|Artillery, Tanks and AFVs in the USA: New Hampshire
Artillery, Tanks and AFVs in New Hampshire
Data current to 14 July 2019.
One of the aims of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical piece of artillery and all armoured fighting vehicles preserved in New England. Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these tangible pieces of our military history and the list you see here is constantly being revised as new finds are discovered and the data is updated. The photos have come from various contributors, but the author likes to "ground truth" the reports, so a good number of the photos are by the author unless otherwise credited. Any errors found here are by the author. It often happens that military monuments that are relatively mobile, have been moved for restoration or scrapped, sometimes they are repainted with different markings and serial numbers, or they are replaced with a different piece of kit. For those reasons, any additions, deletions, corrections or amendments that you may be able to add to this list of Artillery and AFVs in New England would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. The primary aim is preserve our military history and to keep the record accurate.
(Alex Ashlock Photo)
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on a concrete stand,a.k.a. the long 32, mounted on a concrete cradle in the triangular-shaped town central green formed by Church Street, School Street, and Middle Street, No. 1 of 2.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on a concrete stand,a.k.a. the long 32, mounted on a concrete cradle in the triangular-shaped town central green formed by Church Street, School Street, and Middle Street, No. 2 of 2.
(Library of Congress Photo)
100-pounder Parrot Rifle mounted on an iron barbette carriage at Fort Totten, part of the Defences of Washington, D.C. (known as Washington City at the time), with the officers of Companies A and B, 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, and crew.
100-pounder Parrott rifle (Parrott, 6.4-inch, rifle, seacoast, Model 1861), weight 9,672-lbs. Town Square.
Designed by Robert Parker Parrott at the outbreak of the Civil War, the Parrott Rifle became one of the most used rifled artillery pieces during the war. With shells that exploded on impact, rifled guns such as the Parrott Rifle spelled the end of masonry fortifications.
(Heather Wilkinson Rojo Photo)
QF 1-¼-pounder pom-pom Mk. III, V.S.M. (Vickers, Sons & Maxim LL) Automatic Gun (Serial No. TBC), mounted on a naval gun stand in the park on the corner of Bedford Center Road and Meetinghouse Road.
(Library of Congress Photo)
13-inch Model 1861 Seacoast Mortars,weighing more than 17,000-lbs, Battery No. 4, Yorktown, Virginia, May 1862.
(Library of Congress Photo)
13-inch Model 1861 Seacoast Mortars,weighing more than 17,000-lbs, Battery No. 4, facing the Confederate Lines in May 1862. The Battery held ten of these 13-inch Mortars, manned by the First Connecticut and Second New York Artillery.
(Ken Gallagher Photo)
13-inch Model 1861 Seacoast Mortar, Reg. No. 1036, Fdy No. 1036, 1862, weight 17,198-lbs, mounted on original carriage. Town Square.
This Civil War memorial includes a mortar that was used aboard the ship USS Orvetta. There is a plaque on the face of the mortar that lists Civil War veterans from Bristol, and in the center a list of the bombardments in which the Orvetta engaged dating from 1862 to 1865. This mortar stands in the Bristol Town Square, and is dedicated to the Nelson Post No. 40 GAR 1898. In November 1897 this mortar was shipped to Bristol from the Charleston, SC Navy Yard. The monument was dedicated November 4, 1898.
The USS Orvetta was one of 21 schooners fitted out with mortars for a bomb flotilla organized by Comdr. David Dixon Porter to support Flag Officer David Farragut’s deep draft ships in their attack on New Orleans, Orvetta sailed down the Atlantic coast, across the Gulf of Mexico, and into the Mississippi through Pass a l'Outre below Fort St. Philip and Fort Jackson, 18 April 1862. Orvetta and her sister schooners opened fire and maintained the barrage on the Confederate fortifications until the 24th when Farragut’s salt water ships passed the forts. The next day New Orleans, Louisiana, surrendered. The schooner subsequently supported operations in the Mississippi River, especially against Vicksburg and served in the Gulf of Mexico. After the war she decommissioned at New York City 3 July 1865 and was sold at auction on 15 August 1865. Her mortar is now a memorial in Bristol, New Hampshire. (Wikipedia)
M60A3 Main Battle Tank (Serial No. 1377M), American Legion Post 112, 44 Short Falls Rd.
