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Battery Bowyer - Ft. Morgan, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hummerstation
N 30° 13.719 W 088° 01.068
16R E 402058 N 3344560
Quick Description: Battery Bowyer mounted four 8" disappearing rifles when it was in service.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/12/2014 2:38:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMKGN7
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 0

Long Description:
Fort Morgan, Alabama was built as a coastal defense fort, completed in 1834. In 1885 President Grover Cleveland ordered the creation of a fortification board, under the direction of Secretary of War William Endicott, to report on the present state of fortifications and to make recommendations for the implementation of a modern coast defense program. The Endicott Board recommended a $127 million construction program made up of an integrated network of dispersed reinforced concrete artillery batteries to be constructed at 29 strategic locations along the U.S. coast. These concrete gun positions were to mount a small number of large breech-loading rifled guns, heavy rifled mortars, or small caliber rapid-fire guns.

Begun in 1895, Battery Bowyer was Fort Morgan’s first concrete battery. Named to honor Colonel John Bowyer for whom Fort Bowyer (Fort Morgan’s predecessor) was named, the battery mounted four 8-inch breech-loading rifles on “disappearing” carriages. Completed at a total cost of $275,000 it was ready for service at the start of the Spanish-American War in March 1898. The battery was manned during the brief war with Spain but it never fired a shot in anger.

Battery Bowyer’s 8-inch rifles did not possess the hitting power of heavier weapons or the rapid-fire capability of lighter guns. It also lacked a modern fire control system to direct its gunnery. Because of these deficiencies the battery would have fought at a great disadvantage in a duel with a large, well armed warship. The battery also suffered from severe water leaks throughout its service. Numerous remedies were tried to alleviate the problem but the leaks were never completely eliminated. Battery Bowyer’s relatively light armament, primitive fire control system, and the continual problem with leakage limited its effectiveness as part of Fort Morgan’s defenses and eventually ended its service. On November 26, 1915 the War Department Board of Review concluded that the battery’s guns were “of insufficient military value to warrant incurring the cost involved in providing a manning personnel or ammunition…” The War Department carried the recommendation a step further and ordered all four guns removed. By December 1917 the guns had been dismounted and prepared for shipment in order to convert them to railroad artillery. The disappearing” carriages remained in the battery until they were ordered scrapped in April 1918.

Most of the above came from the link. (visit link)

The admission fee is for Fort Morgan and its outlying batteries.
The year the "Fort" was constructed or started.: 1895

Name of "Country" or "Nation" that constructed this "Fort": USA

Was this "Fort" involved in any armed conflicts?: No it wasn't

What was the primary purpose of this "Historic Fort"?: Used for defence of a border or land claim.

Current condition: Preserved, not restored.

This site is administered by ----: State of Alabama

If admission is charged -: 7.00 (listed in local currency)

Open to the public?: Restricted hours -Admission charged

Link to web-site that best describes this "Historic Fort": [Web Link]

Official or advertised web-page: Not listed

Link if this "Fort" is registered on your Countries/ State "Registry of Historical Sites or Buildi: Not listed

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