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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on the history of the Combined Arms Center

Other questions answered

What is CAC?

The US Army’s Combined Arms Center (CAC) is a major subordinate headquarters of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command and is responsible for training military leaders, training Army units, writing doctrine, collecting lessons learned, and several other unique tasks. It has been referred to as the “Intellectual Center of the Army” and functions like a university and think tank. Established in 1973, CAC and its predecessor organizations have always been about preparing the Army and its leaders for war. In more formal language:

“CAC provides Army-wide leadership and supervision for leader development and professional military and civilian education; institutional and collective training; functional training; training support; battle command; doctrine; lessons learned; and other specified areas that the TRADOC Commander designates. All of these are focused toward making CAC a catalyst for change and to support the development of a relevant and ready ground force to support joint, interagency and multinational operations anywhere in the world.”

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When and why was CAC established?

The US Army Combined Arms Center (or CAC) was created in the STEADFAST reorganization of the Army in 1973. It formally came into existence from its predecessor organizations on the 1st of July 1973. As originally conceived it was to be the senior integrating center for all the subordinate elements of TRADOC, bringing together the work of the branch schools associated with the Combined Arms Center with the work of the Logistics Center, the Administrative Center and their associated schools. The actual authority of CAC has varied with the intent of the TRADOC commander and his confidence in the CAC commander.

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What was the STEADFAST reorganization?

Beginning in early 1972, the STEADFAST Reorganization, or Operation STEADFAST, was the project to reorganize the post-Vietnam War army to increase efficiency and command and control. The effort culminated on 1 Jul 1973 with the establishment of TRADOC and Forces Command from the former Continental Army Command and the Combat Developments Command. The documents that resulted from the massive effort are available for use at the TRADOC Military History Office. A brief account is in Prepare the Army for War: A Historical Overview of the Training and Doctrine Command 1973-1998 at

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What is and has been the correct name for CAC?

The Combined Arms Center was created with that name on 1 July 1973. It retained this name until 1 October 1990 when it was renamed the Combined Arms Command following a major reorganization. CAC took command of the Combined Arms Combat Development Activity (CACADA) and the Combined Arms Training Activity (CATA) both of which had previously been semi-independent activities. These and other changes were part of the then CAC Commander LTG Wishart’s vision “CAC 2000”.

CAC was re-designated the Combined Arms Center on 22 July 1994 following a TRADOC “business process re-engineering” by GEN Franks, then TRADOC Commander. The move striped CAC of its role as an integrating center and separated training and combat developments. CAC-T became DCST-West, CAC-CD was dissolved altogether, the Battle Lab worked for TRADOC and many positions were removed to Fort Monroe.

In 2004 CAC sometimes stood informally for “Combined Arms Command” as many of the elements removed in 1994 had been restored to a re-invigorated CAC. As of this date, however, the title has not been officially changed.

Sources: ACHs 1990 and 1994.

Kelvin Crow 28 September 2004

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Was there a predecessor organization?

The predecessor organizations to CAC were the Combined Arms Group and the Command and General Staff College.

Secretary McNamara reorganized the Army under functional commands in 1962 under the code name Project 80. The organizational pieces and missions that bear on Fort Leavenworth and the future CAC were the Continental Army Command (CONARC) which focused on Training and Professional Military Education, and the Combat Development Command which performed Combat and Doctrine Development functions. On post these organizations were reflected in the Combined Arms Group (CAG) and the Command and General Staff College (CGSC). CAG or “The Group” studied Army doctrine, equipment and organization, focusing out as far as 20 years in the future. They supervised ten subordinate combined arms departments at each of the branch schools, the senior of which was at CGSC. The College, as always, was primarily focused on Professional Military Education. At the time this phrase primarily but not exclusively meant officer education. The development of Warrant, Non-Commissioned and civilian leaders was not as carefully considered as it is today, both in the Army at large and on Fort Leavenworth. But there was also a focus on Combat Developments, Training Development and Doctrine Developments. The College had departments of Doctrine and Combat Developments. There they wrote a larger number of Field Manuals, produced other forms of training literature and developed and integrated future concepts for how the Army should fight. There was a close working relationship between the College and the Group, down to the sharing of personnel between the two organizations.1

The Group had taken over a mission long associated with the College, and was only a more formal expression of the job. The Group supervised and integrated combat and doctrine development at ten associated schools, what would today be call “Associated Schools and Centers.” These also show a remarkable consistency over time. In 1962 these schools were: Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, Air Defense, Intelligence, Chemical, Signal, Engineer, Aviation and Combined Arms. The last was part of and located at the Command and General Staff College.2

While a “mission statement” for “CAC” in 1962 is a historical anachronism, if we were to construct one using current terminology it would include the following elements: Leader Development, Professional Military Education, Institutional and Collective Training, Training Support, Battle Command, Research and Analysis, Doctrine Development, Combat Developments and serve as senior integrating center for Combined Arms combat developments. With the exceptions of Research and Analysis, and integration these are all current CAC missions.

1 Public Affairs Officer, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1964; Carter, Edd, The History and Evolution of CAC, 1978, page IV-40 to IV-48;
Anon, A Military History of the US Army Command and General Staff College, CGSC, 1963, Chapter 7.
Organizational diagrams for the period from the Command History collection.
2 Carter page IV-48.

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Who has commanded CAC?

The following list is the one traditionally accepted by the Command History Office. Numerous other officers have commanded in an interim or temporary status.

1. MG John H. Cushman 1 Jul 73 – Jan 1978
2. LTG John R. Thurman III Jan 78 - 30 Sep 79
3. LTG William Reed Richardson 9 Oct 79 - 23 Aug 81
4. LTG Howard F. Stone 24 Aug 81 - 25 Jun 82
5. LTG Jack W. (Neil) Merritt 26 Jun 82 - 6 Jun 83
6. LTG Carl E. Vuono 24 Jun 83 - 9 Jun 85
7. LTG Robert W. RisCassi 10 Jun 85 - 9 Jun 86
8. LTG Gerald T. Bartlett 10 Jun 86 - 13 Jul 88
9. LTG Leonard P. Wishart III 14 Jul 88 - 15 Aug 91
10. LTG Wilson Allen Shoffner 16 Aug 91 – 27 Jul 93
11. LTG John E. Miller 27 Jul 93 – 19 Jul 95
12. LTG Leonard D. Holder, Jr. 19 Jul 95 – 7 Aug 97
13. LTG Montgomery C. Meigs 7 Aug 97 - 22 Oct 98
14. LTG William M. Steele 23 Oct 98 – 25 Jul 01
15. LTG James C. Riley 26 Jul 01 – 25 Jun 03
16. LTG William Scott Wallace 13 Jul 03 – 19 Oct 2005
17. LTG David H. Petraeus 20 Oct 05 – 2 Feb 2007
18. LTG William B. Caldwell IV 11 Jun 07 -

Dates vary between sources.

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Who have been the Command Sergeants Major of CAC?

13.  Philip F. Johndrow – 15 May 2008

12. David M. Bruner – 22 Jan 2007 – 18 Jan 2008

11. Cory N. McCarty – March 2005 to 22 Jan 2007

10. John Sparks – May 2004 to February 2005

9.  Cynthia A. Pritchett – November 1997 to May 2004

8. Edward D. Naylor – 1993 to 1997

7. Larry H. Smith - 1991 to1993

6. Joseph L. Whitworth – 1988 to 1991

5. J. W. Gillis - 1984 to 1988

4. R. P. Johnson - 1982 to 1984

3. C. G. Schulthies – 1980 to 1982

2. J. B. Craft – 1977 to 1980

1. P. P. Kostenbauder  1977

There was no CAC CSM at its foundation in 1973 per correspondence with LTG Cushman, CAC Commander at the time.

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What does the CAC crest mean?

CAC Crest

The Coat of Arms for the Combined Arms Center was originally approved for the General Service Schools in 1925. It was re-designated to the Command and General Staff College in 1948 and extended to the U. S. Army Combined Arms Center in 1974. At its heart is a shield, representing the military nature of the organization, with a blue chevron on a white field. The term chevron comes from the French for rafter and was originally granted to those who built or maintained a castle or fort. By derivation it evolved to signify military defense or protection. The three lamps are symbolic of intellectual life, study or learning and such lamps are sometimes called the lamp of knowledge. On top of the shield is an esquire’s helmet with red mantling. Mantling was the cloth wrapped around the helmet for protection against the elements or to dampen the force of blows. The red color of the mantling completes a reference to the national colors begun in the white and blue of the shield. On the crest of the helmet is an eagle, another reference to the nation, poised for flight. This particular design for the eagle is taken from one that surmounted the sally port of Grant Hall, the main school building in 1925 when the crest was designed. He carries in his beak a scroll with the word “LEAVENWORTH,” the name of the post. Underneath the shield is the motto of the school and post “Ad Bellum Pace Parati” or “In peace, prepare for war.”

