Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter
Volume 32, Number 3 Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Winter 2022

Notes From The Chair
     As I sit down to write this article, the Covid numbers are soaring. It is my hope and prayer that this will come to an end, sooner than later. It is also my hope that by April our numbers will be back down and we can have our Mess & Muster as planned. Please put April 30th, 2022 on your calendars! What a great day it will be at Fort Larned! We will have a "live" board meeting that morning at nine.Everyone is welcome!
Have you joined our challenge?? We have a $7,000. matching challenge on-going. We can really use your help to refill the coffers after the purchase of the Nolan pistol. Thank you to all of you who have given to Fort Larned Old Guard so generously!
See you in April!
Janet Armstead, Chair
The Fort Larned Old Guard, Inc.

Superintendent’s Remarks
     Although the cold winter temperature is outside as I write this, Spring is not that far off. As a time of change and renewal, Spring offers us a chance to reflect on the directions our lives can take. With that in mind, it’s with a mixture of sadness and anticipation that I announce to everyone I will be leaving Fort Larned in March. I was offered, and accepted, the superintendent's position at Homestead National Historical Park in Beatrice, Nebraska.

     When I came on a detail to Fort Larned on August 19, 2013 I never imagined how long I would be here, nor what close ties I would develop with everyone associated with this gem of a park. From the staff and volunteers to the dedicated members of the Old Guard, I have a deep and abiding respect and admiration for all of you. I will miss this park, and the people who make it what it is, but I look forward to this new chapter in my life.

     In my last Superintendent's column for the Outpost, I don't have much to report on park news. We were able to hold our annual Christmas event this year, though it was scaled down due to COVID.

     We didn't have pictures with Santa, or our normal offerings of period foods and desserts. Instead, we served popcorn in the Visitor Center, and had living history in the buildings. A small, but happy event.

     I'll sign off by saying that I will miss you all, and this park, and wish you well in your future endeavors.
     Betty Boyko
     Fort Larned National Historic Site

The Pawnee Fork Mail Station
Part II
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     Part I of this article in the Autumn 2021 Fort Larned Outpost focused on challenges affecting the delivery of the mail and the desire to establish a mail station on the Pawnee Fork about eight miles west of where it merges with the Arkansas River in what is now the town of Larned, Kansas. On October 22, 1859, soldiers of Company K, First Cavalry, arrived and commenced establishing "Camp on Pawnee Fork". Simultaneously the crew building the mail station was cutting and gathering hay while erecting corrals and buildings.

     On December 22, 1859, Lieutenant O'Connell and twenty soldiers from the Second Infantry arrived, along with a civilian surgeon and three wagons loaded with forage and rations.

     While Lieutenant Bell now had fifty soldiers plus another officer to help meet the escort requirements along the Cow Creek/Cimarron route which made it easier to do the bi-weekly schedule, there was no link-up plan with the escorts to and from Fort Union for that part of the train from Santa Fe to the crossing of the Arkansas River. As hard as Lieutenant Bell tried, unfortunately, no regular link-up plan was established before the Civil War.

     In late December 1859, the Missouri Stage Company bought the livestock and wagons used to carry the mail on the Santa Fe Trail route and hired James Brice to take charge of the Pawnee Fork Mail Station. At that location were a large herd of mules, hay and grain, as well as other supplies, equipment and workers to maintain the mail coaches. Brice was familiar with the Trail as the previous company contracted him in 1858 as a helper on the coaches traveling between Independence, Missouri, and Santa Fe. He knew the route as well as the requirements and challenges of year-round delivery of the mail through hostile territory. Travel was day and night in every kind of weather with limits on food and water for animals and humans; threats of Indian harassment and attacks; prairie fires, wild animals, and buffalo herds; and medical emergencies.

     Several days after Brice began his new position, the Army commander brought a woman to him. A wagon train master had traded flour to some Comanche Indians for her.

     The Army surgeon tried to talk with and exam her, but she would not talk. Brice's wife tried to help her and get her to sleep, but all she wanted to do was sit by the stove. She was put on the next east-bound mail coach. Brice never heard more about her.

