Mile 568- Fort Riley, Kansas (Modern Day)
On the first day of January 1826 Robert’s party reached what is now Fort Riley, Kansas. When they arrived at the junction of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers, there was no white settlements. This would have been in the area of the Pawnee nation’s territory.
Fort Riley began its life nearly 30 years after Robert’s party passed through. Camp Center, as it was first called, was established by Captain Robert Chilton, 1st Dragoons. Camp Center was so named because the surveyors believed it was close to the geographic center of the United States. However, on June 27, 1853 Camp Center was renamed Fort Riley, in honor of Major General Bennett C. Riley. The military units stationed at Fort Riley were responsible for protecting trails and mail trains that were heading further West.