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Battery Laidley (1900-1931) - Battery Laidley was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal mortar battery on Fort De Soto, Florida. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 15 May 1903 after Col. Theodore T. S. Laidley, Ordnance Department, U. S. Army, who rendered conspicuous service in the Mexican-American War and the U.S. Civil War, and who died April 4. 1886, at Palatka, Florida. Battery construction started November 1898, was completed April 1900 and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 8 May 1900 at a cost of $ 155,651.96. Declared surplus 27 Jun 1931.
Battery Laidley History
Part of the Harbor Defense of Tampa Bay.
Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal mortar battery with eight 12" M1890MI guns mounted on M1896MI carriages.
|A1||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||22||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #185, American Hoist||1900-1931||See note 1|
|A2||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||132||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #186, American Hoist||1900-1931||See note 1|
|A3||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||107||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #187, American Hoist||1900-1917||See note 2|
|A4||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||85||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #188, American Hoist||1900-1917||See note 2|
|B1||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||76||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #189, American Hoist||1900-1917||See note 2|
|B2||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||86||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #183, American Hoist||1900-1931||See note 1|
|B3||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||127||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #190, American Hoist||1900-1917||See note 2|
|B4||12" Mortar||11' 9.5"||M1890MI||135||Watervliet||Mortar, M1896MI, #184, American Hoist||1900-1931||See note 1|
|Source: RCW Form 1, 30 Sep 1921, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140-143, 212|
Note 1: Mortars declared surplus and ordered disposed of 29 Aug 1931. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Mortars and carriages shipped to Fort Rosecrans Apr 1917. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
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 mortars of Battery Laidley were not affected directly by the World War I redistribution but four of the mortars and carriages were removed and shipped to arm Battery Whistler at Fort Rosecrans. The reduction was part of a program to relieve crowding and improve efficiency in 12" mortar pits without significantly reducing rate of fire.
Four mortars and carriages in place. The magazine rooms are in great shape and well labeled.
Location: Fort De Soto, Florida
Maps & Images Lat: 27.6154821 Long: -82.7358806
Visited: 20 Dec 2009
Battery Laidley Picture Gallery
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