At over 100,000 acres, Fort Riley is a large Army base in Northern Kansas. It received its name from Major General Bennett C. Riley, who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail.
It was first called Fort Riley in 1853. Previous to that it had been a camp. It played an important role in the settlement of the American West. After the Civil War, it was important because of its role in helping control the Native American population in the area as settlers continued to stream West. The famous 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments (Buffalo Soldiers) were housed at Fort Riley in the late 19th century.
During World War I, Fort Riley was expanded quite a bit to provide training space for US soldiers. The United States Army Cavalry School was formed here after World War 1 as the US military began to focus more on service roles. In the late 1930s as Europe was plunged into war, plans were made to once again increase the size of Fort Riley. In the early 40s, over 100,000 men were trained at Fort Riley. Today, the Army base is home to the 1st Infantry Division.