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Coastal Defense Mining in the 1890s

 
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RangerJoel77



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Savannah, GA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Coastal Defense Mining in the 1890s Reply with quote

Good evening,

I'm looking to start piecing together how the mining operation worked at Fort Screven, GA in the 1890s. It looks like the main aspect of that operation took place on Cockspur Island at Fort Pulaski. I was hoping that someone involved with the CDSG might have some specific information on this operation and might be able to help me out.

Unfortunately I've only been able to find a few maps in the park collection at Fort Pulaski that refer to proposed construction of the mining casemate and cable tanks inside the 3rd System casemates of the fort.

I'm also looking for any general information on the mining system in general during the 1890s. I've seen some manuals on later systems but thought there might be something more specific.

As always, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Joel Cadoff
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matthewa10



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you checked the CDSG Reference Manual which has a section devoted to mining operations?

Matt
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berhowma



Joined: 09 Sep 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Peoria, IL

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Mines Reply with quote

I would recommend looking at 

1) the Engineer notebook for Savannah defenses that details what was built anyway for the defenses and has a log of "events" as far as structures dates of use and changes. 
2) The RCW collection has some of the structures documents as well. 

These show what was built, but not how it was used or hooked up. More details on that can be found in the 1940s annexes, but Savannah was no longer a active defense by then. 

3) You can look at the 1914 Drill regulations and the 1912 submarine mine manual for more of the "nuts and bolts" of how things were done. 

Previous to 1898 I think only things were tried here and there as the structures were being built. Many defenses probably did not have mines actually in place before 1898. The 1898 mine deployment was somewhat haphazard, by 1912 the details had been worked out in a form that was published, I think these were the first such regular manuals on this other than articles in journals and memos and such.

These are ALL available as PDFs from the CDSG ePress. http://www.cdsg.org/cdrom1.htm

I can custom make a collections of documents on a CD or DVD covering the items of interest, if you do not have these already!


Might I add the annual reports of the Chief of Engineers for the years before 1901? After all, submarine mining was an Engineer, not an Artillery, function in those days. (Also from the CDSG ePress).

S/A War link shoild be:
>>
http://community.webtv.net/southsra/minelocations
>>

_________________
MABerhow
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Kume



Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Joel

I am researching submarine mining stations around the world and was wondering if you have made any progress in your research at Cockspur Island

Regards

kume
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RangerJoel77



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Savannah, GA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kume,

I did finally find out some information regarding the mining operation on Cockspur Island. Mark was extraordinarily helpful in my quest. The mining casemate in the demi-lune of Fort Pulaski was constructed between April 1894 and early 1895. It sat there unused for the next 3 years. During the Spanish American War, the mining operation was readied for war. Two 15-inch Rodman smoothbores were rehabbed and an 8-inch rifle was mounted on a Rodman carriage as an "Emergency Battery" to cover the minefield.

Captain Cassius Gillette reported: "The operating apparatus in the mining casemate at Fort Pulaski was completely in order," after a Sargent and six privates from the engineer battalion at Willetts Point, NY arrived in April, 1898. 44 mines were placed for the defense of Savannah. Two of them would be lost when cables were severed by propellers.

By September with the war all but over, the detachment would leave and a shed was constructed on the north wharf to contain the cleaned torpedo material. During June and July of 1898 during the war, a cable tank was constructed inside the fort in two of the casemate. An engine room for the mining casemate would be added in 1901, but the mining operation would be abandoned by 1902.

Battery Hambright was constructed from June 1, 1899 through March 31, 1900, to support the mining operation. It was to house two 15-pounder masking parapet mounted rifles, however, no weapons would ever be mounted. The site where it was located really wasn't suitable and the battery would suffer from major settling issues that made the site unusable.
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