Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release

Contact: Barak Geertsen 
Phone number: (620) 223-0310
Date: May 23, 2012

Fort Scott National Historic Site Celebrates Memorial Day Weekend

“From these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain” These words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address directed specifically toward the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg, have meaning for all American soldiers who have given their lives in battle. Fort Scott National Historic Site will honor these soldiers in a series of programs this Memorial Day Weekend.

On Saturday, May 26, staff and volunteers dressed in period clothing will portray life at Fort Scott in the 1840s. Soldiers will be kneading dough in the bakehouse, the surgeon will be discussing medical practices, and the post sutler will be hawking his wares. Programs on Saturday will include two artillery firings, a mounted drill, and a series of programs focusing on the people who called Fort Scott home during the 1840s. One of the site’s volunteers, Michelle Martin, will be training new laundresses in the arts of cooking and washing clothes-1840s style.

Living history programs and artillery demonstrations will continue on Sunday and Monday, May 27 and 28. Programs about officers’ wives and letter writing will be offered both Sunday and Monday morning and on Sunday the capitalistic ventures of post sutler Hiero Wilson will also be offered. On Sunday and Monday afternoons, Fort Scott soldiers who fought in the Mexican American War and the Civil War will be honored. Sunday afternoon programming includes a talk featuring Fort Scott’s involvement in the Mexican War and a look at the mourning customs of those left behind to grieve. Monday’s programs will focus on the Civil War, the music the soldiers played for morale, recreation, and inspiration, and the diverse troops at Fort Scott during the war. At 3:00 PM on Sunday, the National Moment of Silence will be observed.

"Heroism is latent in every human soul - However humble or unknown, they (the veterans) have renounced what are accounted pleasures and cheerfully undertaken all the self-denials - privations, toils, dangers, sufferings, sicknesses, mutilations, life-long hurts and losses, death itself - for some great good, dimly seen but dearly held." - Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

The schedule of activities is listed below:

Saturday, May 26

10:00 AM Securing the Perimeter: Guard Duty at Fort Scott
11:00 AM Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
12:00 PM Hardy , Dashing Looking Fellows: Mounted Demonstration
1:00 PM Guided Tour
2:00 PM Saws and Scalpels: 1840s Medicine
2:30 PM Letters from the Edge: 1840s Officers Wives
3:00 PM Washboarding: Life of 1840s Laundresses
3:30 PM Fallen Fort Scott Officers-Artillery Demonstration
4:00 PM Flag Retreat

Sunday, May 27

11:00 AM Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
11:30 At the Ready: The Letters of Charlotte Swords, Officer's Wife
12:00 Brass, Felt and Feathers: The Post Sutler at Fort Scott
1:00 Guided Tour
2:00 “A Hearty Grip” –Fort Scott Soldiers in the Mexican War
2:30 "Mourning Noon and Night: Victorian Mourning Customs"
3:00 Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
4:00 Flag Retreat

Monday, May 28

11:00 Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
12:00 Letters from the Edge: 1840s Officers Wives
1:00 Guided Tour
2:00 Hardtack and Coffee for the Soul: Civil War Music
2:30 Memorial Day Program
3:00 Moment of Silence
(taps, artillery)
4:00 Flag Retreat

Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no entrance fee charged. For more information call the site at 620-223-0310 or visit our web site at www.nps.gov/fosc.


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