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What is the History of CAC-Training?

Fort Leavenworth has a long history of influence over Army training. Significant milestones along this journey include the following.

15 September 1869 – Board under MG Schofield assembled at Fort Leavenworth to review a new system of tactics proposed by MG Emory Upton. The charter of the board was to “…practically test the systems heretofore adopted for the artillery, cavalry, and infantry arms of service; to reconcile all the differences; to select the best forms of command, and of drum and bugle signals, and to submit for the approval of the War Department …” The Schofield Board was the first use of Fort Leavenworth as a site to develop a unit training system and distribute it throughout the Army.

7 May 1881 – Establishment of the College. Doctrine, including training doctrine, became the province of the Army school system, with Fort Leavenworth being the senior combined arms school. The College’s Doctrine department prepared combined arms training literature for the Army.

1973 – Training and Doctrine Command replaced the US Army Continental Command, reflecting a new emphasis on training. As a part of the STEADFAST reorganization of the Army, the Combined Arms Center is established at Fort Leavenworth, replacing the US Army Combat Developments Command Combined Arms Group. CAC had three subordinates, the College, the garrison and the UA Army Combined Arms Combat Developments Activity or CACDA. The initial, weak efforts of TRADOC towards the development of Army training remained in the College, but successive CAC commanders attempted to integrate the combat developers in CACDA with the training developments mission in the college.

1976 - General Depuy’s resurrection of training the Army begins. He directs the CAC Commander to study the problem and LTG Thurman decides to create a new organization to give training developments more emphasis in the combined arms community.

1 May 1977 – the Combined Arms Training Developments Activity (CATRADA) created under the command of BG L. C. Menetrey. His organization produced and exported simulations, war game and training aids. It was built by taking officers from the college and CACADA and its commander reported to the Major General who commanded CACDA.

1980 – CATRADA becomes a separate entity under CAC, responsible from simulations, professional development, unit training, training devices and evaluation.

1982 – TRADOC Commander Otis desired to consolidate operational research assets, unconvinced that a separate training developments organization was necessary and forced to cast about for a general officer slot by a cap on such positions created by Congress disestablished CATRADA in order to create the TRADOC Operational Research Activity (TORA) and its Leavenworth subordinate CAORA (Combined Arms Operational Research Activity). After wandering around the bureaucracy, Training Developments again go to the College.

1984 – The Combined Arms Training Activity (CATA) established to act as the “G-3 for training” to the CAC Commander. They were established by TRADOC Commander Gen Richardson, who as CAC Commander had experienced a robust training activity on Fort Leavenworth and believed in the concept, as well as the danger of the loss of the function to the teaching mission when training developments were left in the college.

1990 – CATA re-titled Combined Arms Center – Training or CAC-T and charged with overseeing and coordinating combined arms training functions, battle simulation, management of the Combat Training Center program, administration of the lesions learned process, and development of combined arms training strategies doctrine. Reflecting the growing prestige of training granted by victory in Operation Desert Storm, the director was granted the title of Deputy Commanding General for Training or DCGT.

1991 – The training establishment on Fort Leavenworth is now known as DCGT after its leader, but apparently not officially renamed.

1994 – CAC is “reorganized” or more accurately, downsized as a part of the “peace dividend” expected after the end of the Cold War. Many of the slots are shifted to Fort Monroe and the organization is renamed Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff – Training or ADCS-T.

1998 – Responsibility for training is again re-titled, this time to CAC – Combined Arms Training or CAC-CAT.

2000 – Training responsibilities again shift to Monroe and the local training establishment is renamed to recognize this. It is now known as the TRADOC Deputy Chief of Staff for Training – West or DCST-W.

2003 – TRADOC give training back to CAC and the Chief of Staff calls the Assistant Command Historian to ask what the organization has been named in the past. Of the list given he picks CAC-T.

Annual Command Histories
CAC Organizational Diagrams

Kelvin D. Crow Date 3 November 2005

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What is the History of the Combined Arms Combat Developments Agency (CACDA)?

Fort Leavenworth has, since the 1880’s, been tasked to answer the basic combat development questions: How should the Army fight? How should the Army be equipped? How should the Army be organized? From 1973 to 1994 these questions were answered through CACDA. CACDA’s primary foci were concept development, force design, battle command and the integration of the efforts of other combat developers. The primary material developer for the Army was and remains Army Material Command. TRADOC reorganized in 1994 and moved most of its personnel slots to Fort Monroe, but most CACDA missions existed here before its creation and have remained or returned since its demise.

The students and instructors at the Command and General Staff College, as one of the major “brain trusts” of the Army, have long been influential in developing a vision for the future of the Army. In 1946 the War Department formally charged CGSC to study all developments in warfare and recommend changes in Army methods and doctrine. As a result the College formed the Department of Analysis and Research. In 1952 the Chief of Army Field Forces established combat development departments at the four combined arms schools with a senior integrating department at CGSC. In 1961 “Project 80” led to the establishment of a separate Combat Developments Command which manifested itself at Fort Leavenworth as the US Army Combat Developments Combined Arms Group. This was, in most cases, the same people doing the same job but existing in a new organization. The mission was described at the time as coordinating “a team effort, a well-balanced mixture of combat power that includes all components in their proper relation to each other and provides the best possible combination to defeat any probable enemy.”

In 1973 LTG William E. DePuy helped General Abrams create TRADOC. He envisioned combat developments offices at each of the branch schools, with integration offices at the next level up, thereby removed from branch parochialism and devoted to the concept of combined arms. He attempted to foster a synergy between those studying and teaching combined arms with those developing doctrine, concepts, force design and material by co-locating them. In fact, he ordered Major General John Cushman to physically remove his office from the College to the new CACDA to emphasize the importance of the new organization and its integration with the College and the other organizations of Fort Leavenworth.

Over the next twenty years CACDA contributed to TRADOC in many ways. In addition to its basic components, CACDA was home to many TRADOC Program Integration Offices and TRADOC System managers including: Deep Operations, Tactical Missile Defense, Reconnaissance, Intelligence and Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tactical Command and Control System, Technical Exploitation, and Heavy Force Modernization. Development of the Maneuver Control System was managed from CACDA. CACDA’s design of the light division and the structures to support it was one highlight among many accomplishments in the force design arena.

But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the excesses in the material developments in the 1980’s and the search for the “Peace Dividend” some part of the force structure was destined to be eliminated. In the early 1990’s TRADOC’s General Franks determined to move the existing combat developments structure to Fort Monroe and, despite resistance from the CD community, that move was accomplished in 1994.

But the functions never entirely left Fort Leavenworth. The Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate, TPIO- Virtual, Threats, Force Management Support Agency, the Force Design Division, TPIO-Battle Command and the Battle Command Battle Laboratory all remain located on Fort Leavenworth and fulfill missions of the former CACDA enjoying, to varying degrees, the advantages of co-location each other and the rest of CAC.

Annual Command Histories, 1980, 1987, 1994.
Transforming the Army: TRADOC’s First 30 years.
CAC Organization charts 1980-2003.
Dastrup, The US Army Command and General Staff College.
A Military History of CGSC 1881-1963.
“The Combined Arms Group”

Kelvin D. Crow 15 May 2005

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When was General Douglas MacArthur on Fort Leavenworth?

Douglas MacArthur was assigned to post from 1908 to 1912, but he also lived here as a small boy when his father Arthur MacArthur was assigned at Fort Leavenworth.

The only official Army record of Lt MacArthur’s quarters assignment is in the collection of General Orders for 1909. According to that list he was assigned to Number 9 Scott . Records for 1908 and 1910-12 no longer exist in the Fort Leavenworth archives. Other housing records from early days indicate that bachelors would frequently move their meager possessions with no more trouble than we might have changing hotel rooms. Thus Douglas may have stayed only a short time or may not have ever actually lived on Scott Avenue.

In contract to the assignment records, which are predictive, the City Directories for the town of Leavenworth report actual locations. They sometimes contain a record of the residences on the Fort and we are fortunate that they do record MacArthur’s residences. The 1909 City Directory lists Douglass’ home as 20A Sumner Place and the 1911-1913 Directory gives 19A Sumner Place. There is no 1910 Directory on file. The 1903 map of post, the 1926 map of post and Hunt and Lorence all agree that number 19 Sumner place is the building known as the Rookery. Apartment A is the northernmost section of the building. Twenty Sumner is the northern building in the pair of Syracuse Houses and apartment A would be the northern half of that building. Douglas was promoted to Captain in February 1911, which might prompt a move, and brought his newly widowed mother to live with him in 1912 shortly before departing post. Manchester quotes a MacArthur petition to the War Department from this time as saying, “the quarters to which my rank entitles me” are “totally inadequate for the housing of an invalid.”

