A Soldier Town

A Soldier Town (HMQV4)

Location: Larned, KS 67550 Pawnee County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 11.113', W 99° 13.14'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
For travelers arriving on the Santa Fe Trail, Fort Larned must have looked more like a small town than a fortified place. In the early years, about 150 soldiers lived here in the summers. During the Indian Wars, as many as 400 troops called Fort Larned home.

In the open spaces around this post, civilian travelers, freighters, craftsmen, Santa Fe traders, and sutlers mingled with government Indian agents, scouts, cavalrymen, infantry soldiers, and commissioned officers.

[Text around inset photos follows]

Many of the common soldiers in these barracks had recently come to America from Germany, eastern Europe, France, and Ireland. These bunkhouses were open living spaces for many soldiers. Enlisted men had no right to privacy.

Skilled civilians - wheelwrights, tinsmiths, painters, and blacksmiths - worked to keep the hundreds of government wagons on the Trail rolling. After hours they could work on civilian wagons. Carpenters also made furniture for the post and coffins.

Officers and their wives lived in the best quarters amid fine furnishings and servants brought from the East. They aimed to keep up their upper-class lifestyle, as best they could, in what most considered primitive and dangerous surroundings. Unmarried officers often hired "strikers" (personal servants) from among the enlisted men.

...we were expected to entertain all strangers...passing through...at [our] table and many is the time I had the Paymaster and his clerk at dinner [and]...parties for the forlorn young bachelor officers who had no home comforts to speak of...It was indeed a work of art and genius to get up a respectable meal at this forlorn isolated place, nothing but the Commissary and Sutler store todraw upon, and variety...limited.
Alice Dryer, commandant officer's wife, 1865

Post surgeons, commissioned Army officers, served as the "town" doctor. They took care of military and civilian patients alike. Sometimes Plains Indians also sought "modern medicine" from the Army's doctors.

Sutlers were civilians with a permit from the military to sell non-government-issue retail goods - and offer recreation. Here soldiers could play pool, bowl, and buy small luxuries. Sutlers' stores served as frontier melting pots. Santa Fe Trail travelers might find scouts like Buffalo Bill, journalists, Hispanic and Anglo teamsters, and even Cheyenne and Kiowa inspecting the sutler's goods.
HM NumberHMQV4
Series This marker is part of the National Historic Landmarks series
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 12:27am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 480820 N 4226388
Decimal Degrees38.18521667, -99.21900000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 11.113', W 99° 13.14'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 11' 6.78" N, 99° 13' 8.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)620
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 Unnamed Road, Larned KS 67550, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?