(Nelson Lawry Photo)
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on a concrete stand,mounted on an iron stand, Broad Street Park in the town center, No. 1 of 2.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on a concrete stand,mounted on an iron stand, Broad Street Park in the town center, No. 2 of 2.
(Richard Marsh Photo)
Cast-iron 3-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun, weight 11-1-26 (1,286 lbs), Serial No. (613) on the left trunnion, (L12) on the right trunnion, Z, King George III cypher, British broad arrow, ca. late 1700’s, mounted on a wood reproduction gun carriage. This gun was captured at the Battle of Bennington.
(Eugene Zelenko Photo)
75-mm M1987 Field Gun, located at the confluence of Loudon Road (State Route 9) and Blodgett Street, east of Concord near the NH National Guard reservation. Similar to this 75-mm M1897 Field Gun in Benicia, California. There were 480 American 75-mm field gun batteries (over 1,900 guns) on the battlefields of France in November 1918.
(Nelson Lawry Photos)
3-inch/23 cal US Naval deck gun, in front of the American Legion post on Central Avenue.
Two similar 3-inch/23cal pieces each on special dual-purpose mounts constituted the main armament of the two smallest USN Yangtze River gunboats, designed to patrol the very upper reaches of the Yangtze, USS Guam (later renamed USS Wake) and USS Tutuilla. Most of the old four-stack flushdeck destroyers (DD) that served with the USN Asiatic Fleet carried a single 3-inch/23 cal deck gun as their largest AA defense. After USS Exeter and USS Encounter were sunk in the Java Sea, USS Pope attempted to escape the overwhelming force of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), firing about 80 rounds from its 3-inch/23 at attacking float planes, with the gun seizing up after shooting about 80 rounds. One such gun was the main armament of USS San Pablo in the 1966 Steve McQueen move "The Sand Pebble", and fired on the cross-river barrier of junks and sampans near the film’s end. The USN 3-inch/23 cal deck gun is not common, but two are preserved in New Hampshire.
(Nelson Lawry Photos)
British 24-pounder carronade with a Blomefield pattern breeching ring, (CARRON) on the left trunnion, (24P) on the right trunnion, captured by a Yankee privateer during the War of 1812, and jury-mounted on a USN 30-pounder Parrott naval gun carriage.
There are two small Parrott guns mounted on ornamental carriages, located in the Pine Hill Cemetery.
XI-inch Dahlgren Shell Gun on board the USS Kearsarge during the Civil War era.
XI-inch Dahlgren Shell Gun (the only one of its kind in New Hampshire), mounted on a concrete cradle, located in Gilman Park next to the river. The XI inch Dahlgren shell gun was manufactured for the U.S. Navy. It was named for Rear Admiral John Dahlgren. The XI-inch shell guns served with the Union Navy, fighting in every major engagement of the Civil War. An XI-inch shell gun aboard the USS Kearsarge sank the CSS Alabama in the Battle of Cherbourg, France in June of 1864. 465 XI-inch Dahlgren guns were cast at Alger; Builders; Fort Pitt; Hinkley, Williams & Co.; Portland Locomotive Works; Seyfert, McManus & Co.; Trenton Iron Works; and West Point foundries between 1856 and 1864. This is the only Dahlgren gun to have been designed both with and without a muzzle swell. The gun was typically mounted on a pivot or in a turret on a monitor. When mounted in a turret, the crew for an XI-inch Dahlgren was seven including powdermen. The crew for the gun when mounted on a pivot was 24 men and a powderman. XI-inch Dahlgrens were carried on many US Navy ships.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, a.k.a. the long 32, mounted on its own cradle (a second 32-pounder 57-cwt, a.k.a. the long 32, was blown up years ago by vandals).
