Fabulous 4th Military Holiday

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty." ~Louis D. Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1916-1939. Fort Scott National Historic Site invites you to come and join us in a celebration of our nation's independence for an Old Fashioned Military Holiday. A cannon firing at dusk, musical entertainment, children's games, and free ice cream are just a few of the activities offered Friday and Saturday, July 4-5.

Come and visit with people of the garrison as living history will be featured this holiday event. Test your skills as you take part in the fun of competing in historic games. Black powder smoke will be in the air throughout the weekend as artillery and musket programs will pay honor to our freedom. On Saturday, July 5, a special evening cannon firing at sunset will symbolize a military salute to our nation's independence by soldiers of Fort Scott in the 1840s.

Our nation was founded on the idea that all men are created equal, but this hasn't always been the case in practice. Ann Davis Shatteo was born free in the early 1800's. At the age of ten, she was kidnapped and forced into slavery. While a slave she served at the Fort Scott military post. This interpretive talk by Park Guide ShayLynn Clements will inform you about her struggles as a slave and triumphs as a free woman. What one thing would inspire someone to write a poem about it, pen a patriotic oath, place it on the top of a mountain in war, plant it on the face of the moon, or place it above the ruins of a building? Park Guide Gary Herrmann will offer you his beliefs on the meanings and symbolism of "Old Glory" with "It's a Grand Old Flag: History and Traditions of the Stars and Stripes." Park Volunteer and Master Gardner Kate Emmett-Sweetser will explain the role of gardens in the 19th Century soldier's nutrition with "Bloody Butchers and Rat Tails: The Role of the Hospital Garden at Fort Scott".

Pathfinders in Petticoats will explore the experiences of women connected to the Army in the American West from 1840-1880. Using first-hand accounts and historical documentation, the lives of officer's wives, laundresses and other women connected to the Army in the American West from 1840-1880 will be shared. By moving west with the Army, many women became pathfinders in their own unique ways as they sought to create stable home lives for themselves and their families. Historian and Fort Scott NHS long-time volunteer Michelle Martin will share from her extensive research in this field for this program.

Music will fill the air throughout the day on July 5 as the Holmes Brigade Minstrels will play popular tunes enjoyed by soldiers of Fort Scott during the 1800s. At 2 pm, join volunteers and staff as they fire a 30-gun salute honoring the 30 states in the Union in 1848. After the program, have a cup of homemade ice cream provided by the Friends of Fort Scott NHS, Inc. as you listen to patriotic music provided by the "Holmes Brigade Minstrels."

The schedule of activities is listed below:


  • 10:00 a.m. – Ann Shatteo: An Individual's Independence
  • 11:00 a.m. – Artillery Demonstration
  • 1:00 p.m. – Guided Tour
  • 2:00 p.m. – Artillery Demonstration
  • 3:00 p.m. – "It's a Grand Old Flag: History and Traditions of the Stars and Stripes"
  • 4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat


  • 10:00 a.m. – Bloody Butchers and Rat Tails: The Role of the Hospital Garden at Fort Scott
  • 11:00 a.m. – "Let the Games Begin" – Historic Children's Games
  • 1:00 p.m. – Artillery Demonstration
  • 2:00 p.m. –30 Gun Salute/Musical Performance
  • 3:00 p.m. – Pathfinders in Petticoats: Women with the Army of the American West
  • 4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat
  • 8:30 p.m.- Evening Artillery Firing Demonstration

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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