Battery Wagner (1)

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Battery Wagner (1) (1906-1920) - Battery Arthur Wagner is a concrete Endicott Period 12" mortar battery located on Fort Winfield Scott (2), San Francisco County, California. Named in G.O. 20, 25 Jan 1906, after Colonel Arthur L. Wagner (Cullum 2589), an authority on military strategy and a member of the Army General Staff Corps, who died 17 Jun 1905. The Battery was formed in 1906 from the existing mortar pits C and D of Battery Howe. All mortars and carriages were scrapped in 1920.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Originally built between 1893 and 1895 with sixteen 12" M1886 and M1886M rifled mortars on M1891 mortar carriages in a concrete battery with four mortar pits (A-D). It was originally known as Fort Point (3) Battery No. 1 and was accepted for use 1 Jun 1900 and named for Col. Howe on 14 Feb 1902. In 1906, General Order 20 renamed mortar pits C and D as Battery Wagner (1) and pits A and B retained the Battery Howe name.

Battery Wagner Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
A-1 12" Mortar 129" M1886 8 Builders Mortar M1891, 34, Builders 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
A-2 12" Mortar 129" M1886 6 Builders Mortar M1891, 32, Builders 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
A-3 12" Mortar 129" M1886 7 Builders Mortar M1891, 33, Builders 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
A-4 12" Mortar 129" M1886 5 Builders Mortar M1891, 31, Builders 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
B-1 12" Mortar 129" M1886M 40 Builders Mortar M1891, 51, Robert Poole 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
B-2 12" Mortar 129" M1886M 42 Builders Mortar M1891, 40, Robert Poole 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
B-3 12" Mortar 129" M1886M 36 Builders Mortar M1891, 45, Robert Poole 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
B-4 12" Mortar 129" M1886M 53 Builders Mortar M1891, 47, Robert Poole 1900-1920 See note 1 & 2
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920, RCB 31 Dec 1903, RCB 31 Dec 1909, CDSG
Note 1: Mortars and carriages were ordered scrapped in accordance with Ordnance Dept. Instructions, 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Designated part of Battery Wagner (1) 1906.
Battery Wagner Plan 1920

World War I (1917-1918)

On 27 Oct 1915 Battery Wagner was declared "of insufficient military value to warrant provision of manning personnel and ammunition therefore" but it seems to have emerged from World War I with all its armament in place. Engineering memorandum dated 21 Feb 1918 indicates that, after all the removals for World War I overseas service, Battery Wagner still had its eight 12" mortars. It does appear that none of the 12" M1886 cast iron, steel hooped mortars were sent overseas indicating that they were not suitable for rail mounting.

Battery Wagner also escaped the earlier program to remove two mortars from each pit to give the crews more room to operate

Post World War I

On 30 Sep 1919 the U.S. Secretary of War ordered 72 of the existing 82, M1886 and M1886M mortars and their carriages scrapped. The Battery Wagner RCW dated 1 Mar 1920 shows all eight mortars still mounted. The Ordnance Department followed with instructions for the scrapping on 26 May 1920 and that is the scrapping date on the gun and carriage cards for Battery Wagner. This same scrapping date is found on many gun cards of varying calibers so it was clearly part of an overall disarmament program.

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No guns or carriages are in place. Both pits are buried.

Location: Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.802222 Long: -122.471944



Visited: 22 Aug 2009

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