Fort Benning students visit historic Riverside mansion for special tour
Fort Benning Public Affairs /
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Fifth graders from E.A. White and Dexter elementary schools visited the historic Riverside mansion Dec. 13, and as a special treat, they received a personally guided tour from one of its current residents, Cindy Wesley, wife of Maj. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, commanding general of Fort Benning and the Maneuver Center of Excellence.
The oldest structure on Fort Benning, Riverside was built in 1909 by Arthur Bussey, a Columbus businessman.
The kitchen, part of an old meeting house, was moved to Riverside on logs from Lumpkin Road and dates back to the early 1800s.
When Bussey finished, Riverside had two parlors and a dining room. Although designed as a summer home, several fireplaces were also added. The wood panels and floors are made of pine. The home is surrounded by verandas, while flowers and towering oak trees decorate the property.
One room features paintings from World War I, including one signed by President Woodrow Wilson. The dining room contains a mural of Confederate Gen. Henry Lewis Benning, along with a long, wooden table that was an old meeting spot.
In July 1971, the five-bedroom home was added to the National Register of Historic Sites.
Riverside became a military quarters in 1918 after the Infantry School moved to Columbus from Fort Sill, Okla. Since then, most of the Fort Benning commandants and commanding generals have resided there.
Other notable Army legends also lived on the property.
General of the Army George C. Marshall, a lieutenant colonel and assistant commandant from November 1927 to June 1932, lived in a dwelling behind the home that was later demolished.
Between August 1926 and January 1927, General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower occupied quarters to the right and in the front of the mansion. At the time, the future president was a major and commander of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry.
A large plaque in a first-floor hallway bears the dates and names of former commanding generals who resided at Riverside.