• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Fort Scott: Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg (1898-1943)

Four 12-inch mortars
A pit containing four 12-inch mortars
Craig Hegdahl Collection
 

General Information

This Endicott-era battery was built to provide seaward defenses against enemy warships. Completed in 1898, the fortification was initially named Battery Stotsenburg and included four pits, each of which contained four 12-inch mortars. These guns had a range of eight miles as well as a 360-degree field of fire that could target beaches and land in addition to water.

In 1906, the battery was divided into two batteries of eight mortars each. The two pits to the east retained the name Battery Stotsenburg while the two western pits were renamed Battery William McKinnon. In 1917, four mortars were transferred from here to Battery Howe at Fort Funston. In 1943, the War Department ordered this and twelve other batteries salvaged because they were no longer needed.

 
Loading a 12-inch mortar
An artillery crew rams a projectile into a 12-inch mortar under the supervision of two officers. These mortars could fire a 1,040-pound projectile up to eight miles.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

Origin of Name

Battery Stotsenburg was named in honor of Captain Stotsenburg, Sixth Cavalry, who was killed in action at Timgua, Island of Luzon, Philippine Islands, in 1898.

Battery McKinnon was named in honor of Captain McKinnon, Third Cavalry, who served with distinction in the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection. He died on active duty in 1902.

 
A mortar pit at McKinnon-Stotsenberg today
Mortar pit # 2 at Battery McKinnon-Stotsenburg as it appears today.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

Access and Current Condition

Battery Stotsenburg-McKinnon is located near Rob Hill at the Presidio, adjacent to the intersection of Washington and Compton Roads. Though access to the batteries and interior magazines is not allowed, the battery may be viewed through a chain-link fence.

 

Did You Know?

Fort Point, once called

In 1882, the fort now known as Fort Point was given the name "Fort Winfield Scott", a name it retained for four years before being downgraded to a sub-post of the Presidio. In 1912, the name was reused for the new coast artillery post at the Presidio, today's Fort Scott.