.

     Tom was active in community affairs and many organizations, including Fort Larned Old Guard, Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail, Fort Larned Historical Society (Santa Fe Trail Center), Larned Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Prairie Arts Unlimited, and served as chairman of the Pawnee County Planning Commission.

     Tom was a good friend and supporter of Fort Larned, always ready to help. We miss him. Sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends.

New Memberships
Fort Larned Old Guard welcomes the following new members:
     Jennifer Duncan, 719 Snowberry St, Longmont CO 80503
     Don & Dee Reinhold, 431 Liberty Dr, McPherson KS 67460

     March 15, 2020: Kinsley Library Series on the 19th Amendment, 2:00-5:00.
     April 18, 2020: Fort Larned Museum Dedication and Celebration, followed by Fort Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster.
     April 19, 2020: Kinsley Library Series on the 19th Amendment, final session, 2:00-5:00.
      April 26, 2020: Wet/Dry Routes Chapter Meeting at Larned, 1:00 p.m.

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2020, 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 for your support.

May 1, 2020

     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 2020, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard. Thank you so much for all your support!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is a unit of the U.S. National Park Service located six miles west of Larned, Kansas 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. They also have a great book store! Information on Fort Larned may be found at {www.National Park}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {fols_superintendent@National Park}.

Santa Fe Trail Research Site

Santa Fe Trail Research Site
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