Fort Kearny (3)

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Fort Kearny (3) (1901-1946) - An Endicott Period Coastal Fort first established in 1901 in Washington County, Rhode Island, as Boston Neck Military Reservation. Later named Fort Kearny in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after Major General Philip Kearny, U.S. Volunteers, who served with distinction during the Mexican-American War, and who was killed while visiting pickets at Chantilly, Virginia, 1 Sep 1862, during the U.S. Civil War. Abandoned in 1946. Also known as Fort Philip Kearny.

Fort Kearny Permanent Barracks 1840s Building
Fort Kearny Temp WWII Barracks 1941 Building

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Narragansett Bay.

Construction began on three Endicott Period gun batteries in 1904 and was completed in 1906. All three batteries were accepted for service on the same day, 7 May 1908, at a total cost of $ 182,607. The Report of Completed Batteries of 31 Dec 1909 indicates that the batteries were dry and wired for lighting but no power was available. That report also indicates that the post was garrisoned by a detachment from Fort Greble (2).

The only permanent building on Fort Kearny was a pre-existing stone house built in the 1840s. This stone building was used over the life of the post as both a detachment barracks and a caretakers quarters. The post also served as a ferry terminus that was used to supply both Fort Greble (2) and Fort Getty.

Fort Kearny (3) Endicott Period Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery French 4 6" Disappearing 1904-1906-1908-1917 $ 102,427 3 Guns to France 1917
Battery Cram 2 6" Disappearing 1904-1906-1908-1943 $ 63,580
Battery Armistead (1) 2 3" Pedestal 1904-1906-1908-1942 $ 16,600 Guns & carriages to
Fort Varnum, Battery Armistead (2)
Source: CDSG
Fort Kearny 1921 Plan with WWI Temporary Buildings In Place

World War I

At the beginning of World War I, the post expanded rapidly and a number of World War I temporary buildings were built. At the end of the war there were four officers quarters, four 66 man barracks, two mess halls and twelve more support buildings. These buildings were generally wooden structures with tar paper sides and roofs. Nearly all of these buildings were sold off after the war on 5 May 1924. For most of the 1920s and 1930s the post was manned by a caretaker or a small detachment.

At the beginning of the U.S. involvement in World War I the four 6" guns of Battery French were dismounted for service abroad. Three of the guns made it to France before the war ended but the fourth gun remained stateside. None of the guns were returned to Battery French and it remained unarmed until the fort closed.

World War II

In 1941 a rebuilding program on Fort Kearny saw almost the same number and types of buildings built as there were for World War I. All of the buildings were designated as temporary buildings but they were more substantial than their World War I counterparts. The normal capacity was rated at 183 enlisted men and one officer.

The start of World War II found all of the Endicott Period batteries and their armament obsolete. In 1942 Battery Armistead (1) was moved to Fort Varnum, Battery Armistead (2) and in 1943 Battery Cram was ordered scrapped.

Late in the war the post became a processing and training center for German POWs. When the Germans had all left in 1946 the post was closed.

Current Status

Part of the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus on Narragansett Bay, Washington County, Rhode Island.

Location: Fort Kearny (3), Narragansett Bay, Washington County, Rhode Island.

Maps & Images

Lat: 41.4916667 Long: -71.4230556


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 703
  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Narragansett Bay, (HDNARB-AP-45), 1 Feb 1945, CDSG
  • CDSG


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