Siege and Mortar Battery - West Point

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Siege and Mortar Battery - West Point (1836-1910) - A Siege and Mortar Battery first established between 1836 and 1859 at West Point, Orange County, New York. Probably abandoned between 1906 and 1910. The site was overbuilt with the amphitheater at West Point.

Siege and Mortar Battery circa 1905
Siege and Mortar Battery circa 1909 after the Construction of Battery Schofield in the Background

History of Siege and Mortar Battery

Cadet Siege Gun Drill circa 1905
1883 Map Snippet Showing the Seacoast Battery (upper right) and the Siege-Mortar Battery (lower right). The compound labeled with an "a" is the present day First Class Club.

Established sometime between 1836 and 1859 as a training battery for West Point cadets. Really two different batteries side by side. The left side of the battery emplaced mortars while the right side emplaced siege guns on field carriages on platforms. All of the guns faced north up the Hudson River. Live firing took place with sub-caliber munitions and/or partial powder charges. The batteries were armed with what would have been armament in use at the time and the armament set changed as the times and technology changed.


Described by the Board of Visitors in their 1897 report as used for the instruction of cadets in heavy gun drill. The armament in 1897 included:

Siege and Mortar Battery Armament 1897
No. Type
2 5-inch steel breech-loading rifles on field carriages
4 4.5-inch cast-iron rifled siege guns on field carriages (obsolete)
4 5-inch steel breech-loading siege guns on field carriages (New to replace above)
2 7-inch steel breech-loading siege howitzers on field carriages (new)
6 10-inch smooth-bore mortars (obsolete)
4 7-inch steel breech-loading siege mortars (to replace obsolete above)
2 3.6-inch steel breech-loading siege mortars (to replace obsolete above)

Probably abandoned between 1906 and 1910. The battery is shown fully armed and in use for training in 1905 pictures. By 1909 only two guns are shown on the siege gun side of the battery while the mortar side is still armed with small mortars. The new Battery Schofield can be seen in the 1909 picture. With the construction of Battery Byrne, mortar instruction probably transferred to this new battery. The old site was later overbuilt with the Trophy Point Amphitheater.

Current Status

The site was overbuilt with the Trophy Point Amphitheater at West Point. No remains and no marker.


Location: West Point, Orange County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 41.39538 Long: -73.95735

See Also:

Sources:

  • Report of the Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy for the Year 1897, GPO, Google Books].

Links:

Visited: No


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