(2) Military Subjects

Tales from Fort Atkinson: Feeding a Frontier Fort

by Suzanne Gucciardo

When the Missouri Expedition was sent into the little known reaches of the Louisiana Purchase to establish a U.S. military presence, the Army failed to appreciate the difficulty of feeding its men on the frontier.  Following a disastrous winter of 1819-1820, Colonel Atkinson was determined to keep his garrison healthy through cultivation of grain crops and vegetables.  The agriculture program at Fort Atkinson not only provided a surplus of food for the men and their families, it also provided important information about farming on the plains for the settlers who would come later.

Libbie's Story

by Marla Matkin

This is a Chautauqua-style program about Elizabeth Bacon Custer, the wife of Gen. George Armstrong Custer. As “Libbie,” Matkin introduces her audiences to the Civil War, the 7th Cavalry, the Kansas Plains, the Little Bighorn and her husband and Golden Cavalier, General Custer. Based on historical fact, it is a personal account of the Custers from the first furtive glances of romance to Libbie’s last remembrances as widow, author and lecturer.

Frontier Military Posts (And the Women Who Called Them Home)

by Marla Matkin

This presentation is designed to introduce audiences to the lives and times of these extraordinary women. Audiences learn about the different classes of women on post, their day-to-day routines, their social interactions and, on a more personal note, how they functioned under Victorian and military constraints. At the conclusion of the program, Matkin demonstrates a Victorian tea, which was a source of comfort, relaxation and reflection for officers’ wives.

General George Crook: His Life and Times

by Greg Nestroyl

Dressed in period costume, Nestroyl introduces General George Crook with a program of entertaining history from an American Indian War veteran and humanitarian. Nestroyl presents reflections and experiences from on and off of the field of battle through the eyes of the man who was called the “Greatest Indian fighter in the U.S. Army.”