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Military History - May 10, 2013

Q: It was this week, 186 years ago, that one of the nation’s most important military forts was established. What’s the name of the frontier fort that was founded on May 8, 1827?

FortLeavenworth KHSOfficers' quarters on Doniphan Avenue, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., 1872. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /

A: Fort Leavenworth


FL-Barracks-KHSGeneral Henry Leavenworth established Fort Leavenworth on May 8, 1827 – about 34 years before Kansas became a state. Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active military base west of the Mississippi River – and the third oldest continuously-active military base in the United States.


FL-ColoredBattery KHSAccording to the Kansas Historical Society, the fort was established along the Santa Fe Trail to protect settlers traveling west. During the Civil War, the fort recruited volunteer soldiers. After the war, Fort Leavenworth’s main job was controlling Indians. In 1866, African-American regiments were formed here, including the 10th Calvary, which became known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” In 1875, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) was built here.

FL US-Army-Command-and-General-Staff-College_Flickr_The-UToday, the army base is the home of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks.

FUN FACT: Practically every significant general in U.S. military history has been stationed at Fort Leavenworth at one time or another, including generals William Sherman, Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, Colin Powell and David Petraeus… just to name a few.


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