In the Generals autobiography, Reminiscences, he makes no reference to where he lived on Post, nor does his pictorial autobiography, Duty, Honor, Country. His biographers do give us more information. Hunt says he lived with a group of other bachelor officers in a set of double quarters. He is said to have lived on the second floor in a two-room suite. The officers grouped together for a mess they called “The Rookery.” Perret reports he “had a small two-room suite in a building know as the Rookery, which was home to a score of bachelor officers.”

Of course, Douglas MacArthur also lived on Fort Leavenworth when his father Captain Arthur MacArthur was assigned to the school at Fort Leavenworth. His company (K, 13th Infantry) was a demonstration unit for the students of the new institution. From 1886 to 1889 the young Douglas (aprox 6 1/2 to 8 years old) lived with his family in number 25 Sumner Place, just down the street from where he returned as an officer in his own right. The north side of Sumner was redone in 1894 with the current structures replacing clapboard covered log houses built in 1828 and a “Syracuse” style house built in 1855. Arthur and his family may have lived in one of the old log homes. Perret notes they were without indoor plumbing. James seems to contradict him, saying the Captain lived in a “large two-story frame house” which would have to be the 1855 “Syracuse” home. The building numbering and address systems for quarters have changed over time so the best we can say right now is he lived on the north side of Sumner Place.

CARL archives, Post Directories and phone books, 1909.
Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences.
Douglas MacArthur, Duty, Honor, Country: a Pictorial Autobiography.
Frazier Hunt, The Untold Story of Douglas MacArthur (1954).
Hunt and Lorence, History of Fort Leavenworth (1937).
Map collections Frontier Army Museum and CARL Archives.
Geoffery Perret, Old Soldiers Never Die.
William Manchester, American Caesar.
D. Clayton James, The Years of MacArthur.
Leavenworth Directory Company, 1909 City Directory.
Green’s City Directory 1887-89.
RL Polk and Co, Leavenworth City directory 1911-1912.

Kelvin D. Crow 6 November 2006

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How long has the College been conducting graduations on the main parade?

The first known CGSC graduation to be held on the Main Parade was on 18 June 1926; over 80 years ago.

The first class graduated in 1883 and every two years thereafter until school was suspended for the duration of the Spanish-American War. The Commandant’s Report referrers to a formal graduation for the class on the 17th of June 1891 but no location has been identified. The 1895 graduation took place in old Pope Hall (burned 1957) on the 17th of June. The 15 June 1897 graduation was the last until after the war. The Commandant reports “graduation exercises” for the 34 member class took places but does not specify where.

The next graduation was on the 27th of June 1904. The 30 June 1909 graduation also took place in Pope Hall. The 16 May 1916 graduation was the last until after the First World War. The next graduation did not occur June 1920 and we know the 28 June 1921 graduation took place in Pope Hall. The graduations for 1922-1924 were held at the Service Club (Building 61, today Townsend Hall). Sources gave no mention of the graduation for 1925.

Early classes were much smaller and the tradition of an impressive graduation took time to develop. The first graduations probably took place in Bundell were classes were normally held. Stepping up to Pope and then Townsend required bigger classes and more prestige.

The first documented graduation on the Main Parade occurred on 18 June 1926, as did the 17 June 1927 graduation the next year. The 1928 and 1929 graduations were conducted in the Service Club. The 1930 graduation was in Grant Hall. The 1935 graduation was held at Grant Hall and the 1936 graduation at the Service Club. Graduation was again held in the “shaded greenness of the Main Parade, called Sumner Place” on 21 June 1937.

Graduations between 1938-1952 were held in a number of locations in addition to the Main Parade: the Post Theater, Grant, Gruber and Andrews Halls filled in for the many class that were churned out during the Second World War. After the emergency there was a return to “normalcy” and graduation on the Main Parade was described as an “old tradition” in 1952.

-Bernard, Talbot, The History of Fort Leavenworth 1952-63, p10.
-Tyler, Orville, The History of Fort Leavenworth 1937-1951, p62-63.
Ibid p4.
-A Military History of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, 1881-1963
-Command and General Staff College Annual Reports: 1882-1936, 1884 Report, p1; 1887 Report, p1; and 1889 Report
-Orders, Infantry and Cavalry School, 1887-1896, Orders No. 3, 29 May 1893; Orders No. 15, 25 May 1895, Orders No. 19, 15 June 1895
-Orders, 1907
-Orders and Circulars, 1909, NOTICE, dtd 20 May 1909
-Orders, General Service Schools, 1921, Memorandum No. 17, 23 June 1921
-Orders, General Service Schools, 1922, Memorandum No. 11, 20 June 1922
-Orders, General Service Schools, 1923, General Orders No. 13, 04 June 1923
-Orders, General Service Schools, 1924
-Orders, 1926
-Orders, 1927
-Orders, 1928
-Orders, 1929
-Orders, 1930
-Orders, C.G.S & S., 1935
-Orders, C.G.S. & S., 1936

Major Chris Nix/ Kelvin Crow 11 April 2008

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When did the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony start on Fort Leavenworth?

The tradition began in 1981 under LTG Stone.

Christmas was one of the most special days of the year in the frontier Army. Plans, both organizational and individual were made well in advance. Special meals were prepared with unusual delicacies paid for out of company funds. The day was set aside for rest and celebration and the strict rules of a military post were relaxed a bit. In some places men confined or sentenced to extra duty for minor offenses might find their sentences commuted. Whenever possible the community would prepare a religious service or special entertainment.

Fort Leavenworth was no different, and indeed had advantages over the more remote posts. Supplies for decorations and special foods were more easily had; the larger and more settled population brought more hands for the work of preparation; and the vigorous chapel programs on post added to the religious tone of the celebration. In his autobiography First Sergeant Percival Lowe mentions the annual “Winter Balls” held by the enlisted men on post in the early 1850’s. Records in the towns around Leavenworth record fancy dress balls and orders for fine receptions.

One of the historically recent traditions on Fort Leavenworth is the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. It was begun on the 16th of December 1981. The Protestant and Catholic congregations on post sponsored a post-wide Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, held at the Gazebo in Zais Park, across from the Memorial Chapel. A tree immediately in front of the Chapel was decorated and lit by LTG Howard F. Stone, the CAC Commander at the time. The ceremony included a presentation titled “Christmas in Other Lands” and a brief talk on “Christmas in Germany” by Colonel Walter von Hobe, the German liaison officer.

An announcement in the Lamp noted; “It is hoped that this presentation will begin a tradition at Fort Leavenworth, in which Americans and Allied officers and their families can share Christmas with one another. Indeed, the tradition has continued for twenty-five years to this point. Past ceremonies have included instrumental and vocal music, invocations, refreshments, civilian and military community dignitaries.

Don Rickey, Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay, 1963 (206-7).
The Lamp, December 3, 1981 (6).
Percival Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon, 1906.

Kelvin D. Crow 30 November 2006

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When did the Combat Studies Institute start?

In 1978 historical research and instruction on Fort Leavenworth consisted of the “Applied Military History Team” of the Department of Unified and Combined Operations in the Command and General Staff College. General Don Starry, the TRADOC Commander and an avid amateur historian, was inspired by the RETO (Review of Education and Training of Officers) Study of June 1978 to inquire into the wisdom of an expanded historical structure at this center of officer education and training. Major Charles R. “Reggie” Schrader, leader of the history team, wrote back with an outline of what was to become the Combat Studies Institute.

At the January 1979 TRADOC History Conference the proposed organization was thoroughly discussed and by the end of the month it was provisionally established. In the May 1979 Staff Directory for the College Major Schrader is listed as the deputy director of the Combat Studies Institute with the rest of the old Applied Military History Team listed as members of the new organization. CSI was chartered to act as the history department for the college, conduct original research on historical subjects of importance to the modern Army and to act as the TRADOC proponent for military history in the service schools. On 18 June 1979 CSI became operational.

The first director of CSI was LTC (P) William A. Stofft. Major Shrader headed the Research Committee and LTC D. M Glantz ran the teaching committee. Other early members include Dr. Roger Spiller, Dr. A. F. Chew, LTC C. D. Benson, LTC R. Brown, Ms Elizabeth Snoke, Major T. W. Sweeny, Major R. K. Griffith, Dr. Robert Berlin and Dr. E. J. Drea.

In its early days CSI was prolific, producing a number of monographs called “Leavenworth Papers” as well as nearly doubling the number of classroom hours devoted to history in CGSC fro 20 to 36. In 1980 the history proponency mission was resourced. CSI eventually became responsible for the Fort Leavenworth Centennial Celebration and the Hall of Fame. On 2 February 1980 the CAC Commander established the Combined Arms Center History Office within CSI and appointed Dr. Spiller from CSI as the first CAC Historian.