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an ornament carriage, on the lawn of the American Independence Museum on Water Street, No. 1 of 2.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an ornament carriage, on the lawn of the American Independence Museum on Water Street, No. 2 of 2.
(Roger W. Sinnott Photo)
5"/51 calibre Simm Naval Gun, 23,000-lbs. These guns initially served as the secondary battery of United States Navy battleships built from 1907 through the 1920s, also serving on other vessels. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 5 inches (127-mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 51 calibers long (barrel length is 5" × 51 = 255" or 6.4 meters). This gun is located beside the Captain George Leonard Smith War Memorial.
Ferret Scout Car, Hampton Motor Company, 611 Lafayette Rd. Similar to this one with the Prince Edward Island Regiment Museum, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
M76 Otter Amphibious cargo carrier used by the USMC. (USMC Archives Photo)
(Robert Cassin Photo)
M76 Otter Amphibious cargo carrier.
M60A3 Main Battle Tank (Serial No. 3676A), American Legion Post 88, 55 S Village Rd.
4.2-inch (30-pounder) Naval Parrot Rifle, 4,200 lbs, mounted on a concrete stand beside the war memorials on the South Lyndeborough village common.
The Hartshorn Memorial Cannon is a decommissioned American Civil War Naval Gun that forms the centerpiece of the South Lyndeborough Village Common. The gun is named for John Alonzo Hartshorn, the town's second Civil War casualty and a former member of the town's Lafayette Artillery Company. Prior to 1900, the Hartshorn Cannon saw service as a naval piece during the Civil War at Fort Constitution in New Castle, New Hampshire, and is believed to have remained there until substantial changes were made to the fort in the late 1890s. The black thirty-pounder Parrot Rifle is approximately 102-inches (2,60-cm) long, weighs 3,495 pounds (1,585 kg), and was made at West Point Foundry in New York. Currently it sits on a low granite base which probably dates from about 1902. When in use, it was capable of firing 29-pound (13 kg) shells with a munition charge of 3.25 pounds (1.47 kg) a maximum distance of 6,700 yards (6,100 m), with a flight time of 27 seconds. Typically, nine people were required to operate it.
The Hartshorn Cannon's use as a naval gun is suggested by an anchor insignia inscribed near the base of its barrel. Inscribed on the gun is the letter-number combination "R.P.P. No. 140 3495 LBS," probably indicating the inventor (New Hampshire native Robert Parker Parrott), order of manufacture, and weight of the cannon. Additionally, the year of manufacture (1862) and classification ("30 PDR") are indicated on one side of the gun, and the initial "P" is engraved on the other. (S.A. Roper and S.C. Roper, Citizen Soldiers: New Hampshire's Lafayette Artillery Company, 1804-2004 (Portsmouth NH: Peter E. Randall, 2004)
Lafayette Artillery Company
The Lafayette Artillery Company was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1804 as the Artillery Company of the 22nd Regiment. It was part of the State of New Hampshire's artillery system, a forerunner to the National Guard. The group has continued to operate continuously since its founding, and since 1833 it has been headquartered at Lyndeborough, New Hampshire. Since the 1980s, it has been primarily an educational service organization, and participates in Civil War reenactments throughout the northeastern USA. (Stephanie Abbot Roper and Scott C. Roper. 2004. Citizen Soldiers: New Hampshire's Lafayette Artillery Company, 1804–2004. Portsmouth, NH: Peter E. Randall, Publisher.)
