0913. Barracks

The infantry and cavalry stationed at Fort Larned occupied these north side quarters. The barracks were designed to house up to four companies of infantry and cavalry, though the numbers were rarely this high. On average, just 100 or 150 troops were stationed at Fort Larned, though the number swelled to between 400 and 500 in 1868. 

Living quarters were cramped for enlisted men, who slept four to a bunk, head to foot, on bed sacks filled with grass ticking. The enlisted men occupied their leisure time with simple activities including playing cards and table games, swimming in the Pawnee Fork on warm days, and sports such as foot races and "base-ball."

With the departure of the 10th Cavalry in 1869, the barracks were no longer home to any cavalry units. In 1872, the post hospital was moved into the barracks, an improvement over the former adobe hospital building that leaked mud from the ceiling when it rained. Even with a solid roof overhead, medical care was crude by today's standards, to say the least.

Today, one of the barracks buildings has been modernized to serve as the park visitor center and museum.