Fort Scott: Battery Baldwin (1901-1920)
Built to protect the inner harbor, this Endicott-era battery was completed in 1901 and armed with two 3-inch, 15-pounder rapid-fire guns on balanced pillar mounts. These guns had a range of five miles and could be fired at the rate of twenty to thirty rounds per minute for short periods. After the early abandonment of this battery—when the submarine mines were moved to outside the Golden Gate—its magazines were used for storage and the Fort Scott boundary was redrawn to place the battery within the Presidio of San Francisco. For many years it was believed construction of the Doyle Drive approach to the Golden Gate Bridge had destroyed the disarmed battery. However, the California Department of Transportation recently uncovered it while excavating the area.
Origin of the Name
Battery Baldwin was named in honor of Lieutenant Henry Baldwin, who served in the Fifth Artillery during the Civil War. Baldwin died of wounds received at Cedar Creek, Virginia, in October 1864.
Access and Current Condition
Battery Baldwin is located at the Presidio near the San Francisco National Cemetery and the cavalry stables. It is currently in the construction zone of the new Presidio Parkway and is inaccessible. Its current condition is unknown, but very little was visible before the construction began.
Did You Know?
In the aftermath of a tragic fire that killed four family members of General John Pershing, the army built a fire station at the Presidio. The new Presidio Fire Station was the first on any U.S. Army post to house a permanent fire company with trained firefighters.