Buchanan’s Blunder: Utah Expedition Living History Event

Buchanan’s Blunder: Utah Expedition Living History Event

N 126th St, Kansas City, KS 66109, USA

To commemorate the 165th anniversary of the Utah Expedition’s organizing, equipping and training at, and the departure from the Fort Leavenworth. Reenactors will join for a high-quality historically accurate living history weekend at the Wyandotte County Museum. Units will portray U.S. Dragoons, artillery, infantry, laundresses, officer’s families, civilian contractors, and local citizens. Visitors can expect to see organization reenactments, training exercises, mounted horses, firing demonstrations, and more. Step back in time and learn about how an expedition came together in the 1850s.


SATURDAY, 25 JUNE: Camp open to the public 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

9:00 Troop Parades in individual camps
10:00 Infantry Drill
11:00 Artillery Demo
12:00 Roll Call Dinner (food provided only for reenactors)
1:00 Governor’s Cummings Speech portrayed by Ralph Monaco
2:00 Hispano Capitalistas and the Development of International Trade Along the Santa Fe Trail Presentation in Museum Auditorium by Dr. Gene T. Chávez
2:00 Dragoon Drill (mounted and dismounted)
3:00 Artillery Demo
3:30 Evening Parade 

SUNDAY, 26 JUNE: Camp open to the Public 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
10:00 Artillery Demo 
11:00 Individual unit activities
12:00 Dinner (food provided only for reenactors)
1:00 Inspection, Units Departure for Utah


  • Camp life activities including laundry, cooking, preparations
  • Museum exhibits will be open all weekend
  • Steve Kaighen, an avocational archeologist will share his hobby and collection of U.S. Dragoon items found outside of Ft. Leavenworth - By the Museum Entrance

Background: In 1857, President Buchanan saw the Utah Territory, almost entirely settled by the Latter Day Saints and led by their church leader and Territorial Governor Brigham Young, grow increasingly hostile to Federal intervention and oversight. The President named a new Governor, Alfred Cumming, to replace Young in July 1857. Cumming was ordered to move, with his newly appointed civil officers, to Salt Lake City, with a military escort, as soon as practicable. That escort and the military force to support the new Governor was to be known by several names, including the U.S. Army’s Utah Expedition. The Units that comprised the Utah Expedition were spread around the frontier in 1857, including from Fort Riley and Lawrence in Kansas Territory, Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Fort Snelling, Minnesota Territory, to forts out on the prairie. Units from the 2nd US Dragoons, 10th and 5th US Infantry, 4th US Artillery, US Ordnance Corps, and other supporting organizations collected in and around Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory beginning in July, 1857.  Learn more about the Utah Expedition of 1857.

About the Museum: The Wyandotte County Museum is located in Wyandotte County Park, 631 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, Kansas. It is open to the public Monday-Saturday 9:00-4:00 pm. The Wyandotte County Museum is operated by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, with support from the Wyandotte County Historical Society & Museum Inc., a 501c3 non-profit. The museum mission is to strive to identify, collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate material and information pertaining to Wyandotte County history, in order to assist the public in understanding, appreciating and assisting in the preservation of the heritage of this county.

For more information about this event contact the Wyandotte County Museum at 913-573-5002 or visit www.wycokck.org/wycomuseum

25 Jun 2022 - 26 Jun 2022
09:00 AM to 04:00 PM


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