Fort Scott: Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg (1898-1943)
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.
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.
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?
Major Jonathan Letterman--after whom the hospital at the Presidio was renamed in 1911--was the medical director of the Army of the Potomac. A founding father of military medicine, Letterman organized forward first-aid stations, mobile field hospitals, and ambulance services during the Civil War.