9/10/2013

From Enlistment to Grave: A Fort Scott Soldier in the Civil War

Release Date: September 10, 2013
Contacts: Galen Ewing, 620-223-0310, galen_ewing@nps.gov

 

Fort Scott – Fort Scott National Historic Site continues its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an evening tour on Friday, September 20.


By the time Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, soldiers of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry had already fought in the hope of securing their freedom. Raised in the summer of 1862 by U. S. Senator James H. Lane, the First Kansas Colored consisted mostly of able bodied black refugees from Missouri. The moving story of one formerly enslaved African American, Private Thomas Brown, will be the focus of the evening’s activities.

In August 1862, Thomas Brown willingly answered the call to serve in this bold undertaking by enlisting in Company F. Within months of being organized, the First Kansas Colored was engaging guerrilla forces at Island Mound, Missouri. It remained a front-line combat unit for the duration of the war. Many soldiers fell taking the fight to the enemy, including Private Thomas Brown, who received a mortal wound in March 1863. He is forever at rest in the Fort Scott National Cemetery. Brown’s story, with some variation, is the stirring story of the nearly 200,000 black soldiers and sailors who served with Union forces. While many died, many more lived to pursue their dreams of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Their legacy has enriched our nation.

During the tour, reenactors will create five different scenes following Private Brown from recruitment through his untimely death. Scenes will include Brown’s enlistment; women of the Hospital Aid Society providing gifts to soldiers; camp life along the Marmaton River; Brown’s care at the field hospital; and final words of comfort offered over the loss of Private Brown.

The tour begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 20, outside the site’s visitor center. There is no admission charge for the tour.

Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call the site at 620-223-0310 or visit our web site at www.nps.gov/fosc.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 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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