FSNHS hosts tours; Visitors to be treated to candlelight views of scenes from 1862

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reenactments centering on 1862 and the First Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment will be highlighted during the 31st annual Candlelight Tour at Fort Scott National Historic Site Friday and Saturday.

Visitors will also have a chance to view volunteers -- in period dress -- tripping the light fantastic to reels, waltzes and Victorian dances from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Grand Hall.

"We want the public involved as well. They can come and participate in the dances. We encourage it," Park Ranger Galen Ewing said.

More than 700 candle lanterns will illuminate the site and over 100 reenactors will bring to life the events that took place in Fort Scott in 1862 in five different scenes.

The First Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment's performance in combat at Island Mound, Mo., in October 1862 is among the vignettes planned. Island Mound marked the first time an African-American regiment met and defeated the Confederates in battle.

Tickets are still available, particularly for Saturday, Dec. 8, a news release said. Cost is $8 for each person age 6 and above and can be paid for with a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover).

To reserve tickets, call (620) 223-0310. Advanced reservation is required. Tours on Dec. 7 begin at 6:30 p.m. and run every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 8, they start at 5 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. Tours last approximately an hour. After the tour, visitors are invited to go to the Grand Hall for refreshments and musical entertainment.

Some 400 people are expected to come through the site this weekend, Ewing said.

"It's something all the staff looks forward to," Ewing said. "It always changes. I think it's kind of neat to be able to follow the Civil War" and highlight the fort's role in the history of the conflict.