(John Hirtle Photo)
4-inch Naval deck gun dated 1907. American Legion Post 35.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, C, A & Co, (Cyrus Alger), Serial No. 105, No. 1 of 4, mounted on an iron stand. On U.S. Route 1.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, C, A & Co, Serial No. 156, No. 2 of 4, mounted on an iron stand. On U.S. Route 1.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, C, A & Co, Serial No. 157, No. 3 of 4, mounted on an iron stand. On U.S. Route 1. (Weaponsman Photos)
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, C, A & Co, Serial No. not visible, No. 4 of 4, mounted on an iron stand. On U.S. Route 1.
Cyrus Alger & Co. Cyrus Alger furnished the government with shot and shell during the War of 1812. In 1817 he started South Boston Iron company which at an early date was known locally as Alger’s Foundry and later became Cyrus Alger & Co. The Massachusetts firm was a leading cannon manufacturer and when Cyrus died in 1856, leadership was assumed by his son, Francis, who piloted the company until his death in 1864. During the war, both Army and Navy were supplied with large numbers of weapons. The initials “S.B.F.” (South Boston Foundry) occasionally may be found on these guns, but the signature is traditionally “C.A. & Co., Boston, Mass.” or, rarely, “C. Alger & Co., Boston, Mass.”
Cast-iron 10-pounder muzzleloading Parrott Rifle, unmounted, lying on concrete posts. This gun is displayed at the William H. Long Memorial Building, designed by the Boston firm of Means & Gilbert, and given to the New Hampshire Antiquarian Society in 1890, still serving as its headquarters and museum in Hopkinton. Similar to one shown in these photos. (Hal Jespersen Photos)
(Heather Wilson Rojo and Vincent Rojo, Nutfield Genealogy www.nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com)
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, a.k.a. the long 32, with a Millar pattern breeching ring, mounted on a concrete cradle in the Hudson Town Common, adjacent to Derry Road (state Route 102).
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, a.k.a. the long 32, mounted on a cradle, near an old cemetery at the junction of Center Street (state Route 111) and Kimball Hill Road.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an ornamental carriage in a small park in Central Square, No. 1 of 2.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an ornamental carriage in a small park in Central Square, No. 2 of 2.
(seacoast artillery Photos)
Bronze 6-pounder Model 1841 smoothbore muzzleloading field gun mounted on a wood carriage, 1837 on the right trunnion, Church of Lancaster.
Cast-iron smoothbore muzzle-loading cannon on the Town Common.
Manchester, Weston Observatory
The Weston Observatory was built in 1887 as an observation tower for the citizens of Manchester, New Hampshire. The 66-foot-tall tower is built of granite and brick-arched window wells are a solid four feet deep. Constructed in 1896-97, the building is named for former Manchester mayor, James A. Weston, who left the city $5,000 to build an observatory for "the advancement of science, for educational purposes, and for the use, enjoyment, benefit, and mental improvement of the inhabitants of the city of Manchester." The man who grew up on a local farm became the first native to serve as both mayor (four times) and governor (two terms). When you turn on your tap, you can thank him for constructing the city water works. His home was on the grounds of what is now Wagner Park, fitting for the mayor who also created an extensive parks and cemetery beautification program.
32-pounderM1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, Cyrus Alger & Company, (Serial No. 223), weight 4,522 lbs, mounted on an ornamental iron carriage, No. 1 of 2.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, Cyrus Alger & Company, (Serial No. 225), weight 4,523 lbs, mounted on an ornamental iron carriage, No. 2 of 2. Both guns are mounted about 50' in front of the observatory beyond the edge of the circular stoned paved area, with the iron bases resting directly on the bare ground, facing southwest overlooking the city of Manchester.
Manchester, Stark Park
(Nelson Lawry Photo)
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an iron stand, No. 1 of 4 in Stark Park on River Road.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an iron stand, No. 2 of 4 in Stark Park on River Road.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an iron stand, No. 3 of 4 in Stark Park on River Road.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, mounted on an iron stand, No. 4 of 4 in Stark Park on River Road.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, No. 1 of 4, mounted on a concrete stand.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, No. 2 of 4, mounted on a concrete stand.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, No. 3 of 4, mounted on a concrete stand.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, No. 4 of 4, mounted on a concrete stand. The Guns point in four directions, at the base of a large monument to the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War, located in the center of Nashua.