Over the succeeding years CSI became consumed with the teaching mission and its other responsibilities began to suffer. In September 2002 TRADOC Commander General John Abrams decided to re-create the Combat Studies Institute and divorce it from the History Department of the Command and General Staff College in order to prevent “mission creep” from overtaking the research and history proponency missions again. The Staff Ride team of the History Department was also made part of the new CSI in recognition of its special nature and TRADOC wide impact. In June 2003 the physical split took place, with acting director Dr. William G. Robertson moving CSI to Flint Hall. In January 2005 CSI was reorganized from the Command and General Staff College to the CAC staff and the Command History Office was again made a formal part of CSI.

Directors of the CSI:
COL William A. Stofft (1979-1984
COL Louis D. F. Frasche (1984-1988
COL Richard M. Swain (1988-1994
DR. Roger J. Spiller (Acting 1991)
COL Jerry D. Morelock (1994-1998)
COL Lawyan C. Edwards (1999-2004
COL Thomas T. Smith (2004-2005)
COL Timothy R. Reese (2005-2008)
Dr. William Glenn Robertson (2008-

1980 Combined Arms Center Historical Summary
CSI 25th Anniversary History
Oral Interview – Dr. W. G. Robertson

Kelvin D. Crow 18 April 2005

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Was there an air defense site on post during the Cold War?

Also know as the Fort Sully NIKE site and KC-80, Battery D, 5th Missile Battalion, 55th Artillery was the last fighting unit assigned to Fort Leavenworth until the 705th MPs converted some elements to TOE organization (Feb 1969-June/ July 2005). Battery D was part of the Nike-Hercules air defense system constructed during the cold war with the Soviet Union as a means of continental air defense against nuclear bombers. Major metropolitan areas, in this case Kansas City, were ringed with firing batteries like the one on Post. Although Fort Leavenworth lost its battery in 1969 to congressionally mandated budget cuts, the system lasted until the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.

Ground breaking ceremonies for the construction of D Battery were conducted at the location of the headquarters (which is now Lowe Street) on 23 July 1958. The system consisted of 100 personnel spread across this headquarters and administrative area, an Integrated Fire Control Area and a launcher site. D Battery was trained as a “package” unit at Fort Bliss, Texas under the command of Captain Guy J. Marzari and arrived on Fort Leavenworth in November 1959. It was declared operational in April 1960. D Battery was a tenant unit on Post and was commanded by 5th Missile Battalion Headquarters on Olathe Naval Air Station. Battery members were completely integrated into the social fabric of the community despite their separate status and Top Secret facilities. The unit gave regular demonstrations of their sentry dogs’ training and ferocity, conducted tours of battery facilities and sponsored annual Christmas and Easter parties for the children of Saint John’s Orphanage of Kansas City. Annual proficiency exams and live fire exercises were conducted at McGregor Firing Range in New Mexico, with the unit consistently being rated “Superior” and once “Outstanding Battery of the Year” for the 4th Region (Central US).

The Administrative area consisted of four flat roofed cinderblock buildings that were knocked down in early 2003 and replaced with family housing. The firing battery was made up of three 28-foot deep missile magazines topped by 4 firing pads each, associated support buildings and a fence and berm surrounding the whole complex. The firing battery was located along Sheridan’s Drive north of the skeet range and south of the reservoir. This area is now used by the Rod and Gun club and as an RV and boat storage area. The Integrated Fire Control Area with its distinctive radar dome was located at the top of Government Hill just east of Santa Fe Trail Road. The area is now private property and the facilities are badly deteriorated.

In August 1968 the Department of Defense announced that it would shut down KC-80, along with many other installations, to meet the budget cuts demanded by Congress in return for passing President Johnson’s ten percent income tax surcharge. By the end of that year Fort Leavenworth had shipped its Nike missiles to other installations and many personnel associated with D Battery had already departed for other assignments. By February 1969 all that remained of the Fort Sully Nike site were the hastily mothballed firing magazines and abandoned barracks.

Commanders identified from post records:
02/1961 – CPT G. J. Marzari
08/1961 – CPT R. G. Main
09/1962 – CPT R. G. Main
03/1963 – CPT M. Welch
12/1964 – CPT Helmar Narath
09/1968 – CPT James R. Tarrant

Post phone books – CAFLA, CARL
Organizational diagram collection – CAFLA, CARL
Kansas City Star 22 November 1960
Kansas City Star 16 August 1968
Leavenworth Times 4 December 1968

Kelvin D. Crow 18 April 2005

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What is the history of the post office on Post?

The oldest post office in Kansas was established on Fort Leavenworth May 29th, 1828 with Mr. Phillip Rand as Postmaster. For the first year of its existence Fort Leavenworth got its mail from Liberty Missouri, a 26 mile trip over a rough trail. After the post office was established, Fort Leavenworth had mail delivered to post three times a week. Rand served until October 16, 1828 when Thomas S. Bryant was appointed. He was succeeded by R. P. Beauchamp. Alex G. Morgan succeeded Beauchamp, having been appointed July 8, 1831. Joseph V. Hamilton was appointed April 3, 1838; Albert G. Wilson, September 5, 1839, and served to October 19, 1841, as which time the name of the office was changed to Fort Leavenworth, and Hiram Rich was appointed postmaster. Other early appointees were: Andrew G. Ege, March 12, 1862; Edward Fenlon, May 19, 1862; Elizabeth Graham, March 20, 1865; Edward Fenlon, August 8, 1865; Myers B. Haas, May 14, 1866; Michael L. Dunn, August 10, 1866; David L. Payne, March 19, 1867; Michael L. Dunn, July 20, 1867--served to July 31, 1868, when the office was discontinued for about nine months. It was re-established April 16, 1869, and Clara E. Nichols was appointed postmistress.

Little is known of the original post office locations but they were probably co-located with the Suttler’s store, near where the Memorial Chapel is located today. The 1881 map of post shows the “Postmistress” located at the southwest end of Scott Avenue, between the present Numbers 1 and 2 Scott. In 1909 a clapboard covered log cabin (built in 1835 and located just north of 612 Scott) was made the post office. It continued as such until 1928 when Boughton Memorial was completed and the post office moved there. Boughton provided the post office space as a result of a political deal. Boughton Hall is named after Colonel Daniel Hall Boughton who had been Master of the Lodge. After his death friends took up the cause of building a permanent home for the Lodge. This committee had sufficient funds, but needed permission for the construction. The Fort had been trying to get money for a new Post Office building for years. The Kansas legislative delegation saw this as a marriage made in heaven and wrote a requirement to provide space into the legislation authorizing the building.

The Boughton Hall Post Office as been renovated at least twice, the last time in 2005.

-Hunt and Lorence p.21, 253, 264
-“The Killers of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas” Alan Campbell, Chronicle, Vol 53, No1, Feb 2001
-The March of Time Revealed In Events of Local History by George J. Remsburg (published in the Leavenworth times March 19, 1950)
-Louise Barry, The Beginning of the West, p 148.
-Map, “Post of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1881” CAC History Collections.
-Topic files “Post Office”, Leavenworth County Historical Society.

Kelvin D. Crow 19 July 2005

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When was the Grand Army of the Republic reunion held on Post?

The Midwest regional elements of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) held their 1897 convention on Fort Leavenworth from October 11th through the 16th. Over 15,000 veterans camped on post and thousands more came to see the attractions associated with the reunion.

Leavenworth city boosters lobbied hard for the reunion to be held here and beat out Topeka in the final competition. It was desirable for the same reason cities today compete to be a venue for the Olympics – money. A large assembly would draw thousands of visitors who would spend tens of thousands of dollars making a tidy profit for the local businesses, as well as boosting the cities visibility and prestige. Preparations had to be made quickly, as the final site selection was not made until April 1897.

The site for the camp, named Camp Russell A. Alger for the former general and current Secretary of War was “on a knoll east of the Fort road and lying directly north of the Leavenworth, Kansas and Western tracks. The site commands a view of the Missouri River, North Leavenworth and the line of hills west of the government reservation. A large ravine runs through the center, affording excellent facilities for drainage in case of rains. Headquarters tents will be pitched on the summit of the knoll amid a grove of oak trees and will afford a complete view of the camp, The Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa headquarters will be in the northeast corner of the ground and the troops from Fort Ridley will encamp north of the headquarters.” Today, this 40 acre tract is bounded on the north by the Lewis and Clark Center, on the east by Bundel Road, on the west by Grant Avenue and on the south by Coral Creek. The headquarters were located about where Eisenhower School stands today.

