Battery Bigelow

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Battery Bigelow (1904-1920) - Battery Bigelow was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 3 inch coastal gun battery on Fort De Soto, Florida. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 15 May 1903, after 1st Lt. Aaron Bigelow of the 21st U.S. Infantry, who was killed 25 Jul 1814 at the battle of Lundy's Lane, Ontario, Canada, during the War of 1812. Battery construction was completed in 1902 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 28 Jun 1904 at a cost of $ 13,980.18. Deactivated in 1920.

Battery Bigelow Emplacement #2 Remains
Battery Bigelow Emplacement #2 Mounting Ring
Battery Bigelow Panorama

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Tampa Bay.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 3" M1898M1 15 pounder rapid fire guns mounted on M1898 masking parapet mounts. The guns were mounted in 1903 and test-fired 19-20 Nov 1903. The battery was finally accepted on 28 Jun 1904.

Battery Bigelow Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 3" Rifle 154.5" M1898MI 65 Driggs-Seabury Masking Parapet, M1898,
#65, Driggs-Seabury
1904-1920 See note 1
2 3" Rifle 154.5" M1898MI 66 Driggs-Seabury Masking Parapet, M1898,
#66, Driggs-Seabury
1904-1920 See note 1
Source: RCB, Dec 1909, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 70-71, 212
Note 1: Both gun tubes transferred to Watervliet 26 Aug 1920. Both carriages ordered scrapped 20 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Bigelow Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

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. Battery Bigelow was not affected by the World War I redistribution but the 1920 disarmament push saw Battery Bigelow deactivate. Both gun tubes were transferred to Watervliet on 26 Aug 1920 and the carriages were scrapped 20 May 1920. The abandoned Battery Bigelow collapsed in October 1932 and began to break up on the beach where it remains today.

Current Status

The battery is broken up on the beach. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort De Soto, Florida

Maps & Images

Lat: 27.6144173 Long: -82.7374041



Visited: 28 Jan 2012, 20 Dec 2009

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