U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at the lower left, Smith Lake at the upper right,
Buffalo Soldier Monument and Circle of Firsts at the top center
Established in 1827, Fort Leavenworth at Leavenworth, Kansas is the oldest active Army post west of the Mississippi. Although known for its role in the expansion of the American frontier and as the only US military maximum security prison, Fort Leavenworth's most important role began in 1881 when 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 and has graduated officers such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley and George S. Patton.
Fort Leavenworth has a number of things to offer civilian visitors: a national cemetery, museum, monuments and many interesting 19th century buildings. The Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth explains the Fort's role in the exploration and expansion of the western United States, as well as the staff college. When the museum is closed, you can still print this Fort Leavenworth driving tour map and tour the fort at other times. The tour stops at about 16 locations where you will find a display with a recorded message.
A highlight of the tour is the Buffalo Soldier Commemorative Area which consists of the Buffalo Soldier Monument, the Circle of Firsts and the Walkway of Units which recognize the significant "firsts" in the history of African American Soldiers and units in the U.S. Army. Another amazing stop is the United States Disciplinary Barracks Cemetery.
A separate Mormon Battalion driving tour is available. The Mormon Battalion is believed to be the only U.S. Army unit named for its religion and was recruited around present day Council Bluffs, Iowa by Captain James Allen from Fort Leavenworth in 1846. This tour provides insight about the Battalion's stay at Fort Leavenworth.
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery is one of the first 12 national cemeteries established by Abraham Lincoln on July 17, 1862. Burials began in the 1840s. There are over 30,500 graves of veterans and dependents.
United States Disciplinary Barracks Cemetery
A second, much smaller and less well known cemetery is the United States Disciplinary Barracks Cemetery a little over a mile north of the former United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). The Military Prison Cemetery provides the final resting place for the unclaimed remains of prisoners who died or were executed while incarcerated. There are 240 burials in the cemetery. The most recent internment was April 4, 1957, though officially the cemetery is still available for new burials.
copyright 2005-2022 by Keith Stokes