German First World War 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 13 (15-cm sFH 13), (Serial Nr. TBC), 1918, Greeley Park.
(Alexius Horatius Photos)
Bronze 4-pounder Field Gun, cast in 1743. This gun was captured on 15 August 1777 at the Battle of Bennington by General John Stark's troops. General Stark presented "Old Molly" to the New Boston Artillery Company of the 9th Regiment of New Hampshire Militia, for its part in the battle. The artillery company was reorganized in 1938 and maintains a permanent home for "Molly Stark" in New Boston. (New Boston Historical Society Photos)
This gun was cast in Paris, France in 1743 for a trading company called the Compagnie des Indes. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was common for private companies to be established in Europe to trade with the East Indies (which include India), China, and the Americas. An early example is the East India Company which was chartered in London in 1600. A French competitor, formed in the early 1700s, was the Compagnie des Indes, which means the "Company of the Indies". The Compagnie traded in Canadian beaver furs, tobacco and other goods.
The gun, which was not yet named the Molly Stark, has the words "Fait A Paris 1743" (Made in Paris 1743) cast into its base. It also bears the coat of arms of the Compagnie des Indes. It is believed that the gun was shipped to Quebec to protect the city from its adversaries. The gun was captured by the British from the French in the Battle of Quebec in 1759.
New Castle, Fort Constitution
(Alexius Horatius Photo)
(Carol White Photo)
Fort Constitution on the Piscataqua River between New Hampshire and Maine
Fort William and Mary was a colonial fortification in Britain's worldwide system of defenses, manned by soldiers of the Province of New Hampshire who reported directly to the Royal Governor. The fort, known locally as "the Castle", was situated on the island of New Castle, at the mouth of the Piscataqua River estuary. It was captured by Patriot forces, recaptured, and later abandoned by the British in the Revolutionary War. The fort was rebuilt under the Second System of US fortifications. Walls were doubled in height and new brick buildings added. Work was completed in 1808 and the defence renamed Fort Constitution. During the War of 1812 the fort was manned and expanded, Walbach Tower, a Martello tower with a single 32-pounder gun, being built in 1814.
During the American Civil War, Fort Constitution was projected to be rebuilt as a three-tiered granite fortress under the Third System of US fortifications. However, advances in weaponry, particularly armored, steam-powered warships with heavy rifled guns, rendered the masonry design obsolete before it was finished. The fort's construction was abandoned in 1867 with the Second System fort largely intact and two walls from the Third System built around parts of it.
In 1897 construction began on Battery Farnsworth, located under the hill on which Walbach Tower stands, as part of the large-scale Endicott Program of seacoast fortifications. It was part of the Coast Defences of Portsmouth, along with Fort Stark and Fort Foster. The battery was completed in 1899. Named for Brigadier General Elon J. Farnsworth, the installation included two 8-inch (203-mm) M1888 guns on disappearing carriages. The battery was accompanied in 1904 by Battery Hackleman, with two 3-inch (76-mm) M1903 guns on pedestal mounts. A mine casemate for an underwater minefield in the harbour was built; Battery Hackleman was built primarily to defend this minefield against minesweepers.
Sea Mines at Fort Constitution during the Second World War. (Fort Stark Visitors Centre Photos)
(Library of Congress Photo)
8-inch (203-mm) railway gun.
After the American entry into the First World War in early 1917, many guns were removed from coast defenses for potential service on the Western Front. Both 8-inch guns of Battery Farnsworth were removed for use as railway artillery in October 1917 and were not returned to the fort. In 1920 a mine casemate was built next to Battery Farnsworth to replace a similar facility at Fort Stark.
