Spanish American War Emergency 8-Inch Seacoast Batteries
While the construction of many Endicott Period gun batteries was well underway in 1898 the number of operational batteries was not deemed sufficient to deter an attack by the Spanish fleet as war with Spain approached. From the emergency funds appropriated in the National Defense Act of 9 Mar 1898, the U.S. Army Engineering Department was allotted $ 5,585,000 to prepare temporary and permanent gun batteries and torpedo (mine) defenses against the Spanish threat.
Among the emergency projects was one to install 26, 8-inch breechloading M1888 guns along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Of that number, 21 were to be mounted on modified 15" Rodman carriages and 5 were to be mounted on the more current 8-inch barbette carriages, M1892. The urgency of the situation apparently precluded the use of the then state-of-the-art disappearing carriages.
The list of batteries contemplated for construction is below. Some reached the point of having guns mounted before work was halted in January 1899. Some of the battery structures can still be seen while others no longer exist. The St. John's Bluff 8" Battery still exists and has been turned over to the National Park Service but is not yet open to the public (2021).