Fort Michie (1896-1948) - An Endicott Period Coastal Fort first established in 1896 on Great Gull Island in Suffolk County, New York. Named in G.O. 138, 27 Jul 1899, after 1st Lt. Dennis M. Michie (Cullum 3502), 17th U.S. Infantry, U.S. Army, killed in action at San Juan, Santiago, Cuba, 1 Jul 1898. Abandoned in 1948.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Long Island Sound.
The construction of the first two Endicott Period gun batteries began in 1897. Battery North (1) and Battery Palmer were accepted for service on the same day, 12 May 1900. The second set of three batteries was begun in 1902-1903 and turned over for service 1905-1908. Battery Benjamin, Battery Maitland, and Battery Pasco completed the Endicott Period battery construction.
There were two periods of post construction that coincided with the two periods of battery construction. The first period was completed in 1900 and saw the construction of one set of officers' quarters, one set of NCO quarters, a small 30-man barracks, a small 14-bed hospital, a six prisoner guardhouse, and some utility buildings. The second period was completed in 1905 and added two sets of officer quarters and a large 105-man barracks.
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. The two 10" guns from Battery North (1) were ordered dismounted for service abroad on 24 Aug 1917 but before they could be shipped they were ordered remounted and retained. That order was countermanded on 15 Oct 1919 and the guns were ordered stored to make way for the building of Battery Davis (3) on top of Battery North (1).
Several temporary buildings were built during World War I and the 1921 plan above details the post before the temporary buildings were removed.
The beginning of World War II found Fort Michie with four functioning gun batteries all of which were obsolete in terms of range, rate of fire, and overhead protection. A new rapid-fire 90mm AMTB gun battery was added in 1943 but by the beginning of 1945 only Battery Maitland, Battery Benjamin and the new Battery AMTB 912 were still part of the Harbor Defense Plan. Both of the large-caliber gun batteries, Battery Palmer and Battery Davis (3), were removed from the plan and designated to be scrapped. The new Battery AMTB 912 was emplaced in 1943 but was later placed in storage due to a lack of manpower.
In 1940 most of the original Endicott Period permanent post buildings were in very poor condition and they were scrapped in May and June. Early in 1941, the threat of war resulted in an emergency construction project for Fort Michie that built temporary buildings expanding the post capacity to 25 officers, 4 NCO families, and 441 enlisted troops. The construction program included seven 63-man barracks, two 250-man chow halls, two company day rooms, two sets of NCO quarters, an officer's 25-man mess, and a theater.
The post was abandoned by the Army in 1948.
Island is owned by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.