Preparations on the fort were under the charge of Lieutenant Anderson. The grounds were cleared by prisoners of the Federal Penitentiary and soldiers set up the more than 1,500 white tents provided by the War Department and the Kansas militia. Two large pavilion tents gave covered space for large gatherings. Newspaper reports say this was the first reunion to be “electrically illuminated” and special lines and lights were installed for the purpose. Fresh water was piped in with a main source line buried north and south of the camp. Tents, firewood, bed straw ice and water were provided free of charge, and food was sold to veterans on the grounds at cost. Railroad platforms were constructed for the two lines that bordered the camp. Telephone and telegraph lines were run into the temporary camp to provide the latest convenience.

The city went all out for the event. The dates were selected to tie in with a flower and harvest festival. The city was illuminated with colored arc lights and businessmen were encouraged to decorate their store fronts and provide drinking water for the visitors. The city hosted a “grand carnival” with a parade and two balls. They put up a visitors bureau where “excursionists” could find information and sit to rest. The entertainment committee arranged for “vaudeville performances, minstrel shows and other attractions for the entertainment of the visitors.” They sponsored a $500 prize for the best entry in the flower parade and closed the city schools for the entire week. Two hundred school children trained to put on a living flag demonstration. Music was provided on the grounds every evening. A dozen bands attended, nine of which marched in the flower parade. There were fireworks, campfires, torch lit night parades and masked balls, all of which ended at the respectable hour of 10 PM and “no rowdyism was permitted by the police.”

Local railroads competed to bring visitors to the encampment and take campers to see the local sites. The Leavenworth, Kansas and Western; the Burlington; the Santa Fe; the Union Pacific; the Chicago, Kansas and Great Western; the Chicago Pacific and the Rock Islands lines all ran special trains with special rates. A railroad man was quoted saying that no one who has $3 to his name will miss the event. One booster estimated that 80,000 people attended all or part of the festivities.

Each day had a theme. Monday featured the 2000 old soldiers in the Leavenworth Soldiers Home. Tuesday was Kansas Department Day. Wednesday was Kansas Militia Day with the grand flower parade taking place that afternoon. Thursday was Missouri and Nebraska Day with the carnival, torch light parade and masked balls. Friday was the grand parade and review of the GAR veterans followed by a sham attack on the post by troops from Fort Riley. Saturday was Regular Army Day with two exhibition drills on the West End Parade and a naval battle on the Missouri and a night attack on the fort.

Veterans from Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska attended and the camping spaces were divided into congressional districts to make it easier for candidates to shake hands and kiss babies. The Times reported there were “almost enough politicians … to hold a State convention” and while the names may not mean much to us today, they reflected the leading men of several states. The Kansas Governor spoke at the Friday night campfire.

Fourteen years later the grounds of the old GAR reunion were again covered by soldiers temporarily on Fort Leavenworth, this time draftees for the First World War. But it would be many years more before another celebration of this magnitude was held here.

The Leavenworth Times, 1897.

Kelvin D. Crow 26 October 2006

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What is the origin of the Grant statue on Grant Avenue?

In 1889, shortly after what would have been U. S. Grant’s 75th birthday, post commander Colonel Nelson A. Miles organized a committee to raise a monument at Fort Leavenworth to the former president and general. The group commissioned the American sculptor Lorado Taft. Taft was an instructor at the Chicago Institute of Art and had just won an international award for his work at the Columbian Exhibition of 1893. He created a striking 9-foot statue atop a granite pedestal of similar height. Nearly $5,000 for the commission was raised from the soldiers and civilians on post, as well as from leading citizens of Kansas and Missouri. Senator R.S. Ingalls of Kansas was the principal speaker at the dedication. The site is near the original front entrance to the fort.

1964 Post History p106, Hunt and Lorence p279, Lorado Taft website, Grant bio website

Kelvin D. Crow 28 February 2005

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What is the history and significance of the Leavenworth Lamp?

What we know of the history and symbolism of the Leavenworth Lamp is contained in a pamphlet in the CAFLA titled “The Leavenworth Lamp” dated 7 May 1956 (CARL Special 355.007 1173 L438 1956). The Lamp was conceived by College Commandant MG Garrison H. Davidson as a symbol for the college to be presented on the 75th anniversary. The idea may have originated in the Camberley Owl of the British Staff College. MG Davidson first asked the Post Historical Committee to develop design ideas. While pleased with the suggestions he decided to solicit more ideas from a broader cross section of post and, in September 1955, appointed a committee to conduct a post-wide search for designs. Eighty-three entries were submitted, seven finalists were chosen and ultimately the top three designs received prizes. But MG Davidson was not completely satisfied with the designs and put off selecting one of the designs for a symbol of the College. In March 1956 Davidson and his Aide-de-Camp made up their own design, combining work produced for the first design contest by Mr. Fred M. Biastock and LTC W. D. Vaughn for the second design contest. This design was finalized by Mr. Reldon T. Blair of post Special Services. The resulting clay model was used by the Kansas City Missouri Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars to commission the Green Jewelry Company of 1010 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Missouri to produce the actual first Lamp. This Lamp was presented to the College at a celebration marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the College on 7 May 1956 and there adopted as the symbol of the College.

The Leavenworth Lamp is based on: “the traditional lamp of learning, symbolizing the knowledge acquired at the College – from which emerges a mailed fist symbolizing the military nature of this knowledge. Clenched in the fist are a rifle and a sword, connoting the origin of the College in 1881 as the School for Application of Infantry and Cavalry, and a guided missile symbolizing the future. The entire symbol thus represents the idea that from the College emerge leaders who, with the knowledge and control of the past, present, and future weapons of war, protect our liberty.”
(Pamphlet page 2) No reference is made to the chain or cannon balls.

Sources: Referenced pamphlet. Further research is indicated and the history of the large Lamp in front of the College should be included.

Kelvin D. Crow 10 January 2005

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When has the College run simultaneous classes?

1904-1916, 1919-1923, 1928-1935, 1942-1946, 2006-present.

In its early days the School of Application ran a two year course with First and Second sections. But this division was only a concession to the poor quality of students assigned, with the second class students spending their first year in remedial courses on general education subjects. Graduating classes did not overlap.

The first real simultaneous administration of courses that prefigure today’s CGSC began in 1904 when Army and Fort Leavenworth leaders reconstituted the Army education system after its suspension for the Spanish American War. They determined to start and graduate one class each year with a two year program of instruction. What had been The General Service and Staff College was broken into two distinct schools with two progressive and sequential one-year programs of instruction. The first year was called The Infantry and Cavalry School, a practical course designed to produce tactical experts. About one third of the class went on to a second year of study called The Staff College, a more theoretical class aimed at higher level staff work. Graduates for the first course made up the vast majority of students at the smaller second course (which was distinct from and prior to the War College). Today’s course retains elements of both schools. During the First World War the college was closed from May 1916 to September 1919. After the war the two year curriculum was resumed and maintained until 1923.

At that time the class length was shortened to one year in order to produce more graduates. A large number of officers had been brought into the Army during WWI, many without the requisite training for their position and to reduce this backlog Leavenworth had to change. By 1928 the “hump” was eliminated, but the quality of the instruction had been so compromised by the emphasis on producing large numbers of graduates that the course of instruction was lengthened to two years. In 1935 the demand for graduates again caused the length of the class to be decreased to one year.

Anticipating another European war, the Army graduated the 1939-40 class four months early and prepared to run a series of four month, extended hour classes. But the need for trained commanders and staff officers was so great that even this radical step was insufficient. A series of nine (growing to 16) week courses began in Dec 1940 and continued through May 1946. At first the classes were run nose to tail, but beginning in January 1942 they were run concurrently. The last overlapped class graduated on 31 May 1946. The first 10 month, one year postwar course began on 4 September 1946.

This course remained the standard until February 2006 when a staggered course design was again adopted. The Global War on Terror caused a large number of officers to defer attending CGSC and war footing demands on the personnel system had made graduating one class a year problematic. To resolve these issues the college added another full 10 month class that began and graduated in the winter. As with previous programs designed to relieve a backlog of student officers this is thought to be a temporary situation.

Annual Reports of the Commandant 1882-84, 1888, 1896-98, 1904-6, 1916, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1928, 1935, 1936.
Hunt and Lorence, The History of Fort Leavenworth 1827-1937.
Orville Z. Tyler, The History of Fort Leavenworth 1937-1951.
Timothy K. Ninninger, The Leavenworth Schools and the Old Army.
Boyd L. Dastrup, A Centennial History of the US Army Command and General Staff College.
David Johnson, The United States Army Command and General Staff School During World War II.
Fort Leavenworth PAO press release, Flag Ceremony Marks Start of Second Class.

Kelvin D. Crow 7 April 2006

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When did troops from Fort Leavenworth first invade and burn parts of Missouri?

Laurence Pensineau (or less likely his brother Paschal) ran a “Trading House” at the Rialto Landing on the east side of the Missouri River across from Fort Leavenworth. Rialto was where the contractor operated steam ferry from the Fort landed on the east bank.

