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
Erected 1998 by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts and Castles.
Location. 37° 50.648′ N, 94° 42.296′ W. Marker is in Fort Scott, Kansas, in Bourbon County. Marker can be reached from Old Fort Boulevard. Marker is on the grounds of the Fort Scott National Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Scott KS 66701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); Call 911: Civil War Style (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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Scott.
Also see . . . Fort Scott NHS Historic Structures Report - Officers Row. National Park Service website entry (Submitted on September 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 736 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.