Fort Riley, Kansas

Fort Riley, Kansas

In an 1843 expedition, Captain John C. Fremont, "The Pathfinder," camped at the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers. He reported great numbers of elk, antelope and Indians. Most of the Indian tribes were friendly at the time, because settlers had not yet moved into the area.

Within a few years, however, the "Great Migration" along the Oregon Trail and trade along the Santa Fe Trail brought thousands of pioneers through the "Indian Territory," as Kansas was known back then.

Indian war parties began raiding wagon trains as they traveled through the bluffs of eastern Kansas. It became evident that military protection was needed for these pioneers. Thus began the chain of events leading to the founding of Fort Riley in 1852. At the time it was named Fort Center - because it was believed to be the geographical center of the country. In 1853, the post was renamed after Major General Bennett Riley.

Fort Riley stood as the major horse cavalry training school in our country and boasted a position as one of the best cavalry training schools in the world. The famous 7th Cavalry was put through harsh and difficult training before leaving for campaigns against Indians. From the gates of Fort Riley, the cavalry rode to such famous campaigns as: Beecher's Island, the Washita River Fight, and Battle of the Little Big Horn.

The First Infantry Division, more commonly known as the "Big Red One" - the "Fighting First" - came to Fort Riley from Germany in 1955 and remained in Kansas until 1995. Today Fort Riley is known as home of America's Army.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Wainwright Hall - Fort Riley

Wainwright Hall is named for General Jonathan Wainwright who served as the assistant commandant of the Cavalry School during the 1930s. The building was constructed in 1889

Fort Riley, KS Museums

Territorial Capitol

In 1855, the nation wept for "Bleeding Kansas"

Fort Riley, KS Historic Buildings

Statue of "Old Trooper Bill"

The Old Trooper has become a symbol at Fort Riley of the proud heritage of the Horse Cavalry. It is modeled after the drawing of "Old Bill," the cavalry soldier drawn by famous western artist, Frederic Remington. This sketch is displayed in the Cavalry Museum'

Fort Riley, KS Memorials

Wounded Knee Monument

This monument is dedicated to the men of the 7th cavalry who were killed during the Pine Ridge Campaign of 1890 and the battle that is known as Wounded Knee. This controversial engagement marked one of the last armed conflicts between the army and Native Americans.

Fort Riley, KS Monuments

Trolley Station

The Trolley Station was used as a baggage storage and waiting area for soldiers and families riding the inter-city trolley between Junction City and Fort Riley from 1901 until 1907. In 1907

Fort Riley, KS Historic Buildings

Things to do near Fort Riley, KS