In October 1833 Superintendent William Clark issued a license to trade with the Kickapoo Indians to Laurence Pensineau “At the first point of the bluffs above Salt creek, about 3 1/2 miles above Fort Leavenworth.” This officially sanctioned trading post was on the west or Kansas side of the river. Here Pensineau traded with the tribe, became familiar with Kennekuk (the Prophet), married a Kickapoo, had children and hosted the Catholic mission to the tribe. But he also established a trading house on the east side of the river near the mouth of Pensineau’s Creek which became known as Pensineau’s Landing or Rialto. Here the trader was squatting on Indian land and reportedly ran an establishment catering to the soldiers where gambling, whiskey drinking and prostitution took place.

In 1838 the Army retained the Timber Reserve on the East bank, and designed it specifically to include the troublesome facility which had been supplying whisky to both soldiers and Indians. According to the Missouri Parks interpreter for Weston Bend State Park, the Army burned out the facility after establishing the timber reserve to insure they were rid of the business. By 1842 a new trader, William Hildreth, had the concession with the Kickapoo.

The location of the Pensineau facility is indicated on the 1838 map of the timber reserve in the museum. According to Park personnel the foundation is still visible and will be marked with an interpretive sign.

Hunt and Lorence, FAM map collection.
Dianne Russell of Weston Bend State Park.
Louise Barry, The Beginning of the West.

Kelvin D. Crow 21 Jan 2004

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What did Fort Leavenworth do during World War I?

While Fort Leavenworth’s principle contribution to victory in “The Great War” was made before the United States entered the contest, the post was abuzz with war-related activity during the period 1916-1919.

The School of the Line and the Staff School at Fort Leavenworth were closed in May 1916 “for the duration of the war” and most of the students and instructors returned to their regiments. During the war Leavenworth graduates proved the value of the school with their contributions as unit commanders and senior staff officers. General John J. Pershing, commander of US Forces in France, was so impressed with Leavenworth graduates that he used some to create his own staff college at Langres, France where the “Leavenworth method” was imparted almost within sound of the guns. After the war he stated: “In the light of experience I declare without hesitation that but for the training in General Staff duties given our officers at the Service Schools, at home before the war and in France during the war, our successful handling of great masses of partially trained troops in operations … could not have been possible.” The College reopened in September 1919.

Fort Leavenworth remained a center of military education and training even with the College out of session. The Army held a series of Reserve Officer Training Camps on post and several specialized units were organized, trained and deployed from the fort. The 6th Signal Battalion, consisting of men who worked in the communications industry in peacetime, mobilized on post and trained for three months before deploying to France. The Reserve Signal Corps School continued on post throughout the war. The 7th and 31st Engineers also trained on post before they deployed, building full sized model entrenchments where housing areas now stand. The Reserve Officer Training Camps brought in provisional Signal and Engineer officers in grades from Second Lieutenant to Major and trained them as “ninety-day wonders” for service with the National Army. Thousands of service members, officer and enlisted, started their military training at Fort Leavenworth.

The post also hosted an induction center used for all branches of the Army. Newly drafted soldiers from across the region arrived daily at the hastily constructed camp, where they were processed into the Army before being sent on to training camps, Like Camp Funston at Fort Riley, Kansas. After the war the process was reversed and thousands of impatient soldiers from the region sat through lectures on Liberty Loan allotments and war-risk insurance while waiting for discharged through what was now a “demobilization camp.”

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of First World War service at Fort Leavenworth was the imprisonment of several hundred conscientious objectors (COs) in the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB or DB). WWI draft laws allowed for COs to be exempt from combat service, but not from military service altogether. Thousands did medical work or some sort of menial labor rather than risk killing another human being. About 300 COs did time in the DB for refusing to do any kind of military service; some even to wearing a uniform. A few were members of the traditional “peace churches” but a surprising number based their objections on political or social grounds such as members of the International Socialists or International Workers of the World. Two Hutterite brothers died while in DB custody, sparking a congressional review and becoming an early cause celeb for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Hunt and Lorence, History of Fort Leavenworth, 1937
War Department, Annual Report, 1917, 1918, 1919.
The Army and Navy Journal, various issues 1917-1919.
National Civil Liberties Bureau, “Political Prisoners in Federal Military Prisons,” 21 Nov 1918.
Mennonite Weekly Review 9 Dec 2002.

Kelvin D. Crow 10 October 2006

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What did Fort Leavenworth do during World War II?

The Command and General Staff College was the only higher-level school the Army kept open for the Second World War. The post made additional contributions as an induction and discharge center and host to a greatly enlarged Disciplinary Barracks.

Learning from the mistakes of the past, the Army not only kept CGSC open for WWII, it greatly expanded the number of students and the number of courses taught. Beginning in January 1940 classes were shorted to the barest of essential subjects and the class day lengthened so the students could graduate and go on to an expanding Army. Class length for the premier course was ten weeks. Separate classes were organized that further refined the curriculum based on the next assignment of the students. Finally, the number of students assigned to each class was expanded to the maximum that could possibly be accommodated with the combined result that Leavenworth trained the thousands of commanders and staff officers for the largest Army our nation has ever seen. General Eisenhower recognized Leavenworth’s contribution to battle in his theater; “The stamp of … Leavenworth is on every American battle in Europe and Africa.”

The post hosted other courses during the war. There was a class for senior civilian leaders from business and industry, classes for Reserve and National Guard staffs, an Army-Navy joint staff college, classes for Brazilian officers taught in Portuguese and French and a class for Spanish speaking Latin American officers. Classes were also conducted for nations from the Pacific. A class of aviation cadets from the Dutch East Indies completed their pilots training at the post airfield, and officers from the Philippines trained on post for the invasion of Japan.

As in WWI the post hosted an induction station even though the scope of modern warfare had outgrown the tiny station. More than 400,000 men passed through the reception station of which 318,000 completed the induction process here. After the war the process was reversed, just as it had been in the First World War, and almost 150,000 men returned to civilian life from the vicinity of Corral Creek.

The United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) returned to Army control from the Department of Justice in December 1940 and was rapidly filled to capacity and beyond. By 1945 the USDB had an inmate population of 34,766 men. Only the worst of the worst were kept in the Castle. Satellite camps ranging from GP Medium tents surrounded by barbed wire to full scale prisons contained the majority of the prisoners. Leavenworth controlled ten major branch prisons across the continental US and nine rehabilitation centers which eventually returned 17,450 men to the combatant force. Most of the inmates were in prison for non-violent offenses; 39% were in for AWOL and 30% for desertion. Seventy five percent of the population was sentenced to five years or less.

John Parton, A Brief History of Fort Leavenworth, 1983.
Orville Tyler, The History of Fort Leavenworth 1937-1951, 1951.
Richard Whittingham, Martial Justice, 1971.
USDB, History, 26 April 1946.

Kelvin D. Crow 16 October 2006

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What were the “galvanized yankees” and when were they on post?

Galvanized Yankees were former Confederate prisoners of war who enlisted into the Union Army as a way to get out of the increasingly crowded camps. Prudently, they were sent to the far west to fight Indians rather than be sent into line against their former comrades.

The draft was unpopular in the north and President Lincoln authorized the establishment of new US regiments from Confederate POWs at Rock Island to fill the ranks, over the objections of President Grant and Secretary of War Stanton. The experiment started with two regiments and eventually grew to six (approx 5,000 men). Two regiments were sent to Fort Leavenworth, closing on post by the end of February 1865. The officers of the units were northern men, but all were shunned by the rest of the fort as "double traitors" or those who would consent to command such. Two notables among the soldiers assigned to Fort Leavenworth were Captain John T. Shanks - a former southerner and scoundrel; and Henry M. Stanley who later as a newspaper reporter discover Dr. Livingston in Africa. From Leavenworth the units were sent to the lonely frontier posts, where they combated disease and numerous engagements with hostile natives. All the units were discharged by late 1866.

Some details of the assignments of specific units are to be found in the records of post. The 3rd US Volunteers left Fort Leavenworth in March 1865 under Colonel Christopher McNally to guard mail and telegraphy lines along the Platte river road (in what is today Nebraska).

No note is made in the post returns of the arrival of Company H, 3rd US Volunteer Infantry, but this is not unusual. Companies C, G, K, Service and Band 3rd US Volunteer Infantry arrived on 17 April 1866 and all were discharged in September of that year. Presumably the regiment arrived and departed the post so quickly it did not appear on the monthly report.

Sources: Sentinel of the Plains - Walton, pp 133,134
Frontiersmen in Blue - Utley, p308
History of Fort Leavenworth 1827-1937 - Hunt and Lorence, p. 232

Kelvin D. Crow 26 October 2006

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Why are there German graves in the old USDB cemetery?

