• Grant's name graces more than any other

  • Ulysses S. Grant is the most representative namesake of Fort Leavenworth. No one else comes close

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  • Quentin Schillare | Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp
    Who is the most famous namesake on Fort Leavenworth? It depends on the era under discussion. There are many candidates.
    In terms of service, Philip St. George Cooke has a claim — he served at Fort Leavenworth in four decades.
    In terms of achievement, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George C. Marshall certainly would be in the top 10 — Eisenhower as Allied commander in Europe during World War II, Army chief of staff, commander of the NATO, and a two-term president of the United States; and Marshall as Army chief of staff, secretary of Defense and secretary of State.
    With regard to the fort’s educational mission, the list would also include Arthur L. Wagner, John F. Morrison and J. Franklin Bell, all obscure today, but educators who crafted the Army education system for officers.
    However, Ulysses S. Grant is the most representative namesake. No one else comes close.
    Grant Avenue, the Fort Leavenworth main street, runs for two miles from the Grant Gate to the Grant statue. If you look to the right as you travel north on Grant Avenue you can see the clock tower on Grant Hall. Inside Grant Hall is Grant Auditorium. Further on, if you look to the left, you can see Grant Pool. His portrait is on the wall in the Commander-in-Chief’s Hallway in the Lewis and Clark Center. Finally, there is a stained glass window in the Lewis and Clark Center that shows Grant looking at a map.
    The reasons for the proliferation of Grant’s name are obvious — nothing succeeds like success. Regardless of his modest achievements as a junior officer following his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1843, as a civilian when he left the Army in 1854, and his troubled presidential administration after the Civil War, Grant was, in the words of British historian J.F.C. Fuller, “the greatest general of his age and one of the greatest strategists of any age.” He was the general-in-chief of the victorious Union Army.
    The popularity of things Grant on Fort Leavenworth is also true in the rest of Kansas. Except for Abraham Lincoln, no name is more represented in the place-names of Kansas than Grant. In the state there is a Grant County and 29 townships named for the general. The town of Ulysses is the county seat for Grant County.
    Grant may have the most memorials on Fort Leavenworth, but he was never stationed on post. He may have visited while assigned to the 4th Infantry at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, but his only documented visit to post was in 1868 when he was running for the Republican nomination for president.
    Page 2 of 3 - According to an article in the Leavenworth Times of Friday, July 17, 1868, Grant, accompanied by Lt. Gen. William T. Sherman, arrived in town on July 16, visited local politicians and social and political clubs, and attended a gathering at the Fort Leavenworth home of Maj. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan, then the commander of the Division of the Missouri. Newspaper articles on the visit from the Leavenworth Times, the Leavenworth Bulletin and The New York Times are silent on where he stayed on post, but Grant and Sherman probably enjoyed the hospitality of their old comrade in arms in Quarters No. 1 on Arsenal Avenue (called Scott Avenue after 1888).
    Besides Grant, several presidents have visited Fort Leavenworth before or after taking office. Abraham Lincoln was the first. He passed through the post on Dec. 3, 1859, while traveling by horse-drawn coach from Atchison to Leavenworth while campaigning for the Republican nomination for president.
    Eisenhower served as an instructor for wartime reserve officers on post from December 1917 to March 1918 and again from July 1925 to June 1926 when he attended the Command and General Staff School.
    Truman participated in summer camp for the Field Artillery Reserves during the early 1920s. He also visited on Dec. 15, 1961, after he left office and retired to Independence, Mo.
    Franklin Roosevelt passed through the post for the briefest of time in his special train on the Missouri Pacific tracks (now Union Pacific) on April 26, 1943, while traveling from Omaha, Neb., to Jefferson Barracks, Mo., while on an inspection tour of defense plants. No president has visited the post since.
    However, Vice President Dick Cheney visited on Jan. 6, 2006, and is the most senior U.S. Government office holder to speak on post.
    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.
    Fort the 5th installment of the People Behind Post Places Series visit here.
    For more information on his book "Fort Leavenworth: The People Behind the Names" visit here.
    Page 3 of 3 - 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.
    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.
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