Battery Heileman

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Battery Heileman (1899-1943) - Battery Julius Heileman was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 10 inch coastal gun battery on Fort San Jacinto, Galveston County, Texas. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after Major Julius F. Heileman (Cullum 12), 2nd U.S. Artillery, veteran of the War of 1812 and the Floridia Indian Wars. Battery construction started 23 Nov 1896, was completed in the spring of 1898 and was first transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 25 Oct 1899. The Battery was destroyed by the 1900 Galveston hurricane and was rebuilt between 1901 and 1907 and was accepted for service 21 Aug 1911 at a cost of $ 184,217.75 . Deactivated in 1943.

Battery Heileman Emplacement #1 Gun M1888MI Retracted
Battery Heileman Emplacement #1 Gun M1888MI Extended
Battery Heileman Emplacement #1, Gun M1888MI, Carriage M1896 Extended. Note the Power Building on the Right.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Galveston.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 10" M1888MI guns mounted on M1896 disappearing carriages. Gun emplacement #1 was configured as a normal limited fire (LF) emplacement. Gun emplacement #2 was configured as an all around fire (ARF), 360 degree field of fire, emplacement.

The original battery construction was on a site that was low enough to require fill to raise it to a height of eight feet above mean low tide. Cost considerations precluded placing the battery on pilings so the battery was supported by the fill. The fill project was mostly completed by 25 Jan 1897 and actual battery construction began 10 Mar 1897 using a construction plant that had been moved to the site. Work on the battery was essentially completed in the spring of 1898 except for the guns and carriages.

Emplacement #1 was armed by 1 Apr 1897 and the ARF emplacement #2 was armed by 17 Mar 1899. Proof firings took place and the emplacements were found to be satisfactory. The battery and an adjacent power plant were accepted for service 25 Oct 1899.

On 8 Sep 1900 Galveston was struck by a massive hurricane and the battery was damaged so severely that it could not be reconstructed. A major factor in the destruction of the battery was the lack of pilings, batteries with pilings survived with far less damage and were repairable. The concrete remains were broken up and used for rip-rap but the guns and carriages were saved and used in the replacement battery.

Reconstruction on the new battery began in 1901 and was complete by 1906 but Fort San Jacinto was not re-garrisoned until 1911 and the new battery was not accepted for use until 21 Aug 1911.

Battery Heileman Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 10" Rifle 367.23" M1888MI 37 Watervliet Disappearing DLF, M1896, #13, Watertown 1899-1943 See note 1
2 10" Rifle 367.23" M1888MI 13 Watervliet Disappearing ARF, M1896, #1, Watertown 1899-1943 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, Aug 1925, 27 Sep 1934, 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 213
Note 1: Guns and Carriages scrapped 4 Feb 1943. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Rebuilt Battery Heileman Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

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. The two 10" gun tubes of Battery Heileman were apparently slated for overseas shipment but as the war drew to an end they were ordered remounted and retained. The battery also escaped the end of the war disarmament push.

World War II (1941-1945)

Muzzle Face and Carriage Plate from Battery Heileman Emplacement #2

The 10" guns of Battery Heileman were obsolete by the beginning of World War II and as the first scrap drives began they were ordered scrapped.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort San Jacinto, Galveston County, Texas. Map placement is approximate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 29.3324744 Long: -94.7550845


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Galveston, (HD-G-ANN-45), 15 Mar 1944, CDSG


Visited: 12 Nov 2009

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