Material Expressions of Rank: Non-Verbal Communication Amongst Commissioned Officers at Fort Yamhill and Fort Hoskins, Oregon, 1856-1866

Author(s): Justin E Eichelberger

Year: 2017

Summary

The 19th century U.S. Army was a hierarchically ranked subculture characterized by a caste-like system of institutional inequality.  Individual officers were commissioned into hierarchically ranked military classes, known as ranks, that were both authoritatively and socially distinct and within which each officer behaved in accordance with military discipline and a strict set of non-militaristic social norms.  This paper examines how commissioned officers at two mid-19th century U.S. Army posts in Western Oregon, Fort Yamhill and Fort Hoskins, used material culture to express and negotiate their rank and social position within this social and military hierarchy.  Variations in artifact quantity, quality and variety between these assemblages suggests that although these officers were united by notions of class, status and authority they were competitive individuals that were interested in displaying, affirming and advancing their individual military, social and economic position within the military hierarchy through conspicuous consumption and other ritualized behaviors.

Cite this Record

Material Expressions of Rank: Non-Verbal Communication Amongst Commissioned Officers at Fort Yamhill and Fort Hoskins, Oregon, 1856-1866. Justin E Eichelberger. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435474)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1856-1866

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 507