The graves of fourteen German Prisoners of War are in the USDB cemetery on Fort Leavenworth. They came to be here because the post held German and Italian POWs convicted of crimes while in POW status and the Geneva Conventions require the custodial powers to exercise judicial control over the prisoners in their hands. These men were tried, convicted and executed for murdering their fellow POWs. While there has been much talk over the years of repatriating the bodies, nothing has ever come of it. The graves have been decorated in the German tradition since soon after the executions by local residents of German descent.

There is some confusion over the execution site. Vincent Green in Extreme Justice and Richard Whittingham in Martial Justice both say the execution took place in building 466. But their narratives, and that of the other witness, say the execution took place in an elevator shaft and 466 does not now and did not in 1945 have an elevator or shaft. The MP’s teach their new soldiers it took place in 465 because that building does have an elevator. They even point to handprints in the cement and scratches in the walls said to be made by the condemned men as they were executed.

The witnesses to the executions do not say where it took place, but their writings give us the following clues. They say the building was:
  • One of the oldest buildings on post
  • Once a warehouse, tailor shop, electrical shop and salvage warehouse
  • It had an elevator shaft 8 feet square
  • Three stories high with a basement.
  • Had room inside for a large crowd of people (7 reporters, three executioners, Col, Priest, Minister, military observers, at least 15)
  • You could get to the basement by going out the front door, around the corner and downhill.
  • It was 300 feet or 250 yards from the Castle depending on the source.
I believe it was 467. This building was built in 1887 (58 years old at the time of the executions) and one of the older buildings on post. It has seen use as a warehouse, shoe shop, and was at the time the salvage warehouse. It had large open bays, it was three stories high with a basement and it has a back door around the corner and downhill from the main entrance. While it does not now have an elevator, the architectural drawings on file in with the post engineers show that it did have an elevator, in an 8-foot square shaft, in 1945.

Building 465 was built in 1929, making it just 16 years old at the time of the execution. It is 4 stories high, and was built for and in use as the medical and dental clinic in 1945. It has an elevator, but it is only 7 feet across and is placed in such a way that no more than a few persons could observe the goings on, not the crowd the observers record. Finally, it is just too close to the main entrance of the Castle.

LTC Raymond Orr, QM for the prison, had to design a system that was inside because of the weather and the need for privacy, and that could be quickly set up and torn down. He chose to use an elevator shaft. To operate the gallows the elevator was placed on the 3rd floor, and a platform was set up on the 1st floor with a 7-foot drop into the basement. Rope used was 7/8" hemp looped around a 4X10" beam swung over the site from the 2nd floor. The trap door was a 3-foot square opening with a black circle painted on it to show the condemned man where to stand. It was operated by a 4-foot lever. The condemned man was marched out from the main door of the prison (some say with a 13 man guard detail) in as full a German uniform as could be made available. He was placed on the scaffold and the charges (89th and 92nd articles of war – riot and murder) and sentence were again read to him. He was given the chance to make a last statement. Then his headgear was removed, his arms bound behind him and his feet tied together, a black bag placed over his head and the noose fitted to his neck. The Commandant of the DB, Colonel William S. Easley, said, “May God have mercy on your soul.” and gave a signal to the executioner who pulled the lever to release the trap door. The post surgeon, Major Roy Cram, and two other doctors were stationed in the basement to certify death. After the priest had cut a portion of the bag away to anoint the dying man with oil, one of the doctors would climb the stepladder every five minutes to check for heart function. This took an average of 19 minutes. The whole execution, from the time the group left the front door, took only about 30 minutes. Each could begin immediately after the removal of the body because a hangman’s knot was tied in the opposite end of the rope while waiting for the previous man to expire. After he died the old knot was cut away and the process repeated.

German graves: Three sets, all having to do with murder by POWS of POWS.

First 5: (Taken from Extreme Justice by Vincent Green). The cast of characters:

  • 1st Sergeant Walter Beyer (32): Leader of the group that executed Kunze.
  • SSG Berthold Seidel (30): another defendant who was executed.
  • SGT Hans Demme (23) - executed. Admitted to holding the victim down.
  • Willi Scholz (22)- executed
  • Hans Schomer (27) - executed
  • Victim: Corporal Johannes Kunze: 40 year old Afrika Korps vet who offered to trade information to the Americans for the opportunity to settle in California.
  • Def Attorney LTC Alfred Petsch
  • Prosecutor LTC Leon Jaworski
The scene of the crime was the Tonlowa, Oklahoma POW camp in 1943. Corporal Kunze offered to trade information on German defenses for a transfer to a California POW camp and an option to stay on there after the war. Unfortunately for him camp officials asked a German POW to translate one of the notes he gave them and the word got back to the prisoners that he was a traitor. Beyer activated his midnight chain of command after the Americans had left for the day and read out the damming letter to the assembled company. Kunze was then beaten to death by the mob. The MPs burst in about 30 minutes after he was dead and inspected the prisoners for bloodstains on their clothing or other evidence they had been involved. In the trial it was established the men executed on Fort Leavenworth were among the “guiltiest” of the mob.

After conviction they were moved to the basement of wing 4 in the Castle with the 9 other German POWs. After a review by the Army Board of appeals the President approved their sentence and notification was made to the Germans. By now it was April 1945. A swap was agreed to, but the German government fell first. This group was executed on July 10th 1945

The next two graves are those of:
  • Sergeant Erick Gauss (32)
  • Private Rudolf Straub (39)
These two murdered Corporal Horst Gunther, age 24, at Camp Gordon, Georgia on April 6th, 1944. Gunther was suspected of anti-nazi sentiments, particularly because he liked jazz music and might have alerted the authorities to a pending prisoner work stoppage. He was convicted in abstentia by a court of his fellow prisoners, lured from his tent and strangled to death by these two in front of 5 witnesses. His body was then taken to a telephone pole and hung to make it appear as if he had committed suicide.

The last seven executed (taken from The Last Mass Execution and from Richard Wittingham’s Martial Justice) were:
  • Helmut Fisher (24)
  • Fritz Franke (23)
  • Guenther Kuelsen (22)
  • Heinrigh Ludwig (21)
  • Bernhard Reyak (20)
  • Otto Stengel (19)
  • Rold Wizuy (18)
They murdered Werner Drexler, a young U boat man. His boat was attacked and he was captured and taken to Fort Hunt, a special Naval interrogation center. There he was turned into American agent used to collected info on other German prisoners. When his utility was over he was shipped to Ft. Leonard Wood and turned over to the Army’s 9th Service command. 9th Service Commandhad responsibility for all POW operations in the western United States. There was a note in his file not to put him in with other U boat POWs or he would be recognized and compromised. But he was mysteriously moved (March 12th 1944) to Papago Park, a POW Camp in Arizona desert, with a pop of 4,000 U boat sailors. He was immediately recognized, tried by a kangaroo court of petty officers then beaten and hung in the shower room. He was dead in 6 ½ hours after arrival.

Seven men were held responsible for the murder, but the whole camp was complicit. One man caught because of wounds to his hands in the scuffle. He was taken to special interrogation center and he implicated the others after questioning. The group was tried Aug 15th 1944 in a secret court martial before a court of twelve US Army officers. All were found guilty and sentenced to death. On January 29th, 1945 the group arrived at the USDB. The court martial judgment was reviewed on appeal and approved by President Roosevelt. The verdict was then communicated to the German government. Hitler immediately sentenced 7 apparently random American POWs to death and proposed a swap. American Secretary of War Stimpson agreed. But in the detailed negotiations Germany required transcripts of the trials be provided to them and this would reveal several secret US interrogation techniques. In confusion the US delayed the swap and the breakup of the Nazi government toward the end of the war lead to further delays. In the mean time advancing allied troops overran the German POW camps where the condemned Americans were held. Eventually Germany surrendered and President Roosevelt died. There was now no question of turning over the condemned men and the new president would have to review and re-sign the death warrants. President Truman did sign the warrant on June 3rd 1945 and the prisoners were executed 25 August 1945.

There is a rumor that the POWs were buried face down because of hard feelings over the then recent discoveries of the horrible conditions in the German concentration camps. There is no proof either way, but if they were buried in this way it was without official sanction.

Kelvin D. Crow 26 October 2006

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What is the history of the Officer's Club on post?

