Tales of the Itinerant Sailor
The Landlubber's Tale
Fort Riley, Kansas
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
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 w/ guidon, Ft Riley KS, 1967
|Captain Jones w/ staff officers, reviewing the troops, Ft Riley KS, 1967|
|Ft Riley KS, First capital of Kansas for four days in 1855.|