Battery Towson

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Battery Towson (1900-1918) - Battery Towson was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Carroll (1), Baltimore County, Maryland. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 25 May 1903, after MG Nathan Towson, U.S. Army, who served with distinction in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War and who died 20 Jul 1854, at Washington D.C. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1899 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 5 Jul 1900 at a cost of $ 79,937.00. Deactivated in 1918.

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Baltimore.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1888 guns mounted on M1892 Barbette carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by two back delivery Taylor-Raymond shell hoists. No separate powder hoists were provided. Power was furnished by a central electric power plant in back of Battery Towson.

Battery Towson was built into the southeast casemates of the old fort structure with the front of the lower tier sealed and turned into a magazine for the guns on the upper level.

Battery Towson Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 440" M1888 45 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #18, Morgan 1900-1918 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 440" M1888 26 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #17, Morgan 1900-1918 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Jan 1920, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 136-137
Note 1: CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Towson Plan

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. By 18 Jul 1918 both 12" guns from Battery Towson had been transferred for service elsewhere, specifically Battery Ayres at Fort Wadsworth (1).

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Carroll, Baltimore County, Maryland

Maps & Images

Lat: 39.2144458 Long: -76.5189976



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