Martyr of Liberty performance and other events at Fort Scott commemorate end of Civil War

Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release

Fort Scott National Historic Site
Old Fort Boulevard
Post Office Box 918
Fort Scott KS 66701-0918
(620) 223-0310

Release Date: April 10, 2015
Contact: Galen Ewing, galen_ewing@nps.gov, (620) 223-0310

Martyr of Liberty: Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Turbulent End
of the Civil War at Fort Scott National Historic Site During Its Annual Military Encampment

FORT SCOTT, Kansas: In April, 1865, Union soldiers at Fort Scott could see the end of four long years of a devastating war. Excitement turned to tragedy with news of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton said to the small gathering of people at Lincoln’s bedside after his death: “Now he belongs to the ages.” 

Staff and volunteers at Fort Scott National Historic Site invite you to join us in honoring the sacrifice of soldiers and civilians from 1861-1865 during the thirty-third annual Civil War Encampment on Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19. The roar of musketry, boom of artillery, and neighing of horses will again be heard as Union troops garrison Fort Scott. A variety of programs offer you the opportunity to learn more about Fort Scott’s role during this turbulent conflict. The activities begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and conclude following the 3:00 p.m. program on Sunday.

During the Civil War, Fort Scott served as a major supply base and training ground for Union troops. This weekend, Union Cavalry, Infantry, and Artillery units will conduct military training common to soldiers of the era, including marching, small arms and artillery drills, and horsemanship. Talk with the soldiers in camp, visit with the ladies in Victorian dress, and haggle over merchandise with the sutlers at their store. 

Authentic Civil War memorabilia will be featured during the annual encampment at Fort Scott National Historic Site. “The Border Wars Collectors,” a group of local militaria enthusiasts, will provide the display. Weapons on display are similar to those used by the men, including soldiers of the Indian Home Guard and United States Colored Troops, who fought along the Missouri border and in Bourbon, Crawford, and Cherokee counties in Kansas. Weaponry will include a wide variety of sabers, and pistols, rifles, rifled muskets, and muskets of varying calibers.

Saturday’s activities will conclude with a special evening performance entitled, Martyr of Liberty. In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, performers will retell that chilling story. Historical personalities being featured are Mary Surratt (the female conspirator who was later executed), Clara Harris (who was in the theater box with Lincoln when he was shot), Dr. Samuel Mudd (who treated Booth’s ankle, injured when he jumped onto the stage), Boston Corbett (who shot John Wilkes Booth) and Edwin Stanton (Secretary of War who oversaw the investigation and trial). Soldier Charles Porter, who was here at Fort Scott when Lincoln was shot, explains local reaction to the sad news. Of course, President Lincoln and his wife will be present, telling of that day’s events and how they came to be in attendance at Ford’s Theater. 

Sunday’s programs begin with a flag-raising at 9:00 a.m. All are welcome as volunteer Jim Gallion presents a period Church Service at 10:00 a.m. Then, a Civil War Medical Talk at 11:00 a.m. will discuss a variety of soldier’s ailments. The afternoon will be filled with Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry Drills.

The schedule of activities is as follows:

9:00 a.m. – Flag Raising
10:00 a.m. – Cavalry Drill
11:00 a.m. – Infantry Drill and Weapons Demonstration
1:00 p.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration
2:00 p.m. – Infantry Drill and Weapons Demonstration
3:00 p.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration
4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat
6:30 p.m. – “Martyr of Liberty” – Lincoln Assassination Chautauqua Evening Performance

9:00 a.m. – Flag Raising
10:00 a.m. – Church Service 
11:00 a.m. – Civil War Medical Talk
12 noon – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration
1:00 p.m. – Cavalry Drill
2:00 p.m – Infantry Drill and Weapons Demonstration
3:00 p.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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