Battery Davis (1)

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Battery Davis (1) (1899-1900, 1911-1917) - Battery Thomas Davis was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 8 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Travis (2), Texas. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904 after 2nd Lt. Thomas Davis, Mounted Infantry, who died 20 Apr 1847, of wounds received in action during the Mexican-American War. Battery construction started 7 Apr 1898, was completed Jul 1899 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 25 Oct 1899 at a cost of $ 100,000.00. The Battery was damaged by the 1900 Galveston hurricane and was rebuilt between 1901 and 1907 and was accepted for service 21 Aug 1911 at a cost of $ 102,800.68. Deactivated in 1917.

Battery Davis
Battery Davis Power House

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Galveston.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 8" M1888MII guns mounted on M1896 disappearing carriages. The carriages arrived at Fort Travis (2) 27 Oct 1898 and the gun tubes arrived in Jun 1899.

At the time of the 1900 Galveston hurricane the battery was complete and accepted for service. The hurricane damaged the battery and left it suspended on its pilings, emplacement #2 broke away and caused additional damage. The battery was repaired and the sand ramparts restored between 1901 and 1906 and the guns remounted. Fort Travis was not re-garrisoned until 1911 when instability in Mexico made Fort Crockett a major staging area. The battery was not accepted for service until 21 Aug 1911.

Battery Davis Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888MII 54 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1896, #20, Bethlehem 1899-1900, 1911-1917 See note 1
2 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888MI 16 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1896, #18, Bethlehem 1899-1900, 1911-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, Aug 1921, Coast Defense Study Group, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 110-111, 213
Note 1:
Battery Davis Plan

World War I

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. The two 8" gun tubes of Battery Davis were reported as ordered dismounted for use overseas on 24 Aug 1917. The gun cards indicate the gun tubes were transferred to Watervliet arsenal, 17 Oct 1917, and that they were not returned to Battery Davis. The carriages were scrapped in May 1918.

Current Status

Part of Fort Travis Seashore Park, a Galveston County Park. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Travis (2), Texas

Maps & Images

Lat: 29.3635413 Long: -94.7577775

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Visited: 12 Nov 2009

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