LARNED — Fort Larned National Historic Site introduces the last of five Civil War Trading Cards — Burning the Indian Village. The card will be launched with a program at 1:30 p.m. Sunday by Park Ranger Roy Hargadine at the Fort Larned Visitor Center.After the Civil War traffic on the Santa Fe Trail increased, bringing more traders into conflict with Indian tribes around Fort Larned. The increasing violence of these encounters eventually brought a response from the U.S. Government, who was responsible for the safety of the traders along the trail.
In April of 1867, a large military force of 1,400 soldiers under the command of Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock came to Fort Larned. The purpose of this force was to intimidate the area tribes into stopping their attacks along the Santa Fe Trail. Hancock felt that a strong show of force would convince the Indians the Army meant business. One of the units in this force was the newly organized 7th Cavalry under the command of Lt. Col. George A. Custer.
After he arrived Hancock sent riders out with orders for the tribal chiefs to come to Fort Larned to discuss the situation.
When the chiefs refused to come in, Hancock decided to go to them. He set out from Fort Larned on April 13th, following the north fork of the Pawnee River to the location of an Indian village where both Cheyenne and Sioux tribes had spent the winter, approximately 30 miles west of the fort.
They arrived on April 15th to find that all the Indians, fearing another Sand Creek Massacre had fled. The following day, in a controversial move that would later haunt his political ambitions, Hancock ordered his soldiers to burn all the possessions the Indians left behind.
Relations with the Plains Indians were often filled with misunderstanding and miscommunications leading to a tragic end. Join us on the 19th and learn the story of this tragic miscommunication between the Army and local Indian tribes.
Fort Larned National Historic Site is six miles west of Larned on K-156.
Information on visiting is on the internet at www.nps.gov/fols, or by calling 620-285-6911, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.