Fort Preble

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Fort Preble (1808-1947) - Initially a Second System fort established in 1808 by Henry A.S. Dearborn and named after Commodore Edward Preble. Modifications to upgrade it to a Third System Fort were begun but never completed. Continuously used through the U.S. Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. Four Endicott Period batteries were installed after the Spanish American War. An additional battery was constructed during World War II. Deactivated 31 Jul 1947 and declared surplus in 1950.

Fort Preble Third System Casemates
Fort Preble, Battery Rivardi
Fort Preble Aerial View

Second System (1808-1816)

Fort Preble was originally built as Second System modified star shaped, stone and earthwork fort on the site of previous fortifications. It originally mounted 14 cannons. The fort was built in 1808 on 5 acres of land purchased from Ebenezer Thrasher, as recorded in Cumberland County on 29 Feb 1808.

War of 1812 (1812-1814)

Third System (1816-1867)

Fort Preble was expanded in 1845 with a new 12 gun North Battery and a new 10 gun South Battery.

Fort Treble Third System Casemates with Batteries Rivardi and Mason to the rear, South Portland, Maine

U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

Fort Preble was to be rebuilt again as a Third System fort in 1863 with the addition of a single tier of casemates, without a Barbette tier, enclosing the old star fort on three sides. The rear (land side) approach was left open. The old star fort became the Barbette tier covering the front and rear. Two flanking Barbette batteries were to provided an additional 16 guns facing the channel. Only a part of the planned construction was completed.

Confederate raiders entered Portland Harbor on 26 Jun 1863, aboard a captured ship named Archer. The Confederates attempted to escape but 23 raiders were were captured by Union forces and imprisoned at the fort.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Portland, Maine. Designed to protect Portland Harbor along with Fort Scammel.

Fort Preble Endicott Period Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Kearny 8 12" Mortar 1896-1901-1901-1942 $ 226,205 Buried
Battery Chase 8 12" Mortar 1896-1901-1901-1942 Included in above Buried
Battery Rivardi 2 6" Disappearing 1906-1917 $ 44,137
Battery Mason 1 3" Pedestal 1906-1942 $ 8,043 Moved in 1942
Source: CDSG

World War I (1917-1918)

Fort Preble was garrisoned throughout World War I by the 8th Coast Artillery Regiment.

Fort Preble Plan 1921

World War II (1941-1945)

Fort Preble World War II Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Mason II 1 3" Pedestal Mount 1942-1946 $ ? Moved from Mason. Destroyed
Source: CDSG

Fort Preble Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1868-08-06 1869-02-08  Maj. Gibson, Horatio Gates 1347
1870-09-11 1875-11  Maj. Seymour, Truman 1290
1877-08-28 1881-03-09  Maj. Hamilton, John 1332
1887-08-28 1889-05-22  Maj. Rawles, Jacob Beekman 1916
1891-06 1898-10  Capt. Rogers, Robert Morris 2177
1903-10 1905-11  Maj. Parkhurst, Charles D. 2422
1905-11 1908-03  Maj. Rafferty, William Carroll 2830
1915-12-17 1917-08-11  Maj. Miller, Lawrence Sprague 3757 While commanding post,
he was promoted 15 May 1917
to Lieutenant Colonel.
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Current Status

Became Southern Maine Community College in 1952.

Location: Spring Point, Portland Harbor, Cumberland County, Maine.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.649716 Long: -70.225478

See Also:



Visited: 15 Jun 2012

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