Fort Scott NHS commemorates Civil War sesquicentennial in 30th annual candlelight tour

Contacts: Kelley Collins, kelley_collins@nps.gov, 620-223-0310

Fort Scott, KS – Robert E. Lee once said, “It is well that war is so terrible. Otherwise, we should grow too fond of it”From 1861-65, Americans experienced the ‘terrible’ consequences of war, feeling both fear and uncertainty as people throughout the nation clashed over issues of slavery and states’ rights. The fighting on the Kansas-Missouri border took on an especially bitter
tone as discord over ideology gave way to raids motivated by vengeance and greed.Kansans supported the war effort through recruitment of soldiers and rendering aid and comfort to the Union Army.Political and military leaders in Kansas recognized the strategic importance that Fort Scott could play in the defense of Kansas and the border and began concentrating soldiers in that area during the latter part of 1861.

In commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, this year’s candlelight tour will focus on regional events in 1861 as the nation answered a call to arms.The scenes on the tour will take visitors from scenes of Kansas statehood through the opening shots of the Civil War and then to the latter part of 1861 when the war intensified as violence escalated along the border.

During the candlelight tour, over 700 candle lanterns illuminate the site and over 100 reenactors bring the fort to life. This year’s tour will be offered December 2 and 3, 2011. Tours on December 2 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and go every 15 minutes until 9:00 p.m. On Saturday, December 3, the tours will run from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tickets will go on sale at 9:00 a.m., November 1, 2011. Reservations are required and advanced purchase is recommended to get your choice of tour times. Visitors may pick up tickets at the site’s visitor center or reserve them by calling (620) 223-0310. Payments can be made via cash, check or charge (DISCOVER, MasterCard, Visa). Tickets are $7.00 for adults; children
five and under are free. Tickets are nonrefundable. Western National Parks Association, which operates the site’s bookstore, sponsors the tour. Proceeds generated cover the cost of conducting the tour.

From November 1-March 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its winter
hours of operation from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily. For more information about the candlelight tour or other events at the site, call 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

National Park ServiceVisit MissouriKansas Department of CommerceSEK
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