Cyrus Teed In the Army

cyrus teed in the army

In 1862 at the age of twenty-two, a young medical student named Cyrus Teed enlisted in the Union Army and joined the New York Infantry of the New York volunteers. In 1863, by then a Corporal, Teed was assigned to Brigade Headquarters where he served as special aide to acting General Woodford. Some sources indicate he also worked as an assistant physician and surgeon but he may have embellished his record with this to make him and his military service seem more important.

While on the march near Warrenton Junction, Virginia, in August of 1863, he suffered sunstroke, which led to paralysis of his left arm and leg. According to army records, he was hospitalized in the army hospital in Alexandria, Virginia for almost two months.

During his hospital stay, Teed observed wounded soldiers who had a more positive outlook on life or strong religious faith recovered faster from their injuries—an observation which likely helped shape his own beliefs and contributed to his formation of Koreshanity and the Koreshan Unity.

He received an Honorable  (Medical) Discharge from the Army in October of 1863. After his discharge, he returned to New York to complete his medical studies and graduated from the Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York, in February 1868 at the age of 29.

To learn more about Cyrus Teed, Koreshanity and the Koreshan Unitytake a guided tour of the historic settlement or attend a Ghost Walk performance. Showtimes are at 6:45, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8:00 PM on Jan 31st & Feb 1st, Feb 7th and 8th. Tickets are $25.00. Performances sell out quickly! To purchase tickets, click here.

Ghost Walk – A Time Travel Through History

The Koreshans brought culture and industry to Southwest Florida. They owned and operated many businesses in the Historic Settlement, including a machine shop, general store, bakery, post office and school.

For more than a quarter century, Koreshan State Park and Friends of Koreshan have offered guests a view of the life and times of Dr. Cyrus Teed, their founder, and the Koreshans with the theatrical production, Ghost Walk. In each one-hour performance, volunteers in period costumes guide you through a historical journey along the candlelit shell paths of the Historic Unity Settlement.

You will stroll past restored buildings from a bygone era and watch Koreshan reenactors scenes from their lives before, during, and after they settled in Southwest Florida.

In the first scene, you will witness the tension between Dr. Teed and Gustav Damkohler, the German homesteader who, while grieving for his recently deceased wife and children, had sold Teed 300 acres of land along the Estero River for the Koreshan Unity, and now regrets that decision.

In scene two, join prospective members of the Unity as Professor Eleanor Castle gives them an orientation on Koreshan beliefs. The Koreshans were unique, promoting racial and gender equality in a time where racism and gender inequality were rampant. At least one prospect finds some of their beliefs a bit too much to bear.

In scene three, we visit some Unity men and learn about their work, personal lives and sacrifices they endured in following Dr. Teed and his utopian vision—and the epic mistake one of them made.

While the charismatic Dr. Teed traveled, evangelizing and promoting Unity membership, the women of the Planetary Court ran the community. Despite the Koreshans’ belief in equality, in scene four, which features some of these women, you will learn that some Unity members were “more equal than others.”

In scene five, the women of the Planetary Court mourn Dr. Teed’s death and ponder the future of the Koreshan Unity.

Enjoy treats made from Koreshan recipes at the restored Bakery in scene six, and get a glimpse into the lives of the bakers who were not only responsible for feeding the Unity, but also meeting a growing demand for their “risin’ bread” from the outside community.

In scene seven, join Vesta Newcomb and an old friend as they reminisce about their early life in the Unity, and how they—and the Unity are adapting to the changing times.

In scene eight, volunteers crank up the 1925 Fairbanks Morse engine that powers the Westinghouse generator and provided the “miracle of light” for the settlement.

Ghost Walk 2020 showtimes are at 6:45, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8:00 PM on Jan 31st & Feb 1st, Feb 7th and 8th. Tickets are $25.00. Performances sell out quickly! To purchase your tickets, click here.

Ghost Walk Volunteers Needed!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Shawn Woodsmith.  I am the coordinator for the Koreshan Ghost Walk.

It is that time of year again where I need to start working on Ghost Walk.  Ghost Walk is the play we put on at Koreshan State Park, the last weekend in January and first weekend in February.  It is a great fundraiser for the park!  The best part is all the funds raised stay here in our park. Continue reading “Ghost Walk Volunteers Needed!”