Fort Scott National Historic Site's Memorial Day theme is: the soldiers' experience

National Park Service/Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Fort Scott National Historic Site
PO Box 918
Fort Scott, KS 66701

(620) 223-0310

Release Date: May 18, 2015
Contacts: Barak Geertsen, barak_geertsen@nps.gov, (620) 223-0310

The Experience of Soldiers is Theme of Memorial Day Weekend at Fort Scott National Historic Site

FORT SCOTT, KS– The experience of soldiers in the 1840s, Bleeding Kansas, and the Civil War will be the theme of this year’s events at Fort Scott National Historic Site during Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25, 2015.

Soldiers at Fort Scott during the 1840s will be honored during Saturday’s programs. The roar of the cannon will be heard as the site presents two artillery demonstrations at 10:00 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m. In an 11:00 a.m. program on how soldiers fought fires in the 1840, youth of all ages can participate in a bucket brigade as they pass buckets up and down the line. Officers at Fort Scott who gave their lives in the line of duty will be honored in a program at 3:30 p.m. Finally, a highlight of the day will be the “Timeline of the American Soldier,” presented at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. This is a program where military reenactors dress as and interpret the stories of U.S. soldiers from the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan.

Sunday’s programs focus on issues of Bleeding Kansas and the role that soldiers took in restoring order in Fort Scott at various times throughout the late 1850s. In the program “I Can Fire a Pistol”, volunteer Susan Anderson will present a first person living history program as Sene Campbell, a woman whose fiancée was killed in a raid on the town of Fort Scott in 1858. The program “Montgomery’s Raids” will examine the motivation of James Montgomery, who led not only the raid that resulted in the death of Miss Campbell’s fiancée, but other assaults on the town as well. In “Military Posse,” weapons used by soldiers in the 1850s will be demonstrated and in “Army Soon to Be Divided,” three scenes will be staged highlighting periods of military intervention at Fort Scott during the 1850s. Scenes to be staged include the death of Alvin Satterwaite, a U.S. soldier killed in an incident near Fort Scott in 1858.

On Memorial Day itself, the site will continue its commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. While General Lee surrendered in April of 1865, fighting west of the Mississippi continued until June. The role of the howitzer in the Civil War will be discussed during two Memorial Day artillery demonstrations at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. “A Most Diverse Army” will feature the story of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, which mustered into federal service at Fort Scott. The unit was the first African American regiment to defeat the Confederates in combat during the war. In “Spirituous Liquors,” a Civil War hospital steward discusses the problems of alcohol in the Union Army. Soldiers from Kansas who died in the Civil War will be honored in a special Memorial Day program at 2:30 p.m. followed by participation in the National Moment of Silence at 3:00 p.m.

Guided tours will be offered daily throughout the weekend and volunteers dressed in period costume will be stationed at various places throughout the site all three days.

The complete schedule of activities is listed below.

Saturday, May 23
10:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
11:00 a.m. Bucket Brigade-Soldiers as Firefighters
12:00 p.m. Timeline of the American Soldier
1:00 p.m. Guided Tour
2:00 p.m. Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
3:00 p.m. Timeline of the American Soldier
3:30 p.m. Honoring Fort Scott’s Fallen Officers
4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Sunday, May 24
11:00 a.m. Military Posse: 1850s Weapons Demonstrations
12:00 p.m. I Can Fire a Pistol-Interpretive Program
1:00 p.m. Guided Tour
2:00 p.m. Montgomery’s Raids-Interpretive Program
3:00 p.m. An Army Soon to Be Divided: Bleeding Kansas Tableau
4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Monday, May 25
10:00 a.m. A Most Diverse Army: African American and American Indian Soldiers in the Civil War
11:00 a.m. Bullpup: Artillery Demonstration
12:00 p.m. Spirituous Liquors: Alcoholism and the Civil War Army
1:00 p.m. Guided Tour
2:00 p.m. Bullpup: Artillery Demonstration
2:30 p.m. These Honored Dead: Fallen Kansas Soldiers in the Civil War
3:00 p.m. Moment of Silence
4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System, is open daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Entrance to the site is free of charge. For more information, call 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc. You can also find us on Facebook.

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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