In 1852 the increasing numbers of westward-bound pioneers and trappers along the Santa Fe Trail and Oregon Trail provoked American Indians into attacking; a year later, Fort Riley was built to help protect them. Named for Maj. Gen. Bennet Riley who fought in the Mexican War. Man Calvary regiments were organized at this Post, including Maj. Gen. George A. Custers Seventh Cavalry.
Fort Riley is still home to combat units of the 5th United States Army. The 101,000-acre, 10,000-personnel military reservation includes camps Forsyth, Funston and Whitside, Marshall Army Air Field and the Custer Hill area. There is also a corral containing American bison. Fort Riley is located two miles northeast of Junction City and just southwest of Manhattan on Hwy 18; Milford Lake and Milford State Park are nearby.