- Established (January 1853)
- Absorbed Pawnee, Kansas (Fall 1855)
Established along the Kansas River to protect white travelers on the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, Fort Riley continued to be an important military post through the Civil War. With the onset of the Civil War, Fort Riley was located too far west to play a direct role in the Missouri-Kansas border hostilities, but it served as a defensive post and as a prison for Confederate captives early in the war. Today, Fort Riley is better known as the historic home base of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry, which fought in the American Indian Wars, and as a base for the African American 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, or the so-called "Buffalo Soldiers." The fort remains an Army installation today.