Fort Mansfield

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Fort Mansfield (1898-1928) - An Endicott Period Coastal Fort first established in 1898 on Napatree Point, Washington County, Rhode Island. Named in G.O. 43, 4 Apr 1900, after MG Joseph K.F. Mansfield, U.S. Volunteers, Inspector General, U.S. Army, 1853-1861, who was a veteran of the Mexican-American War and the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) and died 18 Sep 1862, of wounds received at the Battle of Antietam, the day previous. Post offered for sale in 1926 and sold in 1928.

Fort Mansfield, 1902 100 Man Barracks
Fort Mansfield 1902 Captain Officer Quarters

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Long Island Sound.

Construction of the three Endicott Period batteries began in 1898 and all were completed in 1900. The batteries were all accepted for service on the same day, 18 Feb 1901 at a total cost of $ 100,600 for battery construction.

Fort Mansfield 1902 6 Bed Hospital

Post construction was essentially completed in 1902 and additional buildings were added up until 1907. The post was built as a small, one company, open plan post. Capacity was listed as 4 officers, 5 NCOs, 130 enlisted and 2 animals. There were 3 sets of officer's quarters, 2 sets of NCO quarters, a permanent 100 man barracks, a temporary 30 man barracks, guard house, admin building and a small 6 bed hospital. Other support buildings brought the total number of buildings to 27.

The July 1907 war games determined that there was a dead spot along the Rhode Island coast in the field of fire for the 8" guns of Battery Wooster that would allow the bombardment of the fort and provide an opportunity for capture by land. This weakness led to the deactivation of the fort in 1909 and caretaker status.

Fort Mansfield Endicott Period Batteries (edit list)
Battery
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Wooster 2 8" Disappearing 1898-1900-1901-1917 $ 75,000
Battery Crawford 2 5" Balanced pillar 1898-1900-1901-1917 $ 11,600
Battery Connell 2 5" Pedestal 1898-1900-1901-1917 $ 14,000
Source: CDSG
Fort Mansfield Plan 1920


World War I

Early in World War I the guns from all three batteries were removed and redistributed to other installations. The 5' guns were sent to Fort H.G. Wright. The 8" guns were ordered dismounted for service abroad on 24 Aug 1917 and were transferred to Watervliet on 27 Dec 1917.

In 1926 the reservation was put up for sale and purchased by private interests, the sale was completed in 1928. The post buildings were torn down in 1928-1929 and only the three batteries remained.

World War II

A 16" casemated Battery 114 was proposed for a location near Watch Hill but it was not built.


Fort Mansfield World War II Batteries (edit list)
Battery
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery 114 2 16" Casemated Barbette (CBC) Not Built $ 0
Source: CDSG

Current Status

Site owned by the Watch Hill Fire District and managed as a wildlife preserve. Battery Wooster and Battery Crawford remain exposed but Battery Connell is in the surf and not normally visible.

Location: Napatree Point, Washington County, Rhode Island. Battery Connell map point approximate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 41.3063889 Long: -71.8836111

Sources:

Links:

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Fort Mansfield Picture Gallery

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