Officers' Quarters

Officers' Quarters (HM84F)

Location: Philadelphia, PA 19153 Philadelphia County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 52.548', W 75° 12.796'

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Report from the Fort
31 October 1820 . Major Samuel Babcock, Engineer

Quarters for officers 96 by 28 feet and two stories high built in 1814.

Report from the Fort
16 October 1844 . Major Brevet C.W. Thomas

The officers attached to the post are six - five company officers and one assistant surgeon with rank of Captain. It will be seen that the quarters are ample, even if all the officers should be present, one is absent permanently.

Four officers were assigned to this well-equipped building with two apartments per floor and kitchen wings with interior staircases. (The commanding officer of the post lived in the more spacious and elegant Commandant's House.) Each officer had two rooms with back-to-back fireplaces, closet space, and a kitchen with a cooking fireplace. The structure's symmetry, porch, and matching exterior staircases represent typical military architecture of the Federal Period. Solid exterior shutters protected windows from both the elements and enemy. The porch roof is supported by eight round columns of solid wood. A unique feature of the porch is the use of iron straps to support the flooring and an ornate wrought iron balustrade with cast-iron rosettes. The iron work was probably made by the Fort Mifflin blacksmith. The railing stands alone in the fort complex as a reminder of beauty and grace and makes the Officers' Quarters more distinctive than the Soldiers' Barracks.

A sampling of the names of Officers who served at Fort Mifflin after 1814 and may have lived in this building includes:

1814 Capt. Benjamin S. Ogden (3rd Artillery),
Capt. Thomas J. Biddle (Company of Artillery),
Capt. John Annesley (Philadelphia Marine Artillery)
1815 Capt. Richard Zantzinger,
Col. George E. Mitchell (4th Military Department)
1817 Col. Moses Porter (Light Artillery)
1819 Col. Jonathan Mountfort
1821 Capt. Isaac Roach, Jr. (2nd Artillery)
1823 Col. John Hindman (2nd Artillery)
1824 Maj. James M. Glassell,
Lt. Henry S. Mallory (2nd Artillery)
1836 Maj. Benjamin K. Pierce (4th Artillery)
1841 Lt. William B. Blair
1845 Lt. William Armstrong (2nd Artillery)
1846 Lt. Harvey A. Allen (2nd Artillery)
1848 Capt. Robert K. Scott (Co. H 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers),
Lt. Frances F. Patterson (1st Artillery),
Lt. Col. Lucien B. Webster (1st Artillery),
Capt. Isaac Bowen (1st Artillery)
1850 Capt Joseph Roberts (4th Artillery)
And Others

Rank Insignia for Army Officers
Edge laced shoulder bars of colored cloth show the
branch of service and are ornamented with
special insignia of rank.

Calvary - Yellow
Infantry - Light blue
Artillery - Red

Four silver stars

Lieutenant General
Three silver stars

Major General
Two silver stars

Brigadier General
One silver star

Silver eagle

Lieutenant Colonel
Silver oak leaf

Gold oak leaf

Two gold bars

First Lieutenant
One silver bar

Second Lieutenant
One gold bar

The hierarchy of living quarters and life style in the military has always been determined by rank. A General Order defining the allowance of fuel and living accommodations for 1814 provides a good example of standards for that year.

Adjutant and Inspector General's Office
General Order December 1, 1814

The following will govern the allowance of quarters and of fuel to officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates of the army. When in garrisons or in cantonment [temporary housing for troops] in regards to the regulations heretofore adopted for that purpose.

Listed below are Quarters and Monthly Allowance of Wood from 30 April to 1 Nov...and... from 1 Nov to 30 April:

To a Major General, three rooms and a kitchen?1?.6

To a Brigadier General, Commissary General of Ordinance, Physicians and Surgeon General, each two rooms and a kitchen?..1?..4½

To every other officer having the rank of field officer, one room and a kitchen?..1?..3

To each Brigadier Major, Deputy Paymaster General, District or Assistant District Paymaster, Captain Judge Advocate, Chaplain, Hospital Surgeons mates of two Regimental Surgeons' mates, one room??½ ??.1½

To the senior officer at a post, and to the principal officer of each branch of the staff, one room as an office?..-?..2

For all other commissioned officers, one room to every two officers?? ½ ??1½

To each mess of six or more officers, one room as a kitchen?? ½ ??1

At posts where there are less than six officers, fuel for a kitchen shall be allowed.

For every six noncommissioned officers, musicians, or privates?.. ½ ??1

By order of the Secretary of War
D. Parke
Adj. & Insp Gen.
HM NumberHM84F
Placed ByFort Mifflin Historic Site
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 8:28pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 481762 N 4413994
Decimal Degrees39.87580000, -75.21326667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 52.548', W 75° 12.796'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 52' 32.88" N, 75° 12' 47.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)215
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8300-8390 Fort Mifflin Rd, Philadelphia PA 19153, US
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