Tales of the Itinerant Sailor

Cruising 2008

The Landlubber's Tale


Steven Jones  

Fort Riley, Kansas

This military post in Kansas was a brief interlude in our trek across the United States.  Fort Riley was my last duty station on active duty with the US Army.  I just wanted to check it out, to see if it was still as I remembered it.  It wasn’t.  The highway between Junction City and Manhattan used to go right through the fort.  Now, post 9/11 security concerns, only those with proper authorization are allowed.  I finally got permission to drive through, but not to stop.  And the small, friendly shopping areas adjacent to the fort in Junction City?  Gone.  Replaced by huge used car lots, shopping malls and, of all things, a Wal-mart.   

The fort has a long and colorful history.  It was established in 1853 to protect the pioneers on their westward movement across the United States.  In 1855 it housed the capital building where the State Legislators met for four days to decide on whether the state would be slave or free and where the permanent capital should be situated.  It soon became a training post for US Army cavalry tactics.  General George Custer was one who trained here.  Not a very good recommendation, eh?   The famous all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments—the “Buffalo Soldiers” were stationed here and later the fort became the home to the “Big Red One” of World War II fame.

Captain Jones

Captain Jones w/ guidon, Ft Riley KS, 1967

Captain Jones
Captain Jones w/ staff officers, reviewing the troops, Ft Riley KS, 1967
Ft Riley, KS
Ft Riley KS, First capital of Kansas for four days in 1855.
New York Southwest

Cruising 2008: The Landlubber's Tale
Copyright © 2009 Steven Jones. All Rights Reserved.

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