Long before white men settled Kansas, traffic over the Santa Fe trail
was so heavy that troops were detailed to protect it from the Indians.
Fort Leavenworth established in 1827 by Col. Henry Leavenworth, was for
thirty years the chief base of operations on the Indian frontier. In
1839, Col. S. W. Kearny marched against the Cherokees with the largest
U.S. mounted force yet assembled: ten companies of dragoons. In 1846
Col. A. W. Doniphan set out on his Mexican expedition; throughout the
war with Mexico the Fort was the outfitting post for the Army of the
West. During the 1850's, wagon teams hauled supplies over the Santa Fe,
Oregon, and other trails to all forts, posts and military camps of the
West, some as far as the Pacific.
When Kansas territory was organized in 1854, Gov. Andrew Reeder set up
executive offices at Fort Leavenworth. In 1881, Gen. William T. Sherman
established the school which later became the Command and General Staff
College, the highest tactical school in the Army educational system
combining all arms and services. A 1926 graduate, with highest honors in
his class, was Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower.