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BATTERY LANCASTER


 

This battery was named in GO 16 February 14 1902 in honor of Lt Col James Lancaster, 3rd US Artillery, who died at Fort Monroe in February 14 1900, was a graduated from West Point 1862, 2nd lieu-tenant 3rd Artillery, June 17 1862. 1st Lieutenant, 24th June 1864, Regimental Adjutant March 28th to September 24th 1867. Brevet Captain March 13 1865 for good conduct and gallant service during the war. Captain 3rd Artillery, March 20 1879. Major of Artillery 4th Artillery October 29 1896, also fought in the Civil War. Born in Kentucky. Appointed from Kentucky.


 ORDNANCE


This Endicott era battery had three 12-inch guns, the one in Emplacement #3 was a Model 1888 M1 #40, and the others were Models 1895 # 5 and 8. This battery was the most northernmost of the complex of the batteries of Fort Scott. The 12-inch breech loading rifles were manufactured by the Waterviliet Arsenal.

These gun mounted on the carriages in emplacement #3 was a model 1896 # 23 and was manufactured by the Moran Engineering Company. The other two were Buffington-Crozier carriage and were manufactured by Robert Poole & Sons, Model 1897, # 6 and 7 these two carriages had two motors mounted on them, one for traversing and one for elevating depressing and retracting.


AMMUNITION SERVICE


The movement of ammunition must be very rapid and it is the duty of the Engineer Department to so design it emplacement that each and every step of the ammunition service may be performed with such speed that the ammunition can be carried to the breech of the gun at least as rapidly as it can be loaded into the gun and fired. The ammunition supply for this battery was stored in the shell room which was 11'-6" x 26 there were 2 this size and one 12' X 31' and held 443 The size of the powder magazine was 14'-6" X 26', there two this size and one 5 X 17 and held 2000. The battle allowance for this battery was 200, and it's war reserve was 200.


CONSTRUCTION


As with any battery is to be built in any Engineer district, as much information as may be necessary is sent to the district officer. Appropriation were approved September 12 1896 for the 3rd emplacement in this battery, and construction began October 1896, with the grading for the storage of rock and cement and the removal of a Rodman, and a work road was graded, using 81 yd of rock. Excavation for the magazine and platforms, were starting on the 6th with the removal of over 13,256 cubic yards of sand and dirt for emplacement #3 for this battery was approved September 12 1896, and construction began in October 1896, with the clearing and grading of the site. An estimate of the cost for emplacement #2 and #3 was submitted in August 1899. Work was commenced the following month and was uninterruptedly until practically completed in the spring of 1899. This was done under the appropriation for gun and mortar batteries made by the act approved June 6 1896 and allotment of $168.000.00 was made for continuing work in the SFHD,


The excavation was making good progress. Emplacement 1 and 2 with the removal of 47,344 cu. yds of dirt and sand, The forms are being constructed as the excavation is in progress, the timber used in making the forms is dressed lumber will be used.


When the forms are finished all the reinforcing is put into the forms in there place including the iron and steel, in the form of I beams for reinforcing ceilings, and in columns for supporting ceilings, for reinforcing concrete deformed steel bars were used, this battery had over 129,265 lbs of reinforcing in it.


At this time the concrete is poured into the forms. After the concrete work was finished, sand was added to the front and flanks of the battery. In this battery they used 95,430 cu. yd of concrete in emplacement #1 and #2 and 4,751 cubic yards in emplacement #3.


One of the last thing done in the construction of this battery is the using of sand on the front and flanks of the lower floor of batteries, with the exception is the blast apron, which is made of concrete, and immediately in front of the gun, they had to be laid very carefully, or the would be blown away, there was over 11247 cu. yds of fill used in this battery.


