Battery Walbach (1908-1936) - Battery Walbach was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 10 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Wetherill, Newport County, Rhode Island. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 25 May 1903, after Colonel John Baptiste DeBarth Walbach, 4th U.S. Artillery, Bvt. Brigadier General, U.S. Army, who served with distinction in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Mexican-American War, and who died 10 Jun 1857, at Baltimore, Maryland. Battery construction started in May 1901, was completed in June 1904 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 7 May 1908 at a cost of $ 119,170.70. Deactivated in 1936.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Narragansett Bay.
Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with three 10" M1888MII guns mounted on two M1896 Disappearing carriages and one M1901 Disappearing carriage. This was a two story battery with the guns mounted on the upper level and three magazines on the lower level. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform originally by three back delivery Hodges shell hoists. The Hodges hoists were later upgraded to back delivery Taylor-Raymond electric shell hoists that were accepted for service on 17 Jul 1916. Electrical power was furnished by an emplacement power plant.
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. All three of Battery Walbach's guns were ordered dismounted for use abroad on 24 Jul 1917. Two of the guns were later ordered retained and remounted. The third gun was shipped to Fort Greble (2) on 13 Dec 1918.
On 2 Dec 1936 the two remaining 10" guns were transferred to Fort H.G. Wright and the battery was disarmed.
The remaining two M1896 disappearing carriages were ordered scrapped on 4 Nov 1942 as a part of the first large scale scrap drive of World War II.
Part of Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown, Conanicut Island, Newport County, Rhode Island. No period guns or mounts in place.