Sunflower symbol

Fort Riley

Sunflower symbol
      Here where the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers
unite to form the Kansas, Fremont's expedition of 1843
camped and reported great numbers of elk, antelope and
Indians. In 1852 the army selected the site for a Western
outpost, temporarily called Camp Center. Next year, when
construction began the post was named for Col. Bennett Riley.

       New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, jolting
across Kansas in a stagecoach in 1859, wrote approvingly
of the location, saying "the barracks are comfortable....
the officers' quarters spacious and elegant, and the
stables most extensive and admirable."

       Fort Riley was a major outpost on the Indian
frontier, defending the Santa Fe and Oregon trails.
The storied 7th Cavalry was organized here in 1866 with
Lt. Col. George A. Custer second in command. A cavalry
school, recommended earlier by Lt. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan,
was established in 1892 and became the world's largest.

       Training centers on the post have included Camp
Funston, established in 1917 and rebuilt in 1940, and
Camp Forsyth, established in 1940. Since World War II
the 1st. 9th and 10th Infantry divisions and numerous
nondivisional units have trained here.

Erected by State Historical Society and State Highway Commission
 
Geary County  
Historical marker on K-18 on the post
Geary County
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December 17, 2000 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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