The name Fort Leavenworth has always had ominous connotations to me. At the occasion of my oldest brother’s military retirement ceremony, I was presented a chance to go see for myself. The place is beautiful, perhaps not inside the prison itself, but Fort Leavenworth as a whole is quite attractive. The Santa Fe and Oregon trails crossed the Missouri River here at Ft. Leavenworth, and you can still see the depressions from the wagon trains. Thomas Custer - of “Custer’s last stand” fame - is interred here in the fort’s National Cemetery along with Henry Leavenworth and many others. Interestingly, Leavenworth being a military prison, prisoners obviously died here. They’re buried in a separate, out-of-the-way cemetery and all headstones face west, away from the rising sun in the east. This was done to emphasize their shame even after death.

Photos of Ft. Leavenworth