     Brice had been told he was not to give passes for anyone to ride for free on the mail coach which did carry paying passengers, however, one night Kiowa Indian Chief Satanta knocked at his door. He wanted a pass to ride the mail coach to Council Grove. The Indians camped near the Mail Station having declined the Army commander's offer for them to sleep in the guard house. Brice brought them bread and cooked food then stayed with them to ensure the stacks of hay did not catch on fire.

     Brice gave Satanta the pass with Brice's initials on it. When Satanta sat down next to the driver he had his bugle with him. He sounded a call and his Indians formed up like they had seen the army do it and accompanied the coach as it departed.

     On another occasion one of Brice's herders brought a mule to him that had been bitten on its nose by a rattlesnake. The mule's head was twice his normal size. A Cheyenne Indian had Brice throw the mule down and tie its feet to keep it from struggling. Then he took Brice's pen knife, sharpened the tip, tied a cord around the handle and blade---leaving about one-fourth inch of the blade uncovered---and pricked the mule around the nostrils. He then rubbed gunpowder into the blood around the prick holes and told Brice to keep the mule from water until the next morning. Brice wrote that the mule was fine the next morning.

     While the Indians caused many problems for the mail with attacks and frequent killings occurring, the Indians could also be caring for those in need. In January 1863 an eastbound mail coach got stuck in the snow about seventy miles west of Fort Larned.

     One of the mules froze to death. One of the drivers then took one of the other mules to go to the Pawnee Fork Mail Station for help. The driver and his mule made about four or five miles before the mule gave out. The driver saw flickers of light from a campfire on the south side of the Arkansas River, which was frozen. It was an Indian camp. By the time the driver arrived, his feet and hands were frozen. The Indians were able to care for him, recovered his mule, then took him to the mail station.

     On the evening of April 11, 1865, per the diary of J. W. Ladd who work for the post sutler, he and Albert "made up the mail - the largest ever mailed at this office being over 1050 letters." The post sutler store served as the Fort's post office.

     In the spring of 1865, Indians stole seventeen mules from the mail station and continued to cause problems along the Trail, both east and west of Fort Larned. In 1866, with a new company taking over the mail route, the Pawnee Fork Mail Station was renamed Fort Larned. By late October 1867, the Union Pacific Eastern Division Railroad reached Fort Hays and the eastern start point for mail to Santa Fe was moved from Fort Harker to Fort Hays. Where the mail had gone from Fort Harker to Great Bend, then west, the route was changed from Fort Hays to Fort Dodge, then west. Fort Zarah and Fort Larned no longer had the mission of guarding the mail to Santa Fe. In 1868 James Bruce accepted a contract to cut and provide bailed hay for overland mail contractors near Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.

     In 1867 E.S.W. Drought was appointed postmaster at Fort Larned, followed by Henry Booth from December 1869 to 1872 when the Post Office was established in Larned, Kansas.

     Fort Larned - Guardian of the Santa Fe Trail, by Leo Oliva

     First Mail West -- Stagecoach Lines on the Santa Fe Trail, by Morris F. Tailor

     Reminiscences of Ten-Year's Experience on the Western Plains; how the United States Mails were carried before Railroads reached the Santa Fe Trail, by James Brice Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail, by Leo Oliva

     "The Mail Station and the Military Camp on Pawnee Fork, 1859-1869" Kansas Historical Quarterly, by Morris F. Taylor

     Diary of J. W. Ladd

     Numerous Kansas websites regarding such places as Cow Creek, Walnut Creek, Allison's Ranche, Lost Spring, Diamond Spring, Coon Creek, the Beach Valley Post Office, and the Larned Post Office.

Becoming A Sergeant For A Day
by Carter Atteberry, Park Volunteer
     Note from the editor: This last August, the award-winning show "A Taste of History" recorded an episode at the fort. One of their requests was to see soldiers doing "soldier things" that they could record and show in the final cut while the interviewees were talking. This meant someone had to lead drill for the enlisted men. Leading drill for a small group of enlisted soldiers came with wearing stripes --- and who doesn't like a promotion? The key was to find someone who would be willing and able to lead drill in an expert way to be caught on film. Carter had been volunteering very regularly at the fort since May and, since then, he had been learning all about the various kinds of drill the men would be subjected to back in the day. Enjoy this look into what it was like for Carter to take on this role for this momentous day!
     ~Ben Long

     When I learned about "A Taste of History" coming out to the Fort, I knew that we would have to take our skills and crank them up a few notches. We started off going through and polishing all the brass we could find in the squad room while we also focused on recruiting a few people to join the fun. Eventually, we got ourselves a nice group of enlisted men; in the meantime, I got a temporary promotion to Sergeant.

