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Walking Tour of Fort Mott

This is what you will see on a walking tour of Fort Mott.

Batter Gregg
Battery Gregg was completed in December 1900 and contained emplacements for two 5-inch rapid fire guns mounted on barbette pedestal mounts with shields. After the guns were removed in 1913, an observation station for Battery Harker's Commander was installed in one of the gun emplacements.
Where the gun was mounted in Battery HarkerBattery Harker
Battery Harker had three 10-inch guns mounted on disappearing carriages. Each gun emplacement has a powder and shell magazine located beneath the gun platform. Electric hoists were at each gun emplacement to lift the ammunition to the large guns.
This was used to raise the ammo to the guns which were up above.Disappearing Gun Carriages
The main defensive concept at Fort Mott was the installation of high-caliber weapons on disappearing carriages. the large guns were loaded and aimed while concealed behind the parapet wall and only raised to fire.
The Parapet
This massive concrete wall, as much as 35 feet thick, was designed to conceal and protect the guns and ammunition magazines from the flat trajectory fire of enemy warships. this defensive wall was itself protected by an additional 60 feet of earth in front of the concrete.
Battery Arnold
Sharing the parapet with Battery Harker, the three guns of Battery Arnold were the most powerful armament at Fort Mott.  One of these guns could fire a 1,000 pound projectile eight miles down river. the magazines located beneath the gun platform could hold 208 rounds of ammunition.
1870s Magazine
Two magazines from the original 1872 construction were used during the later Endicott defenses.
Peace Magazine
Continual problems with moisture in each of the gun emplacement magazines was an ongoing problem. This storage magazine was built in 1904 to eliminate the moisture problem. At the same time, a postern gate (tunnel) was built through the parados and the narrow gage ammunition railroad was extended  from behind the main batteries to the Peace Magazine.
Where one of the guns used to stand.Battery Edwards
Battery Edwards has casemates (enclosed gun emplacements) for 3-inch rapid fire guns and were constructed form two of the original 1872 magazines. Battery Edwards was designed to protect the fort from smaller, high-speed vessels or infantry units landing in front of the fort.
The lookout that was built after the guns were removedBattery Krayenbuhl
Battery Krayenbuhl had two 5-inch rapid fire guns mounted in barbette balanced-pillar mounts. Interior magazines were built below the gun platforms and electric hoists were used to deliver ammunition. The guns were designed to protect the channel above and below the fort. After the guns were removed in 1917, an observation station was installed in one of the gun emplacements.
The Switchboard/Plotting room
During World War I, improvements in fire control of the large caliber weapons were made at 
Fort Mott. A switchboard was installed to centralize fire control. This room later became a central plotting room to calculate target ranges and locations.
You can still see the remains of the railroad tracksBattery Lane
Located behind the gun installations, from Battery Harker to the pastern gate, this area contains the generator room and ammunition railway.

Disappearing gun carriages were invented in Europe and perfected by the United States army ordnance officers. The design of the carriage utilized a counterweight system with massive lever arms to support the gun. The protective wall concealed the guns. After the gun was loaded and aimed, a counterweight, located in a large pit below the gun, was released to raise the gun to the firing position.

When the weapon was fired. the upper ends of the arms recoiled backwards and downwards, which simultaneously raised the counterweight attached to the opposite ends of the lever arms. This action placed the gun back in position for reloading, safely behind the wall and away from the enemy's view.

I was so impressed by what I had read about Fort Mott that I had to go see it. I was even more impressed when I got there and saw the massive size of the parapet and the size of the gun emplacements. I could only imagine the size of the guns that used to be there.

Copyright 2001- , Terry Muse 
Revised: October 8, 2001
Contact: Terry Muse

Coastal Heritage Trail | Delsea Region