11/11/2013

First Kansas Colored Infantry Mural Presentation at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release

Release Date: November 8, 2013
Contact: Bill Fischer, bill_fischer@nps.gov, (620) 223-0310

First Kansas Colored Infantry Mural Presentation at Fort Scott National Historic Site

FORT SCOTT, KANSAS: Fort Scott National Historic Site (NHS) is pleased to offer a special program featuring a mural honoring the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The presentation begins at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 16, in the site’s Grand Hall.

The four by ten foot mural honors the legacy of the First Kansas Colored Infantry, which was recruited at Fort Scott in 1862 and which became the first African American unit to serve in combat later that year at Island Mound, MO. The mural was created by students at Royal Valley Middle School in Mayetta, Kansas, under the direction of history teacher Nathan McAlister and art teacher Cory Triplett. While conducting research about African Americans in the Civil War, the students came to realize that this trailblazing unit had very little public recognition in its home state. They later learned from the State House architect in Topeka that legislation had passed some years before for a mural in the Kansas State Capitol to honor the unit but progress stalled.

The mural was funded, in part, by an Interpretive Grant from the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. For more information about Freedom's Frontier, or the grant, contact Sonia Smith at (785) 856-5304.

The students created the mural not only to further their own knowledge about the Civil War and honor the men of the First Kansas Colored, but also to bring awareness of the need to have the memorial mural completed in the State House. Fort Scott is the first stop of many for their traveling mural.

The Mayetta Middle School students and their teachers will talk about the project in the Grand Hall at Fort Scott NHS on Saturday, November 16, at 1:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Come and meet the students and learn more about their project! The Grand Hall is mobility-impaired accessible and Fort Scott National Historic Site is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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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