     We ended up with volunteer John Wasinger, a man who is familiar with Fort Larned, Luke Wilson, Matthew Figger, and Jacob Colglazier, who are all students at Larned High School; Matthew and Jacob have continued to volunteer with Fort Larned. Last but not least, Ryan Ruth joined us. Ryan is a member of Company "H", 5th USVI, the local re-enacting group.

     With our recruiting complete, we had to get some of our men outfitted with uniforms and accouterments to complement their M1866 Springfields.

     After we had everything ready, we started drilling, drilling, and drilling a little bit more. Through all of this, I gained experience leading small groups in becoming soldiers and in marching. Though we were all a little nervous about being on an internationally known television program, showing off something not everybody had done before, we still had plenty of fun in the preparation and execution. If one was to fall in for drill, he could expect to hear the occasional "Yippee-Skippy" or some Victorian-era blunder. Our misfit group of soldiers was able to help me perform my duties well and also managed to keep me entertained with their constant joking and occasional misunderstanding of the command.

     Despite our men having more fun than they should have, we still were able to perform well when it was time for "The Big Dance." Even with our normal challenges, we faced another, due to the weather that morning. However, we still managed to represent the daily life of an enlisted soldier whether it be on duty, drilling, or lounging around in the squad room. After we finished our filming, I took a couple of days and pondered on how we represented Fort Larned and the 3rd Infantry as a whole. I realized just how important living historians really are to helping people understand daily tasks and fatigue duties. All of a sudden, wool felt less like an itchy, funny-looking costume and felt a lot more like a uniform used for working and for teaching about those who fought. I, along with my fellow enlisted men, realized that what we're involved with means a lot more than we thought. When we put on our uniforms, we represent our ancestors and honor them in a unique way and can occasionally, just for a moment, get the feeling of what those who came before us experienced.

     My involvement with "A Taste of History" is one I, along with many others, will always remember because of the fun we had along with the information we learned, which can be applied to our normal interpretations. Here's to learning more and having more fun in the future at Fort Larned.

Social Media Success
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     Through the many challenges of the year 2021, there was one element that saw tremendous growth and development. From consistently posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in 2020, we thought we had a good idea of what to expect in the year 2021, but those expectations were blown out of the water!

     Our goals for social media in 2021 were based off of our numbers from the year before, but even though we set our sights high, they should have been set higher.

     For Facebook, we hoped to post 130 times, gain 500 new page likes, and reach a total of 400,000 people. After posting 167 times on Facebook, we ended up gaining 587 new page likes and reaching a total of 713,000+ people (nearly double our total from 2020 of 361,000+ people reached). One great help was when the National Park Service official Facebook page shared one of our posts in February, which ended up reaching over 100,000 people with that post alone (the picture at the end of this article was part of this successful post).

     For Instagram, we hoped to post 120 times and gain 750 new followers. There was a bit of a kink in this goal as we had login issues which arose in May and were not resolved until December. As of the writing of this article, we still have access to our Instagram and hope to keep it that way! Despite this struggle, we were still able to post 81 times and ended up gaining 523 new followers (a 14% increase over the whole year). For Twitter, we had hoped to post 120 times and gain 750 new followers. With no trouble on the Twitter front, we ended up posting 156 times and gaining 912 new followers. All of these impressive numbers were gained even without a "viral" tweet.

     However, already this year, the National Park Service official Twitter page has retweeted a tweet about long stovepipes, giving us the most liked tweet of ours in recent history. As of the writing of this article, we have 5,993 Facebook page likes, 4,091 Instagram followers and 3,805 Twitter followers for a grand total of 13,169 people who follow our content! We hope these numbers will only grow this coming year and we hope we can beat last year's numbers this year.

