Battery Shipp

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Battery Shipp (1901-1917) - Battery Shipp was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 5 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Caswell, Brunswick County, North Carolina. The battery was named in G.O. 134, 1899, after 1st Lt. William E. Shipp (Cullum 2982), 10th U.S. Cavalry, who was killed 1 Jul 1898 in the charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. Battery construction started 1898, was completed 1901 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 13 Aug 1901. A second gun was added to the battery with construction starting in 1904, completed in 1905 and transferred for use 24 Apr 1907. The final cost of both gun positions was $ 21,500.00. Guns removed in 1917 for shipment to France.

Battery Shipp Gun Emplacement #1 (Added)
Battery Shipp Gun Emplacement #2 (Original)
Battery Shipp View

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Cape Fear River.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with one 5" M1897 gun mounted an M1896 Balance Pillar carriage. A second position was added to the battery in 1905-7 and armed with another 5" M1897 gun mounted on an M1896 Balance Pillar carriage. The second gun and carriage came from Battery McDonough (1).

The battery was built as a two-story battery with the guns mounted on the upper level and two magazines on the lower level. No powder or shell hoists were provided. Electricity for lighting and utilities was originally provided by storage battery from Battery Bagley and later from the central power plant and the Battery Swift power plant.

Battery Shipp Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 5" Rifle 225" M1897 20 Bethlehem Balanced Pillar, M1896, #15, Bethlehem 1907-1917 See note 1
2 5" Rifle 225" M1897 16 Bethlehem Balanced Pillar, M1896, #1, Watertown 1901-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Nov 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 88-89, 210
Note 1: Both guns transferred to Morgan 31 Dec 1917. Both carriages ordered scrapped 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Shipp Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

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. Both of Battery Shipp's guns were ordered dismounted for use abroad on 24 Aug 1917 and transferred 31 Dec 1917 to Morgan Engineering for modification. Both guns were subsequently sent to France and later returned to Aberdeen after the end of the war. They were not returned to Battery Shipp. Both carriages were ordered scrapped 26 May 1920 as a part of the postwar disarmament program.

Current Status

On the property of the North Carolina Baptist Assembly. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Caswell, Brunswick County, North Carolina.

Maps & Images

Lat: 33.890982 Long: -78.026705

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: Emp 1 = 25.61, Emp 2 = 26.38'


  • Herring, Ethel and Williams, Carolee, Fort Caswell in War and Peace, 2nd Ed., NC Baptist Assembly, Oak Island, NC, 1983-1999, ISBN - 0-9671897-1-3, page 65


Visited: 27 Jan 2010

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