Battery Cavallo

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Battery Cavallo (1890-1910) - Battery Cavallo was originally constructed as a post U.S. Civil War gun battery but only armed as an Endicott Period 8 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Baker (1), Marin County, California. Battery construction started in 1872, was completed in 1874 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 1 Jun 1900 at a cost of about $ 107,504. Deactivated in 1910.

The center of Battery Cavallo showing the communications tunnels and Emplacement 10

Post U.S. Civil War (1870-1876)

Originally built between 1872 and 1876 as a 1870s System coastal gun battery to mount thirteen cannons and two rifles. The original armament was to include three 20" Rodman cannons, ten 15" Rodman cannons and two 12" Parrott rifles. The earthworks battery was built in the shape of a broad arrow head pointed to the southeast. The left flank of the battery covered the inner bay including Angel Island and Alcatraz while the right flank covered the Golden Gate. Internally, each flank contained a parade separated by a central traverse from the other. Two masonry communications tunnels through the traverse connected the parades. Buried masonry magazines were located between the sets of emplacements. The rear of the battery was enclosed with an earthen parapet wall to provide for a land side defense.

Construction started in June 1872 and was 95% complete on 30 Jun 1876 when Congress cut off funding for all coastal fortifications. The guns were never mounted and the post was placed in caretaker status.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

The original battery was completed before 1876 but not armed until 1898 when three 8" converted Rodman rifles were emplaced on Iron Barbette carriages. These three guns were originally 10" Rodman cannons that had been modified by inserting an 8" rifled sleeve into the barrel.

The three 8" rifles were emplaced in emplacements 10, 11 and 13 of the old Battery Cavallo. Emplacements 10 and 11 were originally built for 15" Rodman cannons and emplacement 13 was originally built to mount a 20" Rodman cannon. Records indicate that the guns were mounted and in good condition as late as 31 Dec 1909. They were probably taken out of service the following year (1910).

Battery Cavallo Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
10 8" Muzzleloading Rifle 136.7" Converted Rodman ? Unk Barbette, Iron 1890-1910 See note 1
11 8" Muzzleloading Rifle 136.7" Converted Rodman ? Unk Barbette, Iron 1890-1910 See note 1
13 8" Muzzleloading Rifle 136.7" Converted Rodman ? Unk Barbette, Iron 1890-1910 See note 1
Source: RCB, 31 Dec 1903, 31 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 180-181
Note 1: 10" Rodman smoothbore cannons with a 8" rifled sleeve inserted
Battery Cavallo 1938

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Baker, Marin County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.835332 Long: -122.473076

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Visited: 26 Aug 2009

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