Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Fort Winfield Scott: Battery Saffold
A 1938 Aerial image
of Battery Saffold (Coast Defense Study Group National Archives
Construction on this battery started in
1896 and completed in 1898 when the battery's second rifle was
mounted. The two 12-inch guns, one a model 1888 # 3 and one model
1888 MII # 19, manufactured at the Watervliet Arsenal. One gun
was received in 1897 and was mounted, the other was received
in early 1898. A unique feature of Battery Saffold was that its
guns could fire both seaward and in the bay. Later, with the
growth of the neighboring trees, and the building of more structures
at the Presidio of San Francisco, it became impossible to train
the guns on the bay. These guns were mounted on barbette (nondisappearing)
carriages model 1892; # 7 and # 8, manufactured at Watertown
The battery was named in War Department
General Order 16, dated February 14 1902, in honor of Capt. Marion
M. Saffold, Regimental Quartermaster of the 13th Infantry Regiment,
who was killed in action at Cavite, Island of Luzon Philippine
island, on October 8th 1899.
Battery Saffold was abandoned and it armament
removed in 1943. Today the site is a storage site for the Presidio
gun number 2.
by Chuck Sofford
This battery was named in GO 16, Headquarters
of the Army, Adjutant General's office Washington, February 14
1902, in honor of Capt. Marion M. Saffold 13th infantry who was
killed in action at Cavite, Island of Luzon Philippine island,
on October 8th 1899. Graduated from West Point in 1879. 2nd lieutenant
13th infantry, 13th, June 1879, 1st lieutenant December 16 1889.
Regimental Quartermaster, December 16th 1889 to 1893. Captain,
April 26 1898. Born in Alabama. Appointed from Alabama.
The two 12-inch guns, one a model 1888
# 3 and one model 1888 MII # 19, manufactured at the Watervliet
Arsenal.. The gun cost $36,300.00. The weight of the gun including
breech mechanism was 116,200 lbs. The gun were 98' between them.
One gun was received in 1897 and was mounted, the other was received
in early 1898. A characteristic unique to Saffold was that it
was constructed so that its guns could fire both seaward and
in the bay. Later however with the growth of trees, and more
structures at the Presidio, it became impossible to train the
guns on the bay. These guns were mounted on barbette (nondisappearing)
carriages model 1892; # 7 and # 8, manufactured at Watertown
Arsenal; with a range of 17,600 yards. Weight of the carriage
was 229,000,lbs, and the carriage cost $15,400.00. The carriage
were received in 1897.
The ammunition supply for this battery
was stored in the shell room which was 12 x 25 x 8 ( 2400 cu
ft) there were 2 of them) and held 240 shells each. The size
of the powder magazine was 16 x 25 x 8.5 (3187.5 cu ft), there
were two of them, and they held 264 powder charges each. The
battle allowance for this battery was 200, and it's war reserve
was 200. In January 13 1936 there were some changes in the amount
of projectiles stored here from 240 to standard battle allowance
of 200, and they were A.P., 12", 870-lbs. This batteries
had two T.R. hoists that were back delivery serial # 15 and 16
by G.E. Co. and had 71/2 h.p. motors with 220 volts and 1060
R.P.M. with a R 96-A control. There date of transfer was Sep
30 1908, and were remodeled for long points. The battery book
said the shot hoists were manufactured by the Elicot Machine
Co., of Baltimore MD
The first step is to clear and grade the
site for this emplacement, which was done with local labor and
was ready for the excavation to start in less that two weeks.
At that time the excavation was started with the removal of about
5636 cu yd of dirt and sand, at a cost of $4,047.96. As the excavation
went forward, the forms were started as the space was finished,
the timber used in making the forms, in all cases dressed lumber
will be used, in the past rough lumber was used, and this then
had to be finished after the frame were removed, using the dressed
lumber plastering is not necessary and the cost was $2,425.60.
As the forms are finished, the iron and steel, in the form of
I beams for reinforcing ceilings, and in columns for supporting
ceilings, for reinforcing concrete, deformed bars were used,
a total of 7750 lbs of reinforcing steel, at a cost of $547.97.
By this time everything was ready for
the pouring of the concrete, and in this battery there was used
over 8560 cu yr. of concrete, with the pouring of the gun blocks
which was first.
After finishing the foundation, and the
removal of the forms, sand was put on the front and flanks of
the lower floor of batteries, the sand was filled in front of
the concrete,(Horizontal protection, front of magazine, 15 feet
of concrete, 45 feet of sand; equivalent to 30 feet of concrete.-
Horizontal protection front of gun, 15 feet of concrete, 40 feet
of sand; equivalent to about 28 1/2 feet of concrete- Vertical
cover over magazine, 10 feet of concrete). In this battery there
was nearly 7135 yd of back fill used.
