Visited 4 Apr 2009 – Battery Meigs was the first battery visited on the CDSG 2009 tour of Fort Washington, Maryland. Originally an Endicott Period concrete mortar battery and a part of the Harbor Defense of the Potomac that protected Washington D.C., it is now used primarily as storage for the National Park Service at Fort Washington. The Park Rangers were kind enough to open most of it up to us so we could see what remained.
Battery Meigs originally had eight 12″ M1890 steel mortars mounted on M1896MI mortar carriages arranged as two mortar pits of four mortars each. The objective of the Battery was to rain 1046 lb shells straight down on the deck of any enemy ship approaching Washington D.C. The mortars were put into place in 1902 and removed in 1913, obsoleted by advances in naval gun technology that would easily allow enemy ships to bombard Washington D.C. without ever coming into range of Battery Meigs’ mortars.
The remains of each mortar emplacement can still be seen but now they only contain a mound of soil and a bit of grass. The emplacements themselves are crowded with stored items and supplies used by the Park Service to maintain the park.
It was a bit disappointing to see the condition of Battery Meigs and it’s current use but encouraging to see that it still existed and that it could be made into an impressive attraction again if an effort were made. A kind of a sad start to a beautiful day full of great sights at Fort Washington.
This post was written by JohnStanton on April 29, 2009