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  • 5. Dragoon Barracks

    Each room of the dragoon barracks in front of you provided the soldier with necessities that enabled him to do his duty. The squad room gave him a place to sleep, the mess hall a place to eat, and the laundress quarters a place to get his clothes clean. Duty rosters generated at the company office kept him busy during the day. In the evening, soldiers could spend free time in the barracks playing cards or checkers, engaging in the sport of boxing, reading books, or writing letters home, although the latter two activities were limited to those soldiers who were literate. While the barracks often contributed to the soldier’s discontent due to crowded conditions, regimentation, and strict discipline, others were content with life in the barracks. A dragoon private stationed at another fort wrote, “Rules of good behavior were strict and well observed. I never had more congenial companionship, and that kept us alive and fairly happy. We made the best of everything, and did no growling…”