0935. Cemetery

The first post cemetery, used for soldiers and civilians, was located here in the grassy flat in front of you. Wooden headstones and a bronze marker are placed in the cemetery to commemorate the soldiers originally buried here.

Of the 68 soldiers buried in the post cemetery only about 15 percent died from battle wounds. The majority, approximately 70 percent, died from such illnesses as cholera, typhoid fever, gonorrhea and dysentery. The rest died from accidents in and around the fort.

Along with the soldiers, about 40 civilians who died at or near the fort between 1859 and 1872 were also buried there.

Fort Larned also served as an Indian Agency, and as a result of one incident, there is one Indian buried in the post cemetery. 

A Cheyenne Indian named Little Heart, along with other members of the tribe, were camped near what they called the “bad place” to get clothes and food promised to them by a treaty with the White Men. Little Heart, apparently wanting to meet with an Indian agent, came towards the fort on horseback at full gallop. Unable to understand the calls from a soldier to stop, Little Heart was shot in the head and killed instantly. The other Cheyenne decided that since the Army had killed him it was the Army’s responsibility to bury him. Although buried in the post cemetery, prejudices of the day prompted the Army to clearly mark his grave with a fence so there would be no mistaking his body with that of the soldiers and civilians.

Also in the cemetery is a single brown pointed obelisk monument that stands taller than the other headstones. This monument, made of native stone, was placed in the cemetery in 1867 by soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry stationed here at that time. The inscription reads:  “J.B. MacIntyre Col. USA Died at Fort Larned Kansas, May 9 1867. Was one of the officers, of Extra Duty, Maintained the Honor of his Country G. [Gallantly] the Days of the Recent Rebellion”

Following the fort’s closing in 1878, the military bodies were exhumed and reburied at the Cemetery in 1888.

On September 19, 2009, those soldiers who were reburied at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery were recognized. A bronze monument was dedicated in Section B with the names of 62 soldiers, giving them recognition for their service. The identities of three soldiers still remain unknown.