Battery Gates

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Battery Gates (1908-1942) - Battery Gates was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 6 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Wool (1), Virginia. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after MG Horatio Gates, first adjutant general of the Continental Army, who received the thanks of Congress for his services during the Revolutionary War, and who died 10 Apr 1806. Battery construction started 10 Dec 1903, was completed in August 1908 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use on 18 Aug 1908. at a cost of $ 55,000.00. Deactivated in 1942.

Fort Wool (1), New Battery 229 on Top of Old Battery Gates

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Chesapeake Bay.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 6" M1903 guns mounted on M1903 disappearing carriages. Battery Gates was a two-story battery with the guns on the upper level and a common shell and magazine room on the lower level. Electrical power was furnished by a power room located in the traverse between Battery Claiborne and Battery Dyer. No powder or shell hoists were provided.

Battery Gates Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 1 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #51, Detrick & Harvey 1908-1917 See note 1
1 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 23 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #51, Detrick & Harvey 1918-1942 See note 2
2 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 3 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #50, Detrick & Harvey 1908-1917 See note 1
2 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 24 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #50, Detrick & Harvey 1918-1942 See note 2
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Jul 1919, 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 98-99, 208
Note 1: Guns transferred to Watervliet 27 Nov 1917. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Guns transferred to Watervliet 3 May 1943, carriages scrapped 20 Apr 1943. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Gates 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 guns tubes (#1 and #3) of Battery Gates were ordered dismounted for use abroad on 24 Aug 1917 and were transferred to Watervliet on 27 Nov 1917. These gun tubes eventually made their way to France and they were returned to the U.S. after the war. Battery Gates was rearmed with gun tubes (#23 and #24) from Battery Claiborne in 1918.

World War II

Battery Gates was selected as the site for Battery 229 a World War II 200 series rapid-fire gun battery. The original Battery Gates was deactivated in 1942 and construction on the new Battery 229 began in March 1943. The old carriages were ordered salvaged on 20 Apr 1943 and the old gun tubes (#23 and #24) were transferred to Watervliet 8 May 1943.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Wool (1), Ripp Rapp Island, Hampton City, Virginia. Now sealed and covered with sand.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.986415 Long: -76.3000917

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  • Elevation: 25.5'



Visited: 23 Jun 2010

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