Upper Level - Battery Stephenson

Self Guided Tour, Fort Warren, George's Island

Upper Level - Battery Stephenson

Hull, Massachusetts 02045, United States

Created By: DCR Massachusettes


Battery Stevenson is named after Brigadier General Thomas G. Stevenson, the first Colonel of the 24th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry who was killed in action at Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia. This battery was completed and the cannon mounted by 1903. This battery mounted two 12-inch disappearing rifles. A disappearing rifle is a gun that is designed to loaded while sheltered from direct fire behind a concrete wall. Once the gun was loaded a counterweight system would raise the gun above the level of the concrete to fire. The recoil from firing would lowed the gun back behind the wall to be loaded again. This left the gun exposed for only a few seconds before “disappearing” again. These guns fired a 1046lb projectile nearly 9 miles (approximate 14.5 kilometers) with a rate of fire of 1 round ever 30-40 seconds. It had a crew of 42 men per gun. 29 men operated the cannon with another 13 for ammunition and powder. The guns were in service in some capacity until they were ultimately scrapped in 1994 during World War Two. Fort Warren mounted a total of 7 disappearing rifles. Battery Stevenson was the largest at 12-inched with 5 more 10-inch guns in two separate batteries. Battery Jack Adams was located in the corner by Battery Plunkett and mounted one 10-inch gun and Battery Bartlett, on out maintenance area mounted 4 more 10-inch guns. All of these batteries remain off limits to visitors’ due to safety concerns. Today, you can look in to the number 1 and number 2 gun pits of Battery Stevenson from the top to give you some idea of how big these guns were.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Self Guided Tour, Fort Warren, George's Island


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