     To help us reach these lofty numbers, we will be continuing some of our more popular series, as well as starting a few new series. Some of our more popular series are our scenic photos from around the park, Fort Larned Footsteps where we take a look at original photographs, ArtiFact where we talk about an original artifact from our collections, and Fort Larned FAQ where we address the more often asked questions. Some of our new series includes Fort Larned Issues where we talk about the items that the enlisted men were issued, Fort Larned Rank where we are going in order of the most common ranks at Fort Larned starting with private and ending with major and a brand new series Swords at Fort Larned (a series in the works but not yet posted by the writing of this article). These new series seek to take a deeper look into US Army life at Fort Larned in a way that is easily understood by every one of our social media fans. I am especially looking forward to seeing how the Fort Larned Rank and Swords at Fort Larned series go. The ranks among the men at Fort Larned has the same basic structure as the military today, yet the carrying of swords on a regular basis was something left over from the previous era of US military, so it will be interesting to look at the military at Fort Larned as a sort of bridge between the old and the new.

     If you have yet to follow us on all three of our social media platforms, I highly encourage you to do so, as it not only helps us out, but it helps spread the word about Fort Larned National Historic Site and the work we are doing here. Let's hope this is the best year yet for social media!

Fort Larned Old Guard Board of Directors Minutes of the Meeting October 9, 2021
     Chairperson Janet Armstead called the meeting to order via Zoom. Board members present were: Janet Armstead, Rex Abrahams, Tim Zwink, Ken Weidner, Greg VanCoevern, Tom Giessel, Kathy Foster, Linda Peters and Kristin Keith. Also in attendance were Leo Oliva, George Elmore and Celeste Dixon. Janet Armstead asked the Board to review the Minutes from the previous meeting. Rex Abrahams moved to accept the Minutes. Tim Zwink seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Treasurer's Report -- Kathy Foster reported expenses in the amount of $482.70 and total assets in the amount of $12,321.67. Rex Abrahams moved that we accept the financials. Ken Weidner seconded the motion and the motion was passed. Kathy reported that we had not yet received the bus transportation grant money.

     Kathy Foster presented her resignation as treasurer but will remain on the Board. Greg VanCoevern agreed to fill the role of treasurer. Tim Zwink moved to accept Kathy Foster's resignation as treasurer. Rex Abrahams seconded the motion and the motion was passed. Janet Armsted moved that we elect Greg VanCoevern as treasurer. Ken Weidner seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Janet Armstead presented the 2022 Fort Larned Old Guard budget as prepared by Martha Scranton and Kathy Foster and revised by Leo Oliva. Janet shared that George Elmore needs a current Fort Larned Old Guard budget to include in the Friend's Agreement he is working on for the NPS. It was discovered that we need a second line item for grants or "pass through funding." Greg VanCoevern will rework a proposed budget.

     Village Site/Confrontation Ridge Report -- Leo Oliva reported that the new fifteen-year CRP contract was effective October 1, 2020 with the first payment due October 1, 2021 but still not received.

     The Village Site was re-seeded in the spring by the Ness County Conservation District. Leo reported that he had purchased fence panels for the Site parking lot. The panels allow for signage and will include a drive-thru gate. Leo shared that he had also been to Confrontation Ridge three times to perform maintenance to the grounds. Leo shared that the Village Site account balance was $7,952.95.

     Tim Zwink moved that we accept the Village Site and Confrontation Ridge report. Kathy Foster seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Membership -- Linda Peters reported that there are 33 annual paid memberships, with 2 new memberships and 4 non-renewals. Linda stated there are still 49 lifetime memberships, for a total 82 current paid memberships. Linda shared that we received $1,085.00 for the 2021 renewals/new memberships. Linda said that she will send out 2022 renewal notices in November. Janet Armstead suggested that we also send notice to lifetime members so they too have an opportunity to make a donation. Tim Zwink moved that we accept the Membership report. Ken Weidner seconded the motion and the motion was passed. Janet Armstead adjourned the meeting due to technical difficulties after setting the continuation date for the meeting as October 14, 2021 at 8 p.m. Janet Armstead called the meeting to order on October 14, 2021 at 8 p.m. via Zoom. Board members present were: Janet Armstead, Rex Abrahams, Tim Zwink, Ken Weidner, Greg VanCoevern, Kathy Foster, Linda Peters and Kristin Keith. Also present were Leo Oliva, George Elmore and Celeste Dixon.

