Battery Slaughter

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Battery Slaughter (1900-1917) - Battery Slaughter was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 8" inch coastal gun battery on Fort Winfield Scott (2), San Francisco County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902, after 1st Lt. William A. Slaughter (Cullum 1389), 4th U.S. Infantry, who was killed at Brannons Prairie, Washington Territory, 4 Dec 1855, in action against White River Indians. Battery construction started in 1899, was completed in 1900 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 23 Jan 1900 at a cost of $ 71,062.63. Deactivated in 1917.

Battery Slaughter Observation Station
Battery Slaughter Exposed Parapet

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco. Built to protect the inner harbor minefields.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with three 8" M1888 guns mounted on M1896 disappearing gun carriages. This was a single story battery with the guns located on the same level as the magazines. Shells were moved from the magazine to the gun loading platform by shell carts. No shell or powder hoists were provided or needed. Electrical power was furnished by the central power plant.

Battery Slaughter Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888 2 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #30, Walker 1900-1917 See note 1
2 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888 3 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #25, Morgan 1900-1917 See note 1
3 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888 8 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #2, Pond 1900-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920, RCB, 31 Dec 1903, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 110-111,215.
Note 1: Guns were shipped to the Watervliet Arsenal 31 Dec 1917 and the carriages were scrapped May 1918, CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Slaughter 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.

Declared "as of insufficient military value to warrant provision of manning personnel and ammunition therefor" on 27 Oct 1915 along with Battery Wagner and Battery Howe. On 24 Aug 1917 the three 8" guns of Battery Slaughter were ordered dismounted for use abroad and on 18 Jul 1918 they were reported as having been transferred for service abroad. The gun cards indicate that the guns were transferred to the Watervliet Arsenal 31 Dec 1917 for the A1 modifications for service abroad, none were shipped overseas and all were salvaged in 1946.

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No gun or mounts in place and the gun emplacements are buried by Highway 101 construction. Only parts of the parapets and the observation station are exposed.

Location: Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.801944 Long: -122.463056

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  • Elevation: 88.7'



Visited: 22 Aug 2009

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