Battery Fornance

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Battery Fornance (1899-1920) - Battery Fornance was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 4.72 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Fremont, Beaufort County, South Carolina. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 25 May 1903, after Captain James Fornance, 13th U.S. Infantry, who died of wounds received at the battle of San Juan, Cuba, 1 Jul 1898. Battery construction was completed and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 2 Sep 1899 at a cost of $ 6,000.00. Deactivated in 1920.

Battery Fornance Emplacement #2
Battery Fornance Emplacement #1
Battery Fornance Rear View

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Port Royal Sound.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 4.72" Armstrong guns mounted on Armstrong Pedestal mounts. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were moved from the magazine to the elevated gun loading platform by hand. No shell or powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was furnished by the emplacement power plant in Battery Jesup.

Battery Fornance Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 4.72" Rifle 218.4" Armstrong 9423 Armstrong Pedestal, Armstrong, #9084, Armstrong 1899-1920 See note 1
2 4.72" Rifle 218.4" Armstrong 9424 Armstrong Pedestal, Armstrong, #11005, Armstrong 1899-1920 See note 1
Source: RCB, 31 Dec 1909, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 86-87
Note 1: Guns and mounts transferred to Fort Fremont 12 Aug 1898, guns and mounts transferred to Aberdeen 19 Aug 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA

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. The guns of Battery Fornance were not affected by the World War I redistribution but the following 1920 disarmament program saw both guns removed. Both of the guns and mounts were transferred to Aberdeen on 19 Aug 1920 and subsequently donate for use as display guns.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place. This battery appears to have had some brick and concrete construction on top of the gun emplacements.

Location: Fort Fremont, Beaufort County, South Carolina

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.305448 Long: -80.64262

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Visited: 25 Jan 2010

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