Retired Col. Sam Young plays "Taps" during the Fort Larned deceased soldier memorial dedication ceremony Sept. 19, 2009, at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The memorial lists the names of soldiers who died at Fort Larned from 1859-1878 and whose remains may have been re-interred in "Unknown U.S. Soldier" graves at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in 1888. Photo courtesy Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp.
Historic Fort Leavenworth, established in 1827, is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas History because it is the oldest U.S. Army post west of the Mississippi River and has been historically known as the "intellectual center of the Army."
Colonel Henry Leavenworth established Fort Leavenworth on May 8, 1827. The small fort was established to protect the western frontier and to keep peace among the Indian tribes resettled into this area. By the 1840s, travel to Oregon and California had begun and thousands of wagons passed through Fort Leavenworth on the way to the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.
During the Civil War Fort Leavenworth was an important command and control headquarters for the war in the far west as well as major supply transshipment point for western supplies to the east.
The fort transformed itself into an integral part of the Army's new officer education system as well as a worldwide model for military corrections. Fort Leavenworth is also an active military post, home of the Combined Arms Center. Today it is considered the finest senior tactical school in the world for advanced military education. More than 85,000 U.S. and International officers have attended the Army's senior tactical college to become "Leavenworth graduates." VISITORS TO FORT LEAVENWORTH: All vehicles are subject to search when entering Fort Leavenworth, and photo identification is required of anyone over 16. Entrance is at Metropolitan and 7th.
POINTS OF INTEREST ON POST Even if you only have time to drive through the fort slowly it will be a historic and rewarding experience.
"The Rookery" at 14 Sumner Place is among the 10 homes featured in the 33rd annual Fort Leavenworth Historic Homes Tour. It is the oldest continuously occupied home in Kansas. April 9, 2010. Photo courtesy Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp.
HISTORIC HOMES, around the parade ground. The oldest continuously occupied residence in Kansas, known as the Rookery, was built in 1832 and stands at the northeast corner of the parade ground. Not far away are two Syracuse Houses, constructed in 1855 as officers' quarters. Drive around the parade field to see many more beautiful homes of red brick featuring white pillars and white steps leading up to front door. Many homes have signs in front stating the year the house was built.
Frontier Army Museum exhibit. Photo courtesy Leavenworth CVB
FRONTIER ARMY MUSEUM,100 Reynolds, 913.684.3191. This fine museum preserves and interprets the story of the frontier army from 1804 to 1917 and of Fort Leavenworth from 1827 to present. You'll find a large selection of horse-drawn military vehicles, and a collection of photos presents the personal side of early military life.
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday noon-4 p.m.
POST HEADQUARTERS, Scott and Augur. Named for famous generals -- Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan -- the halls at post headquarters reflect how deeply Fort Leavenworth is steeped in rich military history. The 1908 domed clock tower joins Sherman and Sheridan Halls.
The stunning Buffalo Soldier Monument, Ft. Leavenworth. Photo courtesy Leavenworth CVB.
BUFFALO SOLDIER MONUMENT, Grant and Stimson. General Colin Powell initiated this sculpture project and dedicated it in 1992 to honor the African American soldiers who served in the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments. The result is a larger-than-life 13-foot bronze monument of a buffalo soldier astride his horse. A smaller bust of a buffalo soldier stands at the front of the monument area.
FORT LEAVENWORTH NATIONAL CEMETERY (NRHP), Biddle Avenue. The Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery was among the first 12 national cemeteries established by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The most famous of the 22,000 buried here is Colonel Henry Leavenworth.