     Budget -- Kathy Foster reported that she had sent a revised 2022 budget to Greg VanCoevern. Linda Peters moved to approve the revised Fort Larned Old Guard 2022 Budget. Greg VanCoevern seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Fort Larned Report -- George Elmore reported that a midwest archeological group will be coming to the fort to radar the ground behind the barracks, looking for evidence of wells, privies and stables.

     George also shared that Brian Miller had participated in 14 long distance learning school programs. George reported that they had provided 3 Night Sky programs over the summer, held the annual Candlelight Tour, and participated in an episode of, "A Taste of History." George stated that he continues to work on the Friend's Agreement for the National Park Service and that Janet Armstead and Leo Oliva were helping to edit the project.

     Old Business -- Janet Armstead stated that 31 copies of The Outpost have been mailed to members by Rex Abrahams and that the rest were sent electronically.

     New Business -- Janet Armstead shared that she will send committee lists to everyone. Janet stated that the Mess and Muster committee needs to begin planning for the April event.

     George Elmore shared that Ben Long, through a re-enactment acquaintance, had discovered an 1871 Colt revolver that had belonged to Captain Nicholas Nolan.

     Nolan's name appears on the gun. The revolver currently belongs to a firearms dealer/collector in Houston, Texas. Leo Oliva stated that the dealer was asking $20,000 for the revolver but would accept $15,000. Leo proposed that Fort Larned Old Guard use $5,000 from Membership funds, $5,000 from Village Site funds and $5,000 from an anonymous donor to purchase the gun. Rex Abrahams volunteered to produce a flyer to send to Fort Larned Old Guard members in hopes of getting additional donations to cover the purchase price. Kathy Foster moved that we purchase Nolan's revolver as suggested by Leo Oliva, and to have Rex Abrahams send a flyer seeking donations to help with the purchase.

     Tim Zwink seconded the motion and the motion was passed.

     Janet Armstead adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m. The next meeting will be in the AV room at Fort Larned on April 30, 2022. Respectfully submitted, Kristin Keith, secretary

Company "H" 5th USVI: A Year in Review and Looking Forward
By Ryan Ruth, 1st Sgt Company "H", 5th USVI

Kind Sir or Ma'am,
     I want to start by saying thank you for taking the time to read this article and thank you for all the support given to Fort Larned National Historic Site. My name is Ryan Ruth, and I am the 1st Sergeant for Company "H." I just wanted to give a quick update on our year and a look forward to 2022.

     We started off the 2021 season with the annual Memorial Day weekend event. This year was a little extra special with the grand re-opening of the newly remodeled Visitor Center Museum Exhibits and Gift Shop. With help from the 1st Colorado, we were able to assist with the Color Guard for the opening ceremony along with a weekend full of living history in the barracks. It was a great event shared with the 1st Colorado and Company "A" 10th US Cavalry. Good times and many laughs were had by all.

     Throughout the year we held many different living history weekends along with the annual events planned at the Fort. On a typical day with Company "H" we spend time in the barracks, have inspection, arms and marching drill, help with firing demos, and end the day with afternoon Retreat Ceremony. We feel that having soldiers out doing "soldier things" adds that much more to the Fort Larned experience.

     Looking back, a few things that topped the year off were helping with pictures and filming videos for the Fort Larned NHS Facebook page and website. It was also an honor to be a part of the filming of an episode for the TV show "A Taste Of History' with Chef Walter Staib. It was a great experience and was fun getting to eat good ole salt pork with the fixings. The episode should air sometime in the summer 2022. Of course, we can't forget about the famous Candlelight Tour. We were able to help with set up, various scenes in the tour, and a little bit with the tear down. It was nice to see so many volunteers to help bring the fort to life.

     Capping off 2021 was the Christmas Open House. The stove was fired up in the barracks and the theme of the day was drill and coffee. We ended the year with nearly 450 volunteer hours given to the fort.

