Battery Ash

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Battery Ash (1902-1942) - Battery Ash was a reinforced concrete Endicott Period 12 inch gun battery on Fort Worden, Jefferson County, Washington. Named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after Bvt. Ltc. Joseph Penrose Ash, U.S. Army (Capt., 5th U.S. Cavalry) who was killed during the U.S. Civil War at the Battle of Todds Tavern, Virginia, 8 May 1863. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1900, and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use on 16 Jun 1902. Deactivated in 1942.

Battery Ash, Gun Emplacement #1 Panorama
Battery Ash, Gun Emplacement #2 Panorama

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound.

As originally built, Battery Quarles, Battery Randol and Battery Ash were a part of a larger seven gun unnamed battery that contained five 10" and two 12" guns, all in Barbette carriages. This was the original "main gun line" located on the top of Artillery Hill. These batteries were all accepted for service on 16 Jun 1902 shortly after the Fort was first garrisoned. The total cost for the three batteries came to $ 232,554.97 (not including guns and carriages).

The batteries were all named in 1904. In 1909 a significant structural upgrade was undertaken on the main gun line. The original 4-2-1 configuration of four 10" guns, two 12" guns and one 10" gun had been changed by swapping the last 10" gun with the first 12" gun to produce a 5-2 configuration. The final configuration had the emplacements as Battery Randol with two 10" guns, Battery Quarles next with three 10" guns and Battery Ash last with two 12" guns. The cost of modifications to the three batteries had reached $50,215.00 by the end of 1909.

Battery Benson was added to the "main gun line" located on the top of Artillery Hill in 1908 with two more 10" guns. These guns were more modern and had disappearing carriages not the Barbette mounts of the initial emplacements. The addition of Battery Benson (and several other batteries) improved coverage of the Straight of Juan de Fuca to the North and West.

Original Main Gun Line Emplacements a/o 10 Oct 1903
Emp1 Emp2 Emp3 Emp4 Emp5 Emp6 Emp7
10" M1888MII #39 10" M1888MII #6 10" M1888MII #36 10" M1888MII #37 12" M1888MII #10 12" M1888MII #9 10" M1888 #11
Source: Puget Sound RCB dtd 10 Oct 1903, CDSG Digital Library

Modified Main Gun Line Emplacements a/o 31 Dec 1909
Battery Randol Battery Quarles Battery Ash
Emp1 Emp2 Emp1 Emp2 Emp3 Emp1 Emp2
10" M1888MII #39 10" M1888MII #6 10" M1888MII #36 10" M1888MII #37 10" M1888 #11 12" M1888MII #10 12" M1888MII #9
Source: Puget Sound RCB dtd 31 Dec 1909, CDSG Digital Library

Battery Ash Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 440" M1888MII 9 Bethlehem Barbette, M1892, #27, Watertown 1902-1942 Rounds fired: 73
See Note 1
2 12" Rifle 440" M1888MII 10 Bethlehem (1) Altered Gun Lift, M1897, #2, Watertown
(2) Barbette, M1892, #9, Watertown
1902-1942 Rounds fired: 71
See Note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, Aug 1921, RCB, 10 Oct 1903, Coast Defense Study Group, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 146-147, 136, 217
Note 1: Guns & Carriages ordered salvaged 24 Oct 1942, CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA

Complicating the swap of the 10" gun and the 12" gun was the fact that the 12" gun carriage was one of only three Altered Gun Lift (AGL) carriages in existence, with a unique double bolt mounting ring. Both emplacements were modified to accept the new gun mounts and the guns were swapped. At some point, the 12" AGL carriage broke down and the decision was made to replace it with a standard 12" M1892 carriage. On 10 Dec 1908 Watertown shipped the 12" M1892 carriage #9 to Fort Worden and it was modified to fit the bolt pattern of the AGL emplacement (the inner circle of bolts was cut down and the carriage holes were redrilled). The parts from the broken AGL were retained as spares for the other two AGLs that happened to be installed at Fort Flagler in Battery Wilhelm. See Berhow page 146 for a discussion of this topic.

There are discrepancies in the record-keeping and the serial numbers of the AGL carriages (both Fort Flagler and Fort Worden thought they had #2 and the gun cards do not contain the serial number) probably indicating they were poorly marked or not marked at all.

Battery Ash Plan

On 31 Mar 1915, a B.C. Station was added to the building behind Battery Ash that contained the plotting room, tool room, and latrine.

World War II (1941-1945)

On 24 Oct 1942, the guns and carriages were ordered salvaged and they were removed in early 1943.

Current Status

No gun or mounts in place.

Location: Artillery Hill, Fort Worden, Jefferson County, Washington

Maps & Images

Lat: 48.141542 Long: -122.766665

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 257.53'

GPS Locations:


  • Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, page 146
  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project, Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, (CCA-AN-PS), 12 Aug 1945, CDSG


Fortification ID:

  • WA0032 - Battery Ash

Visited: 17 Jun 2009, 19 Jul 2008


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