Fort Leavenworth facility is located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, north of the City of Leavenworth. It is the oldest active post west of Washington, D.C., and has been in operation for more than 180 years.
Thousands of soldiers travel through Fort Leavenworth; this is the Army’s forward destination for most of the soldiers. The garrison supports the United States Army Training and Doctrine command (TRADOC). Fort Leavenworth is home to the Military Correctional Complex and is the only United States Department of Defense maximum security prison.
Before its present location, it was located 20 miles south and was part of the French Fort de Cavagnal in the 18th century. Fort de Cavagnal was the farthest west fort in Louisiana (New France). The French abandoned the fort after ceding its territory to Louisiana (New Spain).
Early American explorers on the Missouri River visited Fort de Cavagnal, and on July 26-29, 1804, Lewis and Clark stopped in for a visit. Stephen Harriman Long also found his way to the fort in 1819. On May 8, 1827, Col. Leavenworth of the 3rd Infantry had become concerned about the flooding and moved the fort 20 miles upstream.
The history between the Kanza and the fort has a working relationship of nearly 200 years. One of the largest villages of the Kanza was located on the Missouri River. Looking at the map you can see the location of the fort in relation to the village.
The Kaw Nation and Fort Leavenworth have been working together for many years. We want to make sure the archeology and history of the Kaw and Pawnee people are not compromised by inadvertent digging or maneuvers which could destroy important sites. Whenever they authorize excavations, we are notified to make sure nothing is overlooked. Agreements are in place to solve any issue we may encounter that would be debatable.
The Environmental Department, the Archeological Department and the Army work very hard to protect prehistoric and historical properties at Fort Leavenworth. The fort occupies 5,600 acres and 7 million feet of space in 1,000 buildings and 1,500 quarters. The fort has a wonderful museum, should you have the opportunity to visit.