Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Fort McDowell: Battery Wallace
Battery Wallace in
the loading position, circa 1903.
by Justin Ruhge
Battery Wallace was one 8-inch breech-loading
rifle Model 1888, No. 11 manufactured by Bethlehem Steel Company,
and mounted on a Buffington-Crozier carriage Model 1896, No.
26 manufactured by Walker Company.
This battery was named in General Orders
16, February 14, 1902, in honor of Lieutenant Robert B. Wallace,
Second Cavalry, who died of wounds received at Caloocan, Luzon,
and the Philippine Islands in 1899.
Drawing of a Buffington-Crozier disappearing
gun carriage, model 1896 with an 8 inch coastal rifle. Battery
Wallace featured this carriage, using the same1888 8-inch rifled
cannon as Battery Drew. The carriage
allowed the gun to retract and hide after each firing. The recoil
from firing pushed the gun back and down. Hydraulics cushioned
the force. One disadvantage was a limitation on the angle of
elevation, this limited the range of the weapon. Also as naval
armor became thicker it was advantageous to have high trajectories
in order to rain shells down on the less protected decks etc.
An example of this type of armament is on display at Battery
Chamberlin, Fort Winfield Scott on the Presidio of San Francisco.
Circa 1905. 8-inch Breech-Loading Rifle on a Buffington-Crozier
Carriage. Courtesy of the California State Parks Photographic
Archives. Angel Island - 280, DPR# 090-429.
Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications