Fort Riley was established in 1853 near where the Smoky Hill River and Republican River join to form the Kansas River. During the 1850s, officers such as Philip St. George Cooke, "JEB" Stuart, and John Buford were stationed here and participated in events that came to be known as "Bleeding Kansas." The first territorial legislature met at the fort in the summer of 1855. During the Civil War, as regular troops returned East, the fort was garrisoned by state militia units who continued to protect the frontier.
Lecompton, Kansas | Artifacts on display in the museum include those from the 1856 Battle of Ft. Titus, the first "Bleeding Kansas" battle where deaths occurred between proslavery and free state combatants.