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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tucson in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Infantry Barracks / Laundresses’ Quarters

 
 
Infantry Barracks / Laundresses' Quarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, December 27, 2016
1. Infantry Barracks / Laundresses' Quarters Marker
Inscription. The infantry barracks (no longer in existence) were 75 feet north of the hospital. The one-story building, like all of the barracks at Fort Lowell, had walls 20 inches thick, a dirt roof, and a wooden porch. The barracks were 20 feet wide and 145 feet long, with a 20-by-50-foot kitchen building out back.

From 1873 to 1886, 11 companies of infantry were stationed here, with one or two companies usually on duty. They protected ranches and railroads, provided escorts, and watched waterholes for Apaches resisting confinement on the reservation. The infantryman was less mobile and less expensive to maintain than his counterpart in the cavalry. He rarely saw combat in Arizona Territory.

Laundresses' Quarters

The laundresses' quarters at Fort Lowell sat northeast of the infantry barracks. They consisted of 8 adobe structures, each of which had two 15-by-15 foot rooms.

From 1803 until 1883, when the army phased them out, laundresses were the only women with official status in the army. Commanders appointed 4 laundresses from each company and furnished them with rations, fuel, transportation, medical services and housing. They received their salary on payday when, under the watchful eye of the company commander, every soldier paid the women from $1.00 to $1.50 a month.

Lt. Col. George
Infantry Barracks / Laundresses' Quarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, December 27, 2016
2. Infantry Barracks / Laundresses' Quarters Marker
A. Forsyth, a post commander of Fort Lowell, observed of the laundresses, "They were good, honest, industrious wives, usually well on in years, minutely familiar with their rights which they dared to maintain with acrimonious volubility, as became the martially inclined, and they were ever ready for a fight, yet they were kind at heart if rough in manner, always ready to assist in times of distress."
 
Location. 32° 15.637′ N, 110° 52.426′ W. Marker is in Tucson, Arizona, in Pima County. Marker can be reached from North Craycroft Road. Touch for map. Marker is in Fort Lowell Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2900 North Craycroft Road, Tucson AZ 85712, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Post Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Lowell 1873-1891 / Post Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Cavalry Barracks and Band Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Lowell (within shouting distance of this marker); Cottonwood Lane (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Lowell (about 300 feet away); The Fort Lowell Flagstaff (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tucson.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWars, US Indian
 
Photo displayed on marker. image. Click for full size.
circa 1885
3. Photo displayed on marker.
4th Cavalry baseball team, Lt. James B. Erwin (seated center). Behind team is the infantry barracks.
Graphic displayed on marker. image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, December 27, 2016
4. Graphic displayed on marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 31, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 31, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 131 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 31, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.
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