Battery Key

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Battery Key (1900-1927) - Battery Key was a concrete Endicott Period 12" mortar battery located on Fort Howard (1), Maryland. The Battery was named for Francis Scott Key. Battery construction started in 1897, was completed in 1898 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 8 Jan 1900 at a total cost of $ 112,999,43. Deactivated in 1927.

Battery Key Mortar Pit A
Battery Key Mortar Pit B from Above


Battery Key History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Baltimore.

Battery Key was a reinforced concrete Endicott Period 12" mortar battery with eight M1890MI mortars mounted on M1896 Carriages.

The battery consisted of eight 12" mortar emplacements arranged into two mortar pits of four mortars each. The two mortar pits were separated by the main battery structure which housed a power plant and the munitions storage areas.

The carriages were sent to Fort Howard in July and August of 1897 from the manufacturer, Robert Poole. The Battery was deactivated in 1927 and the guns were removed in August and September of 1927 and shipped to Aberdeen Ordnance Depot. The carriages were all shipped to Aberdeen on 31 Oct 1927.


Battery Key Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 12 Builders Motar, M1896, #44, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 64?
A2 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 15 Builders Motar, M1896, #46, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 47
A3 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 25 Watervliet Motar, M1896, #41, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 34?
A4 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 29 Watervliet Motar, M1896, #37, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 47
B1 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 15 Watervliet Motar, M1896, #39, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 90?
B2 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 16 Builders Motar, M1896, #45, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 47
B3 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 28 Bethlehem Motar, M1896, #34, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 64
B4 12" Mortar 141.125 M1890MI 20 Watervliet Motar, M1896, #42, Robert Poole 1900-1927 See Note 1
Rounds fired 49?
Source: Coast Defense Study Group, RCW Form 1 1 Jan 1920, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140, 208
Note 1: CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA, CDSG gun carriage card collection from NARA.
Fort Howard Battery Key Plan.jpg


Current Status

On Fort Howard County Park and VA hospital grounds, Maryland. No period guns or carriages are in place.


Location:On Fort Howard County Park, Maryland.

Maps & Images

Lat: 39.1977065 Long: -76.4418358

Sources:

  • Coast Defense Study Group, CDSG Press, CDSG Digital Library
  • U.S. Corps of Engineers, Report of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications (RCW) from NARA, CDSG file HowardRCW.pdf
    • Form 7, page 20, dated 1 Jan 1920
    • Form 1, page 19, 28 (corrected), , dated 1 Jan 1920
  • CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA, CDSG file 12in BLM 1890001.pdf , page 2-4, 23, 32.
  • CDSG gun carriage card collection from NARA, CDSG file 12in BLM Carriage 1896 001.pdf, pages 4-6.
  • U.S. Corps of Engineers, Engineering Journal from NARA, CDSG file EngBalt.pdf, pages 7, 14-18.
  • U.S. Corps of Engineers, Report of Completed Batteries, Etc. (RCB) from NARA, CDSG file baltimoreRCB.pdf, pages 3-4 (1903) (correctly assigns guns & carriages to emplacements)
  • Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140, 208.

Links:

Visited: 3 Apr 2009

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