     Looking ahead to 2022, we anticipate more members, more events, and more volunteer opportunities. We have been planning with other reenacting units and hope to bring multiple impressions to the fort throughout the year. A few things we are going to add to our garrison impression are providing a Guard Squad for most events as well as to adding some "work detail" to our daily schedule for our days at the fort. Again, we think soldiers doing "soldier things" helps with the visitors' visual experience and will help with some of the upkeep and maintenance. We are all so very lucky to have such a well-preserved historical landmark in our area along with the knowledgeable Park Rangers working to share the true history of the Western Frontier. We look forward to 2022 and continuing to honor and preserve the history of Fort Larned.

     Again, I want to thank you for your time, and I hope to see you at Fort Larned soon. If volunteering with us or with the fort sounds interesting to you or anyone you know, please get in touch with us. We would love for you to help us bring the fort to life!
     Very sincerely,
     Your obedient servant,
     Ryan Ruth

The Enlisted Men of Company C, 3rd Infantry
A Series by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
Part XV---William Kuhlann

     William Kuhlmann enlisted in Chicago on September 23, 1867. He was one of many immigrants who joined the Army since his place of birth is listed as Germany on the 1870 census. There is no information on when he arrived in the United States, but he was 23 by the time he joined the Army.

     His time at Fort Larned during 1868 was relatively uneventful and routine until December. He spent every month on company duty with some exceptions. On March 4th he reported on sick call with diarrhea, a very common ailment in the frontier Army. He was back on company duty on the 5th. In September, he was assigned to escort duty to Fort Dodge from the 5th to the 12th. He was also promoted to corporal just before this assignment. After being an apparently obedient soldier throughout the year, Corp. Kuhlmann was reduced back down to a private on December 22nd for taking part in a mass food riot.

     Pvt. Kuhlmann's troubles didn't end there. By 1870 he had attained the rank of sergeant, however, on January 18th he had a run-in with the Officer of the Day, 2nd Lt. Charles Campbell, that led to his court-martial. Lt. Campbell ordered Kuhlmann to take charge of a fatigue detail to cut ice on the Pawnee River. Instead of complying with the order, he complained about being asked more than once to perform this duty, saying, "By God, there are three other Sergeants in the garrison, and I have to go all the time: I was up there yesterday." This statement earned him a charge of disobedience of orders and conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.

     Although he was charged in January, his court-martial wasn't convened until the end of May. Instead of being placed in confinement Sgt.

     Kuhlmann was ordered not to leave the post grounds. On May 13th, about a week before his courtmartial he was accused of violating his arrest by not remaining at the garrison, which earned him a second court-martial. At the first court-martial, the board changed the disobedience of orders charge to neglect of duty. He was found guilty, reduced in rank to private and order to pay $12 a month for four months. At his second court-martial, the board found him innocent of the charge that he violated his arrest.

     As we've seen with other soldiers in this series, William Kuhlmann was, for the most part, able to follow the strict rules and regulations of Army life.

     But, like some of the others, he apparently had a temper that sometimes got the better of him, causing him to rebel against the rigid Army structure. There is no further information about Kuhlmann so it's unknown whether he stayed in the Army, despite his difficulties, or decided to try his hand at some other career. Of course, the Army was not then, and still is not, the type of organization that tolerates rebellion against rules and regulations. Doing so is one of the surest ways to derail any promising Army career.

Fort Larned Mess & Muster Registration Form
April 30, 2022

     Note: Masks are required for all indoor activities as directed by National Park Service.

     9:00 - Board Meeting - Ft. Larned (Officers Quarters or Visitor's Center) Everyone is welcome!

     Visit the Bakery, Barracks, Black Smith, Officer's Quarters and more!

