• Henry Leavenworth post's oldest namesake

  • Henry Leavenworth - Our namesake

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  • Quentin Schillare | Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp
    The origin of naming locations is lost to history. Around 6,000 years ago, humans began to abandon a nomadic lifestyle for a more settled existence. They lived together in family or kinship groups for security and recognized a need to identify important locations related to hunting, gathering, agriculture, and religious observance.
    Early examples of named locations include the temple of Karnak at Luxor on the banks of the Nile River in Pharaonic Egypt and the temple of Zeus at Olympia in Ancient Greece. The tradition of naming things was carried to the Americas by the first European explorers.
    The Army continued this necessary tradition as the nation expanded west. The oldest namesake on Fort Leavenworth is for the founder of the post, Col. Henry Leavenworth.
    Leavenworth was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1783. His father, Jesse Leavenworth, was a veteran of the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the American Revolution (1775-1783). Henry Leavenworth grew up in Vermont and became a lawyer as a young man in Delhi, N.Y. He raised a company of infantry and fought with Gen. Winfield Scott as a captain in the 25th Infantry Regiment in the War of 1812, where he served with distinction in several actions, including the Battle of Lundy’s Lane near Niagara Falls, Upper Canada (today the Province of Ontario).
    He was one of only nine officers to receive two brevets during the war. Leavenworth was promoted to major in the 9th Infantry in 1813 and, after service in the 2nd Infantry, was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 5th Infantry in 1818. He led U.S. Army troops in the Arikara War, the first U.S. military expedition against a Great Plains Indian nation, in 1823. In December 1824, Leavenworth assumed command of the 3rd Infantry Regiment.
    He was the colonel of the 3rd Infantry and was at the head of Companies B, D, E and H when he selected the site for what soon became known as Cantonment Leavenworth in May 1827. The post served as a point of contact with the local Native American nations and a garrison for the protection of Americans on the frontier. War Department General Order 11 renamed the post Fort Leavenworth in an Army reorganization in 1832. Leavenworth continued to campaign with his regiment in the West.
    He died of a fever in Indian Territory (parts of present day states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas) in 1834. At the same time he was promoted to brigadier general in the Regular Army for 10 years of faithful service in the grade of colonel. Initially buried in the field, his remains were later moved to his hometown of Delhi. In 1902, after the citizens of Leavenworth petitioned the citizens of Delhi, his remains were moved to the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery and reinterred in an elaborate ceremony.
    Page 2 of 2 - Brig. Gen. Henry Leavenworth is also the namesake for a building on post. The residence at 612 Grant Ave. is a single-family 2½-story brick and limestone structure in a modified Queen Anne style. The Leavenworth House is one of four large sets of quarters built in 1883 funded by a $41,000 appropriation from the War Department to support the recently established School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry two years earlier. It is the architectural twin of the Command and General Staff College deputy commandant’s house at 605 Scott Ave. The building served as a post VIP guest house from 1951 to 1973. A wooden plaque near the front door identifies all former residents who ranged in rank from second lieutenant to major general. Previous famous residents include Maj. (later major general) Charles H. Barth, namesake of Barth Hall on McClellan Avenue, and Col. (later general) Hugh H. Drum, namesake for Fort Drum, N.Y.
    Primarily a troop post in its early years, home to a supply depot and a military prison, it assumed its educational mission on Jan. 6, 1882, when War Department General Order 8 directed the establishment of the School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry. Fort Leavenworth was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and much of Main Post was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1966. Today, hundreds of people live and work in buildings that are more than 100 years old. The oldest structure on post is the Rookery, completed in 1834. The city of Leavenworth is named after the fort.
    For more information on his book "Fort Leavenworth: The People Behind the Names" visit here.
    For the 1st installment of the People Behind Post Places Series visit here.
    For the 2nd installment of the People Behind Post Places Series visit here.
    For the 3rd installment of the People Behind Post Places Series visit here.
    For the 4th installment of the People Behind Post Places Series visit here.
    or information on his book: Fort Leavenworth: The People Behind the Names visit - See more at: http://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/article/20151029/NEWS/151029187/?tag=2#sthash.3rFjn35k.dpuf
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