Battery Thomas

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Battery Thomas (1898-1917) - Battery Thomas was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 4.72 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Morgan (1), Baldwin County, Alabama. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 15 May 1903 after Capt. Evan Thomas, 4th U.S. Artillery, who served with distinction in the U.S. Civil War and who was killed 26 Apr 1873 in action with Modoc Indians at the Lava Beds, California. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1899 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 17 Feb 1899 at a cost of $ 15,000. Deactivated in 1917.

Battery Thomas
Battery Thomas from the North

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Mobile, Alabama.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 4.72" rapid fire Armstrong guns mounted on Armstrong Pedestal carriages. No shell or powder hoists and no power plant, power for lighting derived from Battery Duportail.

Battery Thomas Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 4.72" Rifle 218.4" Armstrong 11853 Armstrong Barbette Pedestal, Armstrong, #10838, Armstrong 1898-1917 See note 1
2 4.72" Rifle 218.4" Armstrong 10812 Armstrong Barbette Pedestal, Armstrong, #10844, Armstrong 1898-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, Jan 1924, RCB, 10 Oct 1903, 31 Dec 1907, 31 Dec 1909, 31 Dec 1910, 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 86-87, 212
Note 1: Guns and carriages transferred to ATS 25 Sep 1917 and returned 3 May 1919, ordered scrapped 22 Jul 1919 CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Thomas 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 4.72" guns and carriages at Battery Thomas were ordered dismounted and prepared for shipment overseas. A status message indicates that all guns carriages and base rings had been removed from Battery Thomas and shipped for service elsewhere. The gun cards indicate they transferred to the Army Transport Service (ATS) in San Francisco on 25 Sep 1917 and they also indicate that they were transferred back to Fort Morgan (1) 3 May 1919 with direction to remount them. On 22 Jul the A.G.O approved the scrapping of the guns and carriages.

Current Status

Part of Fort Morgan State Park, Baldwin County, Alabama. No period guns or mounts in place.


Location: Fort Morgan State Park, Baldwin County, Alabama

Maps & Images

Lat: 30.229009 Long: -88.023577

Sources:

Links:

Visited: 23 Dec 2011, 10 Dec 2009

Battery Thomas Picture Gallery

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