     1:00-1:30 - Cannon firing talk and demonstration behind the Q.M. building

     1:30-2:00 - Nicholas Nolan-Who Was He?-A Wife's View reenactment by Kristin Keith, Visitor's Center

     2:15-2:45 - The Nolan Pistol - presentation by George Elmore, Head Ranger, Fort Larned National Historic Site Visitor's Center

     3:00-3:45 - Female Buffalo Soldier: The Traditional Story and The Rest Of The Story. Dr. Leo Oliva - Visitor's Center

     4:00-4:35 Nolan's Music - Prairie Larkspur - Visitor's Center

     4:45 - Book Signing - John Langellier, author of "Fighting For Uncle Sam - Buffalo Soldiers In The Frontier Army"

     5:30 - Retreat - F.L. reenactors

     6:00 - Dinner - Barton Co. Food Service - Q.M. Building

     6:45 - General Meeting and Awards

     7:00 - Special Guest Speaker: "Buffalo Soldiers and The Brass: Officers Of The Black Regulars" John Langellier, author

     Kristin Keith
, a lifelong resident of Larned, KS, makes her "second home" in the quarters of Captain Nicholas Nolan and his wife Annie at Fort Larned, volunteering the last five years portraying Annie Nolan. Kristin attended Wichita State University and Southwestern College in Winfield, earning a degree in English in 1995. She taught at Larned High School, Cowley County Community College and Barton County Community College. In 2003 she switched gears and started her own antique business. Kristin currently serves on the Board of the Fort Larned Historical Society and The Fort Larned Old Guard as secretary. She is also Chairperson of Larned's Antique Show.

     George Elmore is Chief Ranger at Fort Larned National Historic Site.

     Leo E. Oliva earned a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Denver and is a former professor of history at Fort Hays State University. He has been researching and writing about the Santa Fe Trail, frontier military history, and Kansas history since 1959. His first book, Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail, was published in 1967. He is author of six of the eight books in the Kansas Forts Network series. He edited the Santa Fe Trail quarterly, Wagon Tracks, for 25 years. He is currently researching the lives of women on the Santa Fe Trail.

     Prairie Larkspur is a duo that features music of the 1800's. Christine Day and Janet Armstead retired after having taught music for a total of over 80 years. Chris is Vice President of the Santa Fe Trail. Janet is Chair of Fort Larned Old Guard and a board member, Jr. Wagon Master Program Director and Education Chair in the Santa Fe Trail. They got their start in historical music at Ft. Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster in 2012.

Featured Speaker:
     John P. Langellier
has written scores of articles and dozens of books including his most recent titles Fighting for Uncle Sam: Buffalo Soldiers in the Frontier Army and Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers…. He has spent nearly a half century in public history after graduating from the University of San Diego with a BA and MA in history and historical archaeology, and earned his PhD in military history from Kansas State University. His career included a dozen years with the Department of the Army as well as served positions with the Autry National Center of the American West, Wyoming State Museum, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Sharlot Hall Museum, and the Arizona Historical Society. Presently he serves as the Principal Investigator for a congressionally required study on the Buffalo Soldiers and the National Parks.

Fort Larned In The News
The Leavenworth Times, 21 July 1868

Indian Matters.
     St. Louis, July 20. An army officer just from Fort Larned, on the Arkansas river, says from twelve to fifteen hundred Indians, representing all the tribes of the Plains, were congregated at or near the post to receive their annuities, but on account of recent depredations committed by the Cheyennes some weeks since Col. Wynkoop had been ordered to withhold the arms and ammunition. This the Indians said was a violation of the treaty, and they notified Col. W. that if he did not issue arms they would fight for them; that they were ready for war again, and the meeting broke up in great confusion. That evening the 10th inst, the Kiowas attacked a train from Kansas City, also a Mexican train and Mail carrier, and robbed them of supplies and provisions and beat the teamsters. Gen. Sully arrived from Ft. Barker on the 11th and told the Indians in the presence of six hundred cavalry that he preferred peace, but he was ready for war. This awed them somewhat, but they were sulky and discontented. Col. Wynkoop deprecates the vacillating course pursued by the Government, and says the Indians in this agency were never more peaceably inclined, but he says hostilities are liable to break out at any time. . . . All the troops at Ellsworth have been ordered to Larned, and the commanding officers of all posts in the department have been ordered to prepare their commands tor action on the shortest possible notice.

     The Junction City Weekly Union, 25 July 1868 On the 11th of July the Kiowa Indians brought into Fort Larned a white boy, about three or four years of age, and gave him up to Mr. J. E. Tappan, post sutler. Mr. Tappan delivered him to General Sully, District Commander. It is not known how long the boy had been a captive, or where he was taken.

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2021, 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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Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.
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