Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is one of the oldest military bases in the United States of America. It has a longstanding tradition of service and excellence. The military garrison is not only involved in the defense of the country they are also involved in upholding the rights of the community. There are different kinds of services that are offered by Fort Leavenworth. The military garrison cares about the community by offering suicide hotlines and outreach programs for the needy.

With its rich history Fort Leavenworth is a monument to freedom in the United States. Its service has spanned more than a hundred years.

Map of Ft Leavenworth

History and Missions of Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is the 3rd oldest active military post in the United States. It has served the United States since its first days in 1827. In its first days as a military post its missions involved basic exploration of the surrounding areas and physical defense of its frontiers. Today, Fort Leavenworth is one of the centers of military training, education and thought besides a base for defense. The military post overlooks the Missouri River and is heavily favored by the American Indians because of its unique location that contained food, vegetation and trade routes.

Fort de Cavagnial was established in the area in 1744 because it was a safe trade route and it served as a base for exploration of the surrounding areas. The fort was abandoned in 1764 when the Spanish took control of the area.

Capt. Meriwether Lewis and Capt. William Clark discovered the remains of the old Fort de Cavagnial on July 2, 1804. The discovery was chanced upon when the Captains led the Armys Corps of Discovery up the Missouri River.

After the discovery, Col. Henry Leavenworth along with the men and officers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment from Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, Mo., established Fort Leavenworth in 1827. The military post guarded the western frontier and served as a base for patrols guarding the newly opened Santa Fe Trail. The military post also acted as a guard for the American Indians and their reservations. They handed out punishments and protected the warpaths in the surrounding area. Soldiers escorted doctors who entered the reservations and kept squatters from the reservation areas.

Fort Leavenworth served as the base for Col. S. W. Kearneys war effort against the Cherokee Indians in 1839. He utilized ten dragoon forces in his battle against the Cherokees which was the largest mounted force used by the United States Army at the time. Fort Leavenworth Prepared itself for another war in 1846. A war against Mexico was waged and was a turning point in Fort Leavenworths history. The military post was used as an outfitting post for Col. Kearneys Army of the West which was integral to the capture of San Diego and Santa Fe. After the war against Mexico, the military post was used to supply different forts, a supply depot, and military camps of the West.   

Fort Leavenworth was used as an executive office for then Gov. Andrew Reeder during the re-organization of Kansas in 1854. The soldiers assigned in Fort Leavenworth were actively involved in the border conflict known as Bleeding Kansas. During the Civil War, Camp Lincoln was established and was used as a training center for volunteers from Kansas. The threat of an attack from Confederate Gen. Sterling Price led to the establishment of Fort Sully, a series of artillery on Hancock Hill. But the forces of Confederate Gen. Price never threatened Fort Leavenworth because the General was defeated in Westport, Mo.

After the Civil War, Fort Leavenworth returned to its mission as a supply chain for the forces in the West that threatened to control the American Indian reservations in the Western areas. From 1870 to 1873, Fort Leavenworth was the headquarters for Army activities and sorties in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and parts of Wyoming and Texas. In the early part of the establishment of the headquarters, Fort Leavenworth faced many uprisings from the American Indians. During this period, Fort Leavenworth continued to serve as a supply depot to the western forts and forces in the surrounding areas.

During 1866, the United States Congress authorized the organization of black regiments one of which is the 10th Cavalry Regiment under the command of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson. A monument was erected as a tribute for the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments in Fort Leavenworth.

Facts & Figures About Fort Leavenworth

  • During the late 19th century, Fort Leavenworth was home to some of the landmarks in Kansas. The Victorian home erected at No. 1 Scott Avenue in 1861 was home to the arsenal commander. The Victorian home is currently now home to the commanding general of Fort Leavenworth and the Combined Arms Center.
  • The United States Disciplinary Barracks was built in 1875.
  • Fort Leavenworth’s first Catholic Church was established in 1871 and was later replaced by St. Ignatius Chapel in 1889. The St. Ignatius Chapel was consumed by flames in December 2001 and the foundation was preserved as a memorial park of its rich history.
  •  In 1881, the foundation for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College was established by Gen. William T. Sherman. The school was integral for the success of the U.S. Army   in World War I. The graduates of the school became top officers of the American Expeditionary Forces.
  • Graduates of the school included famous names such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton Jr. and Omar N. Bradley.
  •  Fort Leavenworth is home to the classes for the School of Advanced Military Studies, Studies and the School for Command Preparation, and the Combined Arms Research.
  •  The Lewis and Clark Center was opened in 2007. The $115 million training facility houses ninety six classrooms for 1,500 students and houses 600 faculty members.
  •  Fort Leavenworth is one of the oldest military posts in the United States. The fort is home to several schools for military thought, training and service. The fort is a testament to service and military thought in the United States.

Video – History of Fort Leavenworth