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Fort Leavenworth

From Academic Kids

Fort Leavenworth, the oldest active United States Army post west of the Mississippi River, has devoted more than 170 years of service to the nation. During the country's westward expansion, Fort Leavenworth was a forward destination for thousands of soldiers, surveyors, emigrants, American Indians, preachers and settlers who passed through. Fort Leavenworth is currently the home of the Command and General Staff College, the National Simulation Center, and the United States Disciplinary Barracks. Just north of the city of Leavenworth, Kansas, Fort Leavenworth is located in the upper northeast corner of Kansas.

Size: 5,600 acres (23 km²) and 7,000,000 ft² (650,000 m²) of space in 1,000 buildings and 1,500 quarters.

Contents

History

19th century

Colonel Henry Leavenworth, with the officers and men of the 3rd Infantry Regiment from Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, Mo., established Fort Leavenworth in 1827.

For 30 years, Fort Leavenworth was the chief base of operations on the Indian frontier. In 1839, Col. Stephen W. Kearny marched against the Cherokees with 10 companies of dragoons, the largest U.S. mounted force ever assembled. Throughout the Mexican-American War, Fort Leavenworth was the outfitting post for the Army of the West.

During these early years, soldiers from Fort Leavenworth protected wagon trains hauling supplies over the Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, and other trails to most forts, posts and military camps of the West, some as far as the Pacific Ocean. When the Kansas Territory was organized in 1854, Governor Andrew Reeder set up executive offices on post and lived for a short time in the quarters now known as "The Rookery".

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Camp Lincoln was established on post as a reception and training station for Kansas volunteers. News of the approach of Confederate Gen. Sterling Price prompted construction of Fort Sully, a series of earthworks for artillery emplacements on Hancock Hill, overlooking what is now the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. But Price's forces never reached Fort Leavenworth, having met defeat at Westport, Mo., which is now part of Kansas City. During its long history, the post was never subject to enemy attack.

For three decades following the war, the Army's chief mission was control of the American Indian tribes on the Western plains. Between 1865 and 1891, the Army had more than 1,000 combat engagements with Apache, Modoc, Cheyenne, Ute, Nez Perce, Comanche, Kiowa, Kickapoo and other tribes. In 1866, the U.S. Congress authorized the formation of four black regiments—the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments and the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. The 10th Cavalry Regiment was formed at Fort Leavenworth under the command of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson. Today, a monument stands at Fort Leavenworth in tribute to the "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments.

The United States Disciplinary Barracks was established in 1875.

The fort's first Catholic Church was built in 1871, and was later replaced by St. Ignatius Chapel in 1889. St. Ignatius Chapel was destroyed by fire in December 2001. The first Protestant chapel, Memorial Chapel, was built by prison labor in 1878 of stone quarried on post.

In 1881, Gen. William T. Sherman established the School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry. That school evolved into the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

20th century

World War I was the first opportunity to evaluate the impact of Sherman's school. Graduates excelled in planning complex American Expeditionary Forces operations. By the end of the war, they dominated staffs throughout the AEF. In the years between the World Wars, graduates included such officers as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley and George S. Patton. During World War II, some 19,000 officers completed various courses at Fort Leavenworth. By the end of 1943, commanders and staffs of 26 infantry, airborne and cavalry divisions had trained as teams at the school.

In 1946, the school was given its current name. In 1959, the college moved to the newly built J. Franklin Bell Hall on Arsenal Hill. In 1985, the Harold K. Johnson wing was added to house the Combined Arms and Services Staff School. Eisenhower Hall was dedicated in 1994. Classes for the School of Advanced Military Studies and the School for Command Preparation, as well as the Combined Arms Research Library, are located in Eisenhower Hall.

Fort Leavenworth continues to be on the leading edge of the Army's future. The community's pride in its history of service to the Army and the nation is matched by its readiness to meet the challenges of the future.

The Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery is one of the first 12 national cemeteries established by Abraham Lincoln on July 17, 1862. Veterans since the War of 1812 have been laid to rest in the cemetery. One veteran of the War of 1812 is the cemetery's most famous occupant, Col. Henry Leavenworth, who gave his name to the fort, the town, the county and the cemetery. Others buried in the cemetery include 10 Medal of Honor recipients, seven Confederate prisoners of war and two soldiers killed in Operation Desert Storm. Although there is no longer space for new burial sites, burials frequently take place for those who already have family members interred in the cemetery.

Fort Leavenworth is considered as one of the most significant historic military installations in the Department of the Army, as well as to the Nation. The fort's 5,634 acres (23 km²) contain a 213-acre National Historic Landmark District (NHLD), which was established in 1974.

A number of historic preservation investigations have been conducted over the past few decades at Fort Leavenworth. In 1970, for example, two historic sites were listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP): the Main Parade Ground and the Santa Fe Trail Ruts.

External links

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