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February 2008 An Electronic Blast

From Fort Laramie Historical Association

In this issue

Winter at Fort Laramie

Fort Laramie Cavalry Barracks Winter 2003

It's been a cold winter here at Fort Laramie-- more snow than usual and as usual, lots of wind! Our visitation has been down, but it's been a great time for me to work on the upcoming website for Fort Laramie Historical Association, this E-Bugler, and some shopping for new items to sell in our Bookstore/Gift Shop. You'll be the first to know when our website is operational and when our shelves are stocked with any new items. Happy winter, stay warm & enjoy this reprint from 1884. I wish I could have been there to see the dance that they tell about!

From Fort Laramie

(Reprinted from the Army Navy Register 1884)

Officer & daugher dancing

[Correspondence of The Register.] Fort Laramie, WYO., February 20, 1884

From the exceedingly small amount of news sent from this place to the Army papers their readers might almost come to the conclusion that the post was, socially speaking, dead; such, however, is not the case. Considering the fact that we are situated so far from any large city and also from railroad communications, a more enjoyable winter could not be asked for. There is a moderate sized hall for dancing purposes. In this a hop is given once a week, and is well attended by the dancers of the garrison. Beside this regular hop there have been quite a number of special hops, &c. Two germans were held previous to the holidays. On New Year's eve the ladies of the post took advantage of this being a bissextile year and gave a leap year hop. It was a most enjoyalbe evening's entertainment, and reflected great credit upon its originators. Since then there have been several full dress hops given, notable one by Lieutenant J.T Van Orsdale to the ladies and officers of the post and another by the ladies and officers to Miss Nina Williams, daughter of Captain Williams, Seventh Infantry on her departure to school at St. Paul, Minn. On February 19 another full dress german was given. In this out of the way place we labor under many difficulties in the way of giving germans. There are few Army posts that contain the requisite number of dancers within themselves to give a german. Here we are able to give one, varying from eight to ten couples. Of courese at posts nearer citites it is an easy matter to give one of from fifteen to twenty couples by inviting ladies and gentlemen from the city. I think the last one given here, viz., on the 19th, was the most enjoyable yet given. The hall was draped with the national colors, and presented quite a handsome appearance in comparison to its usual looks.

The gentlemen and ladies were present in full dress. The ladies' toilets were beautiful, and presented a fine appearance on the ballrooom floor. It was led by John Gibbon, Jr. (son of General Gibbon, Seventh Infantry), with Mrs. Howell. The other couples were arranged as follows: Lieutenant Jackson, with Mrs. Benham; Lieutenant Hardin, with Mrs. Leudon; Lieutenant McCoy, with Mrs. Woodbridge; Lieutenant Cochran, with Miss K.L. Gibbon; Lieutenant Frederick, with Miss Hardin; Lieutenant Goodin, with Mrs. Worden; Lieutenant Worden, with Mrs. Coolidge; and Captain Granger presided at the favor table. The favors on this occasion were exceedingly beautiful, and differed from most german favors from the fact that they were all the work of the fair hands of the garrison. They consisted of satin jewel boxes, with the hand painted initials of each gentleman dancer upon each of them; silk sachet bags, silhouettes on birch bark, attached to silk ribbons and numberous other favors equally beautiful. A spledid repast was furnished by the committee for that purpose. The evening's enjoyment did not break until the hour of midnight.