Celebrate Memorial Day at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release 
Contact: Barak Geertsen, barak_geertsen@nps.gov

Fort Scott National Historic Site Celebrates Memorial Day Weekend

Fort Scott, KS: For the Memorial Day holiday this year, you and your family are invited to visit Fort Scott National Historic Site to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a frontier military fort. Celebrate the weekend with living history programs, cooking demonstrations, and artillery firings.

Saturday programs will focus on life at Fort Scott in the 1840s with special presentations from our site volunteers on cooking, engineering, and period toys. Collette Davis will demonstrate what soldiers and people ate in the 19th century. Some of the recipes will include beaten biscuits, cabbage stew, fried apples, and more. Mike McCartney will do a presentation on engineering. In “With the Assistance of a Ruler”, Mike will demonstrate some of the engineering tools of the time, and discuss some famous people who served in the corps of engineers in the 1840s. He will also address Thomas Swords, the officer who designed the buildings of Fort Scott. Marti McCartney will do a presentation about how officers and their families and friends would gather for amusement and entertainment in the program “Trinkets and Toys with Bits and Bobs”.

The parade ground will roar with the sound of artillery on Saturday and will be surrounded with various people of the fort community including a surgeon, the post sutler, soldiers standing guard duty and making bread, officers’ wives writing letters, and laundresses washing clothes. Highlighting the day’s activities will be a Memorial Day Tableau paying tribute to fallen officers and soldiers at Fort Scott.

Activities will continue on Sunday and Monday with more artillery demonstrations and programs focused on various historical events in which Fort Scott was involved. In the program Ballots and Bullets, an 1850s Fort Scott man recounts the turmoil and conflict of Bleeding Kansas and its effects on the town of Fort Scott. “Flash Flood” will focus on the role that the dragoon soldier played in westward expansion. In Hardtack and Coffee for the Soul, the important role of Civil War music in the lives of soldiers will be highlighted.

Volunteer Michelle Martin will be giving one program each on Sunday and Monday. Sunday’s program will be titled The Tear Stained Veil: The Death of Captain Burdett A. Terrett. In this program, Martin shares the aftermath of the death of Captain Burdett A. Terrett at Fort Scott from Charlotte Augusta Sword's unique perspective. Swords and her husband Captain Thomas Swords took in Terrett's widow and child after his untimely death and Charlotte wrote of the widow and her plight in letters to friends. In her program on Monday, Sisters in Sorrow, Equal in Grief: Kansas Women from 1843-1861, she will share the amazing stories of women in Kansas history from 1843 to 1861. Looking at the lives of various women, Martin will bring them to life thru dramatic readings from primary sources.

On Monday at 2:30 p.m. will be a special Memorial Day program, followed by observance of the National Moment of Silence at 3:00 p.m.

The schedule of activities is listed below:

Saturday, May 25

10:00 a.m. Flour, Sweat and Tears” – 1840s Bakehouse-Interpretive Talk
11:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
11:30 a.m. An Army Travels On Its Stomach: Cooking Demonstration
1:00 p.m. Guided Tour
2:00 p.m. Trinkets and Toys with Bits and Bobs-Interpretive Program
2:30 p.m. With the Assistance of a Ruler-Interpretive Talk
3:30 p.m. Memorial Day Tableau: Honoring Fallen Officers and Soldiers
4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Sunday, May 26

11:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
12:00 p.m. The Tear Stained Veil-Interpretive Talk
1:00 p.m. Guided Tour
2:00 p.m. Ballots and Bullets-Interpretive Talk
3:00 p.m. Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Monday, May 27

10:00 a.m. Flash Flood: Fort Scott and Westward Expansion-Interpretive Talk
11:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
12:00 p.m. Sisters in Sorrow: Equal in Grief-Interpretive Talk
1:00 p.m. Guided Tour
2:00 p.m. Hardtack and Coffee for the Soul: Civil War Music-Interpretive Talk
2:30 p.m. Memorial Day Program: Americans at 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 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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