Fort Scott in Bourbon County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Rank, Privilege, and Oﬃcers Row
To see evidence of the rigid military caste system in the Old Army, compare the substantial homes along Officers Row in front of you to the enlisted men's barracks behind you. A soldier's rank determined his position both professionally and socially. The quality and arrangement of quarters at Fort Scott and other military posts reflected the army's segregated system.
Separate quarters for officers and enlisted men kept the two classes apart. Rank also dictated that the elegant homes of officers were at the best location on the parade ground. To further cement the caste system, the walkway in front of Officers Row was off limits to enlisted men and post laundresses; they used a separate walkway from their barracks to the well.
By the time this photo (above) was taken in the 1870s, the homes along Officers Row were privately owned. Compare the buildings in the photo to the scene today, noting that the third structure and half of the fourth are now gone.
The surviving houses are original. Their exteriors have been restored to their appearance of the 1840s and 50s. They are duplexes. Each side contains six rooms, plus hallways, arranged on three levels - ample space for one officer, his family, and servants.
Erected 1998 by National Park Service.
Location. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of the Fort Scott National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Scott KS 66701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "But I Can Fire a Pistol" (here, next to this marker); "Hardy, Dashing Looking Fellows" (within shouting distance of this marker); Back Yards (within shouting distance of this marker); "A Most Deplorable Condition" (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Hotel: Symbol of Strife (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tallgrass Prairie Trail (about 300 feet away); "The Crack Post of the Frontier" (about 300 feet away); Infantry Life (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Scott.
Also see . . . Fort Scott NHS Historic Structures Report - Officers Row. (Submitted on September 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Patriots & Patriotism • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 573 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.