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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Indian Defense Wall at Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth is a beautiful Army base with a rich history.  It was established in 1827, a fort to protect the travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.  Back in those days, once the Missouri River was crossed, travelers found themselves in Indian Territory.  One of the oldest structures still standing is the wall built in 1827, at the top of the bluff along the Missouri River, to protect the soldiers and travelers against indians.  The wall is about 6 feet high, with an abundance of narrow holes for rifle ports.  It's at the northwest corner of the intersection of Grant Avenue and Riverside Drive.  There's a small sign that tells about it, but generally the wall goes unnoticed by the people passing by.  Interestingly enough, everyone is aware of the General Grant statue located just south of the wall.  IMG_1469If you're spending a day or a few hours at Fort Leavenworth, the wall makes a great stop.  Park nearby and walk to the Oregon Trail ruts located just down the hill.  They're still visible from the countless wagons that ferried across the Missouri River to the floodplain below then pressed onward up the hill.  After visiting the ruts, then the indian wall, the Mormon Battalion sign is another few steps westward.  The old parade grounds is ringed by many of the oldest buildings at Fort Leavenworth, including "The Rookery", the oldest continuously occupied building in Kansas.  Then a few steps further, on the south side of Kearney Avenue is Dwight D. Eisenhower's home when he was a student at the Command & Staff College.  All of these stops are within a short walking distance of each other and make a great walking tour of Fort Leavenworth.  It's a worthwhile addition to a stop at the Fort Leavenworth Museum and gives a depth to your visit that only visiting the museum doesn't provide.

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