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.
Battery Wallace, 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.
Report of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications
Report of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications: Battery Wallace
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Reprort of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications
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Updated 23 June 2017