The commissary warehouse, which stored the fort's food supply, was located behind this sign. The commissary officer was responsible for food storage and preventing loss from theft and spoilage. Bars on the windows kept out enlisted men trying to supplement their meager daily rations.
In contrast to enlisted rations, the officers' "mess," as described by Captain Albert Barnitz in an 1867 letter to his wife, Jennie, sounds like a feast.
[W]e have good cooks, and the following is our bill of fare: French beef or buffalo meat roasted, boiled or fried. Potatoes - Eggs - ham - fresh peas (canned) - canned peaches, cherries and tomatoes etc.-canned - peach pies, fresh bread - stewed peaches - pickles - warm cakes, etc. etc?we have excellent coffee - ?Java.'