• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

Fort Winfield Scott

Troops in formation at Fort Scott's main parade ground.
Troops in formation at Fort Scott's main parade ground.
Photo courtesy of California Military Museum

Post History

Fort Winfield Scott was established in the western part of the Presidio of San Francisco as a separate coast artillery post on June 19th, 1912. It served as a coast artillery garrison and as the headquarters of the Artillery District of San Francisco. Fort Scott also housed 17 Endicott-era gun batteries that were constructed, armed, and manned at varying levels between 1891 until 1946.

In 1922 Fort Scott was designated headquarters of the Coast Defenses of San Francisco; that term was changed to Harbor Defenses San Francisco (HDSF) in 1925. As the HDSF headquarters, it controlled most other army forts in the Bay Area, included Forts Baker, Barry, Cronkhite, Miley and Funston. Only the Presidio of San Francisco and Fort Mason did come under Fort Scott’s command, although they contained some coastal artillery and other ancillary facilities.

Following the end of World War II, Fort Scott was designated a sub-post of the Presidio of San Francisco, and on June 1st, 1946, the U.S. Army’s Coast Artillery School was transferred from Fort Monroe, Virginia, to Fort Scott. The school operated here for only a brief period, however, before the coast artillery system was made obsolete by modern air power, amphibious warfare, and nuclear weapons. The Coast Artillery disappeared as a separate arm of the military in 1950.

contemporary photo of Fort Scott main parade ground
Contemporary photo of Fort Scott main parade ground.
NPS photo

Origin of the name

The fort's name honors General Winfield Scott, who was a hero of the Mexican War and the commander the Union Army at the beginning of the Civil War. In 1882, the fort now known as Fort Point was given the name “Fort Winfield Scott” by Army Headquarters. That fort officially retained the name until 1886, when the fort was downgraded to a sub-post of the Presidio of San Francisco. The name was then used once again for the new coast artillery post established in 1912.

Click here to see a list of the Batteries and their descriptions.

maps showing all of Fort Scott's associated batteries
Map showing all of Fort Scott's associated batteries.
NPS graphic

Did You Know?

Fossils clams from Alcatraz Island

Megafossils (fossils that can be observed with the unaided eye) are rare in Franciscan Complex rocks, but the rocks of “The Rock,” Alcatraz, have yielded significant examples.