In 1897 these emplacement were nearly
finished, the remaining work being to concrete the terrepleins
pavement fence in the battery, put in the machinery, hanging
doors, and an asphalt finish was applied to the roof of the magazines
and top of parapet were done, the carriages and one gun were
received and has been mounted.
In 1898 by the end of the fiscal year,
these emplacement were nearly finished , the remaining unfinished
work being installing the lifts and trolleys, and besides a latrine
was built, the interior walls were hard finished, aprons built,
and certain minor operations carried on. also the mounting of
the 2nd gun, By 1899 with the exception of the electric wiring
and lights, all the engineering work was completed, and the second
gun was mounted.
In 1900 the electric light plant was completed
in February as was the Battery Commanders stations, tool rooms
and rammer racks. This battery was 225 ' across the front, and
95' deep with 100' between the two guns, this battery had beside
the Powder Room and Shell Room, also had a Engine Room and a
Radiator Room which were 12' X 25' (there was a wall between
the Radiator Room and the Engine Room) also there was and Oil
Room which was 25' X 10' and 2, Store Room one was 12' X 20',
the other was 10' X 18', the B.C. in this 2 story battery was
just above the store room in the center of the battery also there
were two recesses for tools on both emplacements 10' X 2', and
the two Hoist Rooms were about 12' X 15, and has a splinter proof
roof. This battery was started in February 4 1897 and finished
1898, and transferred in 1898, for a cost of $107,409.04 (emplacement
1 and 2 Sanfold and #3 at Lancaster.
This battery was electrician around December
of 1899, and finished in February of 1900. It required 2.9kw
for lights, and 11.2 for the motors and for the hoist and had
one 25kw to be installed in the engine room, with space partitioned
off for radiator, to supply power for Saffold Crosby F/8, B/10.
This battery was connected to water and
sewer, with a siphon latrine, for the data transmission was by
telephone. It was ventilated by natural draft 5" terra cotta
vents from the magazine. Trunnion elevation in the battery was
317.4, Datum M.L.L.W. In a letter dated February 15 1937, it
was made a class C, as per Captain Shelton of the 6th Coast Artillery.
On February 26 1901 two type-B emergency range finder, were to
be built, an allotment of $800.00 was made to construct them.
Upon further consideration only one station was constructed at
a cost of $142.75, this fulfilling all the requirements. The
work was finished on May of the year.
This battery Bl was standard concrete
station located 13' between the two guns at an elevation of 316.6
feet, and was constructed in 1900, with a limiting Azimuths Field
of View 63 o to 114 o, height above M.L.L.W. of tops of concrete
piers for the range finding instruments 316.8 feet, Height above
M.L.L.W. of axes of range finding instruments, and was equipped
with 1 only Telescope observation, Model 1908 #68. A BlS1 was
a double concrete station on the left flank of the battery (plotting
room) at an elevation of 309 feet, and was constructed in 1900.
It was equipped with the following: one Deflection Board Model
1905 # 325, one Wind Component Indicator Model 1906 # 7, one
Pratt Range Board Model 1905 #320, one Plotting Board (110 deg)
Model1915 #92. A B2S2 was a double concrete station at Tennessee,
which was constructed in 1937, with a Limiting Azimuths of Fields
of View Right:60.74 Left 104.32, and had the following equipment,
1 Lewis Depression Position Finder. Model 1907 #31, 1 Mounted
Telescope Model 1908 #68, at an elevation of 309 feet. A B3S3
was at Point Lobos a double concrete station was construction
in 1900 with an elevation of 80 feet, Limiting Azimuths of Field
of View: Left 77.50 Right 193.90, Height above M.L.W. of the
top of concrete Pier of Range Finding Instrument:-35.604 feet,
Height above M.L.W. of Axis of Range Finding Instrument: 40.000
feet, and was equipped with the: one Lewis Depression Position
Model 1898 Type A #66.
Its guns were declared obsolete and dismounted
in 1943, this battery was salvaged by the commanding general,
Fort Winfield Scott and sub post under directive contained in
Secret Letter, office of the Chief of Ordnance file 00-400.93/28(S)
SPOFX5 to the service command dated Jan 23 1946. subject "Salvage
of Obsolete Armament". It saw service from 1898 to 1943.
The battery is still in good condition, was in it this year.
Completed Works - Seacoast Fortification