Battery Gadsden

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Battery Gadsden (1906-1917) - Battery Gadsden was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 6 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. The battery was named in G.O. 113, 23 Jun 1904 after Brigadier General Christopher Gadsden, Colonel, 1st South Carolina, BG Continental Army, who died 28 Aug 1805. Battery construction started in 1904, was completed in 1906 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 10 Sep 1906 at a cost of $ 88,200.00. Deactivated in 1917.

Battery Gadsden Gun Emplacement #1
Battery Gadsden Magazine #1
Battery Gadsden Magazine #2 Repurposed as a library
Battery Gadsden Center Structure

Battery Gadsden History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Charleston.

Endicott Period

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with four 6" M1903 guns mounted on M1903 disappearing carriages. This is a one story gun battery with two magazines, each serving two guns and a central multi purpose structure. Each gun and carriage sat on a raised loading platform. Shell carts were used to move the shells from the magazine to the loading platform stairs and the shells were hand carried to the loading platform. A separate powder passage was used to bring the powder from the magazine's powder room to the loading platform. No shell or powder hoists were needed or provided. Power was provided from the Battery Thompson power plant.

Battery Gadsden Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 64 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #26, Morgan 1906-1917 See note 1
2 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 15 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #13, Morgan 1906-1917 See note 1
3 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 62 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #14, Morgan 1906-1917 See note 1
4 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 63 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #16, Rarig 1906-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Jul 1921, 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 98-99, 210
Note 1: Guns transferred to Watervliet 31 Dec 1917, carriages scrapped 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Gadsden Plan 1920

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. All four of Battery Gadsden guns were transferred for service overseas on 31 Dec 1917 to Watervliet and eventually made it to France. They were returned to the U.S. in 1919 and sent to other locations. Battery Gadsden was not rearmed after World War I. All four disappearing carriages were scrapped 26 May 1920.

World War II

Battery Gadsden remained unarmed throughout World War II. In 1944 the tops of Battery Gadsden's two magazines were each fitted with a 60" Anti Aircraft search light on a 20' demountable wooden tower and designated as searchlights 7 and 8. A portable 18KW generator powered both searchlights. The installation was transferred for service on 23 Feb 1944 at a cost of $ 5,404.00.

Battery Gadsden Plan 1944

Current Status

Repurposed as the Edgar Allen Poe Branch of the Charleston County Library. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Moultrie, South Carolina

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.7594538 Long: -79.8408061

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Visited: 23 Jan 2010

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