Battery Burnham

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Battery Burnham (1900-1909) - Battery Burnham was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 8 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Mason (2), San Francisco County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 21, 28 Feb 1902, after 1st Lt. Howard M. Burnham, 5th U.S. Artillery, who was killed in the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia,on 19 Sep 1863, during the U.S. Civil War. Battery construction started in 1899, was completed in 1900 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 21 Aug 1900. at a cost of $ 32,137.62. Deactivated in 1909.

Battery Burnham Gun Emplacement with a Structure Built on it.
Battery Burnham Shell Hoist Delivery Platform

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with one 8" M1888 gun mounted on an M1896 Disappearing carriage. This was a two story battery with the gun located on the upper level and the magazine below. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by a hand operated Hodges back delivery shell hoist. No powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was furnished by the emplacement power plant.

A limited field of fire and the caliber of the gun made Battery Burnham ineffective and it was deactivated in 1909. Both the gun and the carriage were removed that year. The carriage was transferred to Battery Ord, Fort Columbia in October 1909. The M1888 gun was apparently transferred to Benicia Arsenal.

Battery Burnham Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888 4 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #32, Lake Erie 1900-1909 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920, RCB, 31 Dec 1903. CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 110-111
Note 1: Carriage transferred to Battery Ord, Fort Columbia October 1909. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Burnham Plan

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. Battery repurposed, no period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Mason, San Francisco County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.8074445 Long: -122.4280277



Visited: 22 Aug 2009

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