Fort Leavenworth Officer’s Club Annotated Historical Timeline:

1877 Fort Leavenworth Officer’s Mess or Club established. Occupied the newly build officer quarters at 42 McClellan Ave with War Department Authorization. It was immediately popular and an annex was built to accommodate the large number of visitors to the post. Although large, Leavenworth offers few competitive hospitality venues.
1880 Photo of Officers Club at Building 42 in Museum.
1904 Addition built to the Officers Club at 42 McClellan.
1925 Officers Club builds the golf course clubhouse.
1939 Photo of Officers’ Club at 42 McClellan in Museum.
1940 New Officer’s Club building under construction. Beginning on the “golden age” of the club on Fort Leavenworth. Active duty cooks, clerks and managers staffed the clubs, and other appropriated fund were found. Membership was near universal because of the quality of the service and command pressure. Fine dining at a low price was considered a fringe benefit of service. In the general population it was the era of the “company man”, who thought nothing of drinking the evening away with friends from work.
1941 “Students ate in the vast polished dining room of the newly completed officers’ mess. Busses were provided for transportation to meals, but many students walked for the exercise. Walking was desirable because of the sedentary academic life and the excellence of the cuisine which threatened waistlines. However, the bitterness of the Kansas February occasionally made the dash across the snowy gulch to the mess excruciatingly uncomfortable and even hazardous.”

“Students were generally seated at 10-man tables… Under the careful eye of Mrs. Mella, who has probably provided more meals for more officers than any other Army hostess, they were served with appropriate decorum by uniformed waitresses. Meals were exceptionally good and made the compulsory exercise periods entirely in order. Especially the evening meal was apt to be full of banter and tales of scholastic misadventure. The welcome gaiety was prolonged as long as possible in anticipatory dread of the onerous routine of nightly study which commenced at 7:30 PM.” (Tyler, page 13)

“By Saturday noon the students were ready and encouraged to relax. Some departed for weekends at the Muehlebach in Kansas City. A steak dinner at the old Savoy Grill was in order. Later they might visit the Southern Mansion, the Bellerive, or the Officers’ Club at the Phillips. There was also always a dance at the Officers’ Club on Post. Here it was pleasant to dance in the gay atmosphere of a military ball, laugh with the ladies of the faculty members, or gather in a group around the piano after the dance was over.” (Tyler, page 15.)
1944 Gen. Truesdell calculates the mess capacity of the Post as follows:
McClellan Mess - 284
Student Officers’ Mess - 700
Officers’ Mess - 320
Post Exchange Restaurant – 200 (Tyler, page 21)
1945 “Royal amenities such as silver, crystal and fine eating for a low price were a fringe benefit – one not overlooked by accountants when assessing an officer’s total compensation. In addition, the club’s back-room bars historically attracted fun-loving and rowdy officers quick to share a drink and hair-raising stories.” (Culver p.6.)
1947 Post Commander Gen. Gerow “concerned himself with the administration of his large garrison. He supervised the improvement of the facilities and management of the Officers’ Club.” (Tyler, page 27). 50% of the general population belongs to some form of club. (Putnam p.253 [and further])
1970's Army reverses its traditional support of smoking and drinking. Officers thought to “have a problem” were eased out and those caught DUI find their career ends. The most profitable aspects of the club system lose profit margin. The post Vietnam drawdown reduces funding and clientele. 30% of the general population belongs to some kind of club. Social activity is removed from the Officers Efficiency Report.
1975 Design guide 1110-3-134 describes the officers club as: “a private organization established to provide dining and recreation facilities for its members. The major club activity, and its major source of revenue, is the provision of meals and beverage service for members. A well-managed and attractive club will play a significant role in maintaining installation morale. The club is the off-duty social center for its members and is the place of the installation which most approximates the civilian environment. The Army club is an unusual military facility in that it must produce revenue and support itself, in a way similar to its civilian counterparts, and is in competition with comparable facilities outside. On a remote installation this competition may not be significant, but for those installations located near major cities, civilian competition has a significant bearing on the club operation.”
1978 Special Services MOSs discontinued. 14,000 personnel removed from NAF activities Army wide. Clubs staffed entirely with civilians, increasing costs while revenues continue to decline. (Bercham, p.20)
1980s AAFES takes over Class VI stores, cutting another revenue stream. Military pay increases 10% in 1981 and 3 to 4 percent annually thereafter. Officers can afford civilian prices. Commercial VCRs become available and tape rental popular. Average household gets two TVs (Putnam p. 223). Driving to Kansas City for entertainment is easy, two career families began to strain ties to the military social system and VCR’s make staying at home for entertainment more popular. The county experiences a health and fitness boom that discourages alcohol consumption and rich foods. Less than 20% of the general population belongs to a club.
1987 Havana Beach Club opens (aka “Club Annex”).
1989 Parnell, Kerr and Foster study concludes the building is too large and the club focus out of step with the new clientele.
1990s Post Cold War “Peace Dividend” drawdown reduces funding and clientele. Home internet access become widely available and the fatherhood evolves to the “New-Dad,” a man more involved in the lives of his young children and less likely to spend time socializing after work. 10% of the general population belongs to some kind of club.
1991 Officers’ Club cannot make a profit and closes. Frontier Crossroad Club opens doors to NCO’s, but is still losing close to $400,000 a year.
1992 “Landaur study” (US Army Community and Family Support Center) concludes Fort Leavenworth is unable to profitably sustain an officers’ club.
1996 Frontier Crossroads Club closes because of unprofitability. Facility is made available for meetings as the Frontier Conference Center.
2001 Solarium Buffet opens in Frontier Conference Center. Lounge opened in October. Objective is to feed CAS3 students. Unable to break even and closes in less than a year. Less than 5% of the general population belongs to some kind of club.

--Oral interviews, Sue Frame, Gary Colston DCA
--Hunt and Lorence pages 129, 268, 270, 276
--Bowling Alone, Robert D. Putnam, 2000
--US Army Community and Family Support Center website
--The Will is the Key to Victory, Nick Berchem, 2001

Kelvin D. Crow 26 October 2006

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What was the Fort's relationship with the Kickapoo tribe?

Relations with the Kickapoo Tribe:

8-15 August 1830
— Fort Leavenworth is host to a peace council of the Otoes, Omahas, Iowas, Sac, Delaware, Shawnee and Kickapoo. The Tribes pledge amity and friendship.

26 November 1832
— Deputations of four Kickapoo chiefs sign a treaty accepting the Kansas reservation on Fort Leavenworth. Among the chiefs was Kennekuk, the Kickapoo prophet. Price was a first year payment of $18K, then $5K per year for 19 years. $1K per year for 5 years to support a blacksmith and strikers, $3,700 to build a mill and a church, $500 per year for 10 years to support a school, $4000 per year for labor and improvements on the land and $4000 in livestock to get herds started.

9 October 1833
— Trade grant given for a store at the mouth of the Salt Creek.

8-13 November 1833
— Peace Council between the resident and the immigrant tribes.
— Methodist Mission opens. Eventually has a day school.

13-23 October 1834
— Annuities distributed on Fort Leavenworth for the first time by 2lt John Freeman of the 6th Infantry.

13 June 1836
— Captain Duncan holds council with the Kickapoo over a victory dance held in celebration of a Seminole victory over the Army in Florida.

16 July 1839
— Wapuatuck kills the Kickapoo Blacksmith. Arrested and incarcerated on Fort Leavenworth. Although released in 1841, this incident harms the school and sets the policy of acculturation back in the tribe.

Sep 1842.
— The trader reports selling excess production of corn, beef, pork, hides and potatoes for the tribe.

April 1844
— First prefab building in Kansas is put up on the Kickapoo reservation. 33X16 erected by three men in one morning.

Spring 1848
— Government provides 40 yoke of work oxen to the Kickapoo, paying $2, 270 for them.
— Battle with the Kansa and the Comanchies while out west hunting buffalo.

Summer 1848
— Government provides 19 cows and calves to the tribe. Cost $237.64.
— Some time in here the government provides vaccination against small pox to the tribe.

October 10-17 1848
— Great council on the Fort promoting peace and good relations among the tribes on the state. 13 tribes represented, Only the Osage excluded from this confederation.

Feb 12th 1849
— Fort Leavenworth troops sent out to run off trespasser on Kickapoo lands.

May-August 1849
— Cholera outbreak in eastern Kansas.

April 2nd 1850
— Troops from the fort lay out a new northern road across the Kickapoo lands using Kickapoos as guides. The road is a great success. While it appears crooked, it follows the contours of the land and thus remains nearly flat.

May 1860
— New year’s crop of 49er's bound for California cross Kickapoo lands in the thousands.

1 July 1851
— Fort Leavenworth agency replaced with the greater Nemaha Agency for the Kickapoo.

February 1852
— Kennekuk dies. The "principal chief" of the Kickapoo, he had for years held a separate church, incorporating many good practices, but based on much superstition.

April 21st, 1854
— Kickapoo delegation leaves for Washington to discuss cession treaties. As soon as the chief and the Indian Agent are aboard rascals sneak onto reservation lands and mark out claims.

May 18th 1854
— Kickapoo cede all but 150,000 acres in the western part of their old reserve.
— With territory status, Army responsibility for relations with the tribe essentially end.

-The Beginning of the West: Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the America West, 1540-1854, Louise Barry, (1972)

Kelvin D. Crow 26 October 2006

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Last Reviewed: August 7, 2014

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