Battery Capron

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Battery Capron (1898-1942) - Battery Capron 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 Cavalry, U.S. Army), who was killed at the battle of La Quasina, 24 Jun 1898, during the Spanish-American War. Renamed Battery Capron in G.O. 134, 1899. 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. In 1906 the battery was administratively split into two batteries and the new battery was designated Battery Butler. 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 Capron ended up after World War I with two mortar pits with two M1890MI mortars in each pit, all mounted on M1896MI mortar carriages.

Battery Capron (1909) Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 120" M1886M 62 Builders Mortar, M1891, #58, Robert Poole 1898-1920 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 120" M1886M 51 Builders Mortar, M1891, #60, Robert Poole 1898-1920 See note 1
A3 12" Mortar 120" M1886 28 Builders Mortar, M1891, #65, Robert Poole 1898-1920 See note 1
A4 12" Mortar 120" M1886M 32 Builders Mortar, M1891, #61, Robert Poole 1898-1920 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 120" M1886M 33 Builders Mortar, M1891, #62, Robert Poole 1898-1920 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 120" M1886M 45 Builders Mortar, M1891, #36, Builders 1898-1920 See note 1
B3 12" Mortar 120" M1886M 57 Builders Mortar, M1891, #37, Robert Poole 1898-1920 See note 1
B4 12" Mortar 120" M1886 2 Builders Mortar, M1891, #35, Builders 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 Capron 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 Capron (1925) Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 24 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #5, Robert Poole 1920-1942 Gun from Watertown. See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 7 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #7, Robert Poole 1920-1942 Gun from Watervliet (France). See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 21 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #11, Robert Poole 1920-1942 Gun from Aberdeen. See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 128 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #12, Robert Poole 1920-1942 Gun from Aberdeen. See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Oct 1925, 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 transferred 6 Feb 1920 and 2 Apr 1920, carriages transferred 30 Jun 1920 from Fort Monroe. Guns and carriages ordered scrapped 6 Dec 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Capron 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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