(Story, Wyo.) This past weekend, the skies over Fort Phil Kearny were filled with stars as a mystical night of history was brought alive. A variety of actors took part in portraying different characters that lived during the era. The actors took groups of approximately 20 people through a lantern guided tour through the paths inside the fort.
Our group was led by Col. Henry Carrington’s first wife, Margaret Carrington. Mrs. Carrington led us through the moonlight by lantern into the fort as the coyotes howled. She began describing her life at the fort, stating that her husband was assigned to protect the Bozeman Trail so, he built, named and personally manned the remote Fort Phil Kearny during Red Clouds war.
Fort Phil Kearny was an outpost of the United States Army that existed in the late 1860’s. The area around the Fort was the site of the Fetterman fight in 1866 and the Wagon Box fight in 1867.
As we followed Mrs. Carrington through the paths where the Fort use to stand, history came alive. From the dangers of the Indians to the freezing cold temperatures, lack of food and even grave robbers. Speaking with some of the children in the group, one of the boys said his favorite part was when one of the grave robbers snuck up from behind and grabbed his sisters shoulder. Another child asked Mrs. Carrington if the place was haunted. Mrs. Carrington responded by saying, “I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that I don’t like to be here alone because strange things happen. When the sun goes down, it’s time for me to go home.” It was easy to see that this would be a history lesson for all that would not soon be forgotten.