Battery Habersham

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Battery Habersham (1900-1942) - Battery Habersham was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal mortar battery on Fort Screven, Chatham County, Georgia. The battery was named in G.O. 43, 4 Apr 1900, after Major Joseph Habersham, Continental Army, who rendered distinguished service during the revolution and later became Postmaster General (1795-1801). Battery construction started in December 1898, was completed in March 1900 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 9 Apr 1900 at a cost of $ 125,442. Deactivated in 1942.

Battery Habersham Mortar Pit A.
Battery Habersham Central Entrance.
Battery Habersham Mortar Pit A Observation Post and Magazine Structure.

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Savannah.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal mortar battery with eight 12" M1890MI mortars mounted on M1896MI mortar carriages divided into two mortar pits (A-B) with four mortars in each pit (1-4).

Each mortar pit had a data booth at the rear that conveyed azimuth and elevation information to the gun crews and directed the firing. The data booth was connected to the plotting room via telephone. Between the mortar pits was a concrete magazine that stored the shells and powder. The magazine was protected with a 20' covering of earth. Shells and powder were wheeled from the magazine to the mortar loading platforms on shot carts.

Battery Habersham Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 52 Builders Mortar, M1896MI, #200, Columbus 1900-1942 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 3 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #199, Columbus 1900-1918 See note 1
A3 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 11 Niles Mortar, M1896MI, #221, Rarig 1900-1942 See note 1
A4 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 53 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #222, Rarig 1900-1918 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 44 Builders Mortar, M1896MI, #220., Rarig 1900-1942 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 41 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #198, Columbus 1900-1918 See note 1
B3 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 46 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #195, Columbus 1900-1942 See note 1
B4 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 42 Builders Mortar, M1896MI, #197, Columbus 1900-1918 See note 1
Source: RCB, 31 Dec 1903, RCW Form 1, August 1919, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140-141
Note 1:
Battery Habersham 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. Four mortars were ordered removed on 23 May 1918 from Battery Habersham and prepared for shipment overseas. The mortars were not returned after the war.

World War II

The remaining four mortars remained in place until 4 Nov 1942 when they were ordered scrapped.

Current Status

The battery has been repurposed as a storage facility, no period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Screven, Chatham County, Georgia

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.024191 Long: -80.84918

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: 20.293' (trunnion elevation)

Sources: Links:

Visited: 19 Jan 2010

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