The idea of a book on the military history on Point Loma was first conceived at Cabrillo National Monument about 1984. There was discussion on the idea among park staff who decided the scope of the project should be larger than just Point Loma. A proposal was written, a contract issued, and Erwin Thompson completed the text of "The Guns Of San Diego: San Diego Harbor Defenses, 1796-1947", in 1988. It was sometime between that completion of this historic resource study and its release as a public document. Its release, however, comes at a good time for Cabrillo National Monument. Beginning in January, 1992 a new general management plan will be prepared and this study will play an important part in determining how the remnants of San Diego's harbor defense system within the park will be preserved. The remnants of coastal defense located within Cabrillo National Monument are treated differently in the text by the use of the abbreviation HS, standing for historical structure. This is important to management of the park and central to one of the purposes of the study.
The "Guns Of San Diego" starts with the Spanish fortifications and continues through Mexico's short occupation of the area before concentrating on the defense efforts of the United States on the west coast. The emphasis is on Coastal Artillery, but also covers infantry, cavalry, and other military units that were stationed in San Diego. As San Diego grew in size and importance, the protection of the city became of greater concern. Much removed from events during the Civil War, San Diego's defenses and military activities were maximal during WW II.
The author and editors have tried to make it as accurate and informative as possible. It is hoped that it will be a useful and enjoyable reference for those interested in the military history of San Diego.
Last Updated: 19-Jan-2005