The guns and carriages had not been received as of yet, but the battery was finished in 1900, with the exception of the floor of the dynamo room was laid in July 1899; aprons were built, one base ring set, and latrines finished in August, and the other base ring was set in October. The backfill for terreplein # 7 was made and the concrete terreplein and the steps leading to the guns were in and the top finished and the backfill for terreplein # 6 was begun, the backfill over the magazines was completed and a considerable part of the cut necessary for field of fire was made, the grading in the rear of the emplacement was begun, fireplaces were placed in various rooms, by October 1899 the battery was considered to be complete except for electricity. and transferred on April 1900, this was for gun emplacement #1 and 2. fill was 4,245 cubic yards, and was finished in a short time, except for electric lights and wiring all the engineering work was done, and finished in 1898.


This battery was 365' across the front, and 150' deep, there was 115' between the guns, it also had a Guard Room that was 10' X 20' on the west side of emplacement #3, there was a Plotting Room, that was 12' X 17' and the Tool Room, which was 12' X 14' and a large passageway 10' X 32, theses rooms were between emplacement #3 and #2, also there was an Oil Room, which was 11'-6" X 19'-6", there was also and Generator Room was 12' X 17' and an Engine Room which was 12' X 17'.


Finally in February 1899, the mounting of the gun was completed and the emplacement turned over to the commanding officer June 15 1899, on April 27 1900 Empts 1 & 2 were turned over to the commanding officer, at a cost of $75,500.00 for #1 & 2 and $ 107.409.00 for # 3 and 1 & 2 Battery Saffold.


 POWER


This battery was electrician around December of 1900, it required 7.6kw for lights, and 23.5 kw for the motors for the hoist, and carriages it also supplied power to the following -B/5 Lanchaster-F/7 Scott-F/6 Scott - Torpedo Storehouse- Cable Tank, Two Loading Rooms and the Latrine. The feeder from the plant and branch feeders to the various panel boxes at the battery, were in the hoist room in emplacement 3, the panel will be abandoned and the routing of the cable of the new emplacement switchboard to distributed to all stations. In 1902 in accordance with orders from the Chief of Engineers conduits for electric wires were laid in #6 and #7 running from rooms in the emplacement to the gun platforms. The wires supply motors, placed on the gun carriage, to maneuver the guns both in azimuth and vertical circle. These two installations were made one by the General Electric Co. and the other by Sprague Electric Co. (not yet finished) for the purpose of comparative tests. The only portion of the work done by the Engineering Dept was concerned was the laying of the conduit. The work was completed at the flowing cost, $375.00.


MISCELLANEOUS


This battery was connected to water and sewer, and had a syphon latrine, it's date transmission was by telephone and speaking tube, and was vented by a 4" terra cotta vent from the magazine terminating at the traverse wall. Trunnion elevation in the battery #1=178.4 #2= 184.4 #4= 194.3, datum M.L.L.W.


The greater part of this battery was destroyed in the 1930s by the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge which touches land precisely in the middle of the former battery. Portion of the outer emplacement may still be seen today and portions of the underground magazine still exist. Emplacement #3 was the first of this battery to be construction and it commenced in 1896 and completed two years later, Emplacement # 1 and 2 were started in 1898 and finished in 1900.


Battery Lancaster was un-usual in that it was the only major rifle battery on the South shore of the Golden Gate that bore directly on the narrowest part of the strait, and a major concern during it construction was that it was so vulnerable to flanking fire due to the topography, so the traverses were carried well back and the road behind the battery led through a tunnel beneath two of the emplacements.


FIRE CONTROL


The artillery having reported that one of the observing stations for the type B Lewis depression range finder for emergency use did not embrace the field of view required the construction of a supplementary station from the funds allotted the from the two 12 inch gun emplacement was authorized by the Chief of Engineers November 10 1900. The station was completed in January, at a cost of $245.69. It also had a B.C. and B.


ABANDONMENT


Its guns were declared obsolete and dismounted in 1943, this battery was salvaged by the commanding general, Fort Winfield Scott and sub post under directive contained in Secret Letter, office of the Chief of Ordnance file 00-400.93/28(S) SPOFX5 to the service command dated Jan 23 1946. subject "Salvage of Obsolete Armament". It saw service from 1898 to 1943. The battery is still in good condition, was in it this year.



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