Battery Butler

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Battery Butler (1898-1942) - Battery Pierce Butler was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal mortar battery on Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. The battery was originally named Fort Capron in G.O. 112, 6 Aug 1898 after Capt. Allyn K. Capron, 1st Regiment, U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (2nd Lt. 7th U.S. Cavalry, U.S. Army), who was killed at the battle of Las Guasimas, 24 Jun 1898, during the Spanish-American War. Renamed Battery Capron in G.O. 134, 1899. In 1906 the battery was administratively split into two batteries and the new battery was designated Battery Butler in G.O. 20, 25 Jan 1906, after Col. Pierce M. Butler, Palmetto Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, who was killed in action at Churubusco, Mexico, 20 Aug 1847, during the Mexican-American War. Battery construction started in 1897, was completed in 1898 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 28 Jun 1898 at a cost of $ 92,678.76. Deactivated in 1942.

Battery Capron-Butler Location


Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Charleston.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal mortar battery with sixteen 12" M1886 mortars mounted on M1891 mortar carriages. Originally the battery was divided into four mortar pits with four mortars in each pit. After a series of reconfigurations and mortar replacements Battery Butler ended up after World War I with two mortar pits with two M1890MI mortars in each pit, all mounted on M1896MI mortar carriages.

Battery Butler (1909) Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 7 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #74, West Point 1898-1920 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 3 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #75, West Point 1898-1920 See note 1
A3 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 8 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #79, West Point 1898-1920 See note 1
A4 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 2 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #76, West Point 1898-1920 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 5 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #81, Watertown 1898-1920 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 6 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #82, Watertown 1898-1920 See note 1
B3 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 1 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #80, Watertown 1898-1920 See note 1
B4 12" Mortar 120" M1886-1890MI 4 Watervliet Mortar, M1891, #83, Watertown 1898-1920 See note 1
Source: RCB, 31 Dec 1909, 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 134-135, 210
Note 1: Guns and carriages ordered scrapped 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA


World War I

The U.S. entry into World War I resulted in a widespread removal of large caliber coastal defense gun tubes for service in Europe. Many of the gun and mortar tubes removed were sent to arsenals for modification and mounting on mobile carriages, both wheeled and railroad. Most of the removed gun tubes never made it to Europe and were either remounted or remained at the arsenals until needed elsewhere.

None of the mortars at Battery Butler were involved in the World War I redistribution but all of the mortars and carriages were caught in the 1920 Disarmament Program and were ordered scrapped on 26 May 1920. Four newer mortars were shipped in to replace the eight that were salvaged and they were placed in the two front emplacements of each pit. The two rear emplacements in each pit were filled with sand and capped with 6" of concrete. The reduction of two mortars in each pit improved efficiency and reduced manpower requirements without significantly reducing the rate of fire.

Battery Butler (1931) Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 2 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #1, Robert Poole 1920-1942 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 21 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #2, Robert Poole 1920-1942 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 24 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #305, Rarig 1920-1942 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 25 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #306, Rarig 1920-1942 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 12 Dec 1931, 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 140-141, 210
Note 1: Guns and carriages transferred from Fort Monroe 30 Jun1920 and ordered salvaged 6 Dec 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Capron-Butler Plan after the 1920 Reconfiguration


World War II

All four of the remaining mortars and carriages were ordered salvaged on 6 Dec 1942.

Current Status

Destroyed.


Location: Fort Moultrie, South Carolina

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.7626386 Long: -79.8396581

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Visited: 23 Jan 2010

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