In the Second World War Battery Hackleman's 3-inch guns were sent to a new battery of the same name at Fort H.G. Wright on Fisher's Island, New York. They were replaced by two 3-inch (76-mm) M1902 guns from Battery Hays at nearby Fort Stark. In 1940-1944 the Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth were garrisoned by the 22nd Coast Artillery Regiment. Also, a mine observation station was built atop Battery Farnsworth. Battery Hackleman was disarmed by 1948 and the fort was turned over to the Coast Guard. Battery Hackleman was demolished, but Battery Farnsworth can still be seen. Since 1771 the fort has been home to a lighthouse. (Wikipedia)
New Castle, Little Harbor, Fort Stark
Fort Stark, ca 1942-1945. (New Hampshire Visitor Center Photos)
Fort Stark, present day. (Magicpiano Photos)
Fort Stark is located at Jerry's Point (also called Jaffrey's Point) on the southeastern tip of New Castle Island, most of the surviving fort was developed in the early 20th century, following the Spanish–American War, although there were several earlier fortifications on the site, portions of which survive. The fort was named for John Stark, a New Hampshire officer who distinguished himself at the Battle of Bennington in the American Revolution. The purpose of Fort Stark was to defend the harbour of nearby Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard. The fort remained in active use through the Second World War, after which it was used for reserve training by the US Navy. The property was partially turned over to the state of New Hampshire in 1979, which established Fort Stark Historic Site, and the remainder of the property was turned over in 1983. The grounds are open to the public during daylight hours. (Wikipedia)
More information about Fort Stark and historic locations in New Hampshire can be found at these web sites. (Information courtesy of Carol White with the Fort Stark Visitor Center):
The site of the present Fort Stark was first fortified in 1746 as Battery Cumberland, with nine 32-pounder guns. It was rebuilt in 1775 for the American Revolution, but the guns (two 32-pounders and six 24-pounders) were soon removed to arm other forts in the area. Several of the guns captured at nearby Fort William and Mary were used to rearm this fort in September 1775. The fort was garrisoned until 1778 and is one of several forts in the area that may have been named Fort Hancock during the Revolution. In 1794 a new battery for nine guns was built on the site as part of the First System of US fortifications; the remains of a circular stone redoubt excavated in 1982, probably this one, can be seen in front of Battery Hunter.
During the War of 1812 a company of 120 militiamen under Captain William Marshall garrisoned the redoubt. The guns at this time were a mix of 6-pounder and 9-pounder weapons. The redoubt was abandoned soon after the war ended in 1815.
Plans were drawn up in 1861 for a large stone fort on the site, part of the Third System of fortifications, but the fort was never built. In 1873 the United States acquired the property as part of a modernization of seacoast defenses. The stone forts of the Civil War and earlier had been shown to be vulnerable to rifled cannon in that war, and new defenses centered on earthworks were planned. After modifying the plan for reduced cost in 1874, earthworks for eight 15-inch Rodman Guns, (Columbiad, 15-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1861), were planned as the "Battery at Jerry's Point", with an additional three "heavy guns" in the old redoubt. However, funding was cut off in 1876 with the new battery about two-thirds complete. Minor construction occurred in 1879 and 1885-1886, but it appears the battery was never armed. A small portion of it can still be seen. In 1887 the Jerry's Point Lifesaving Station was built on the west side of the site, which remained in service until 1908 when the Portsmouth Harbor Lifesaving Station was built on Wood Island near Fort Foster.
In 1885 the Endicott Board recommended a large-scale fortification plan that eventually included Fort Stark. However, construction on the new fort did not begin until 1901. In 1898, shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, emergency batteries were constructed to quickly arm key points, as most of the Endicott batteries were still years from completion and it was feared the Spanish fleet would bombard the US East Coast. At Jerry's Point this consisted of two 8-inch (203-mm) M1888 guns mounted on converted carriages built for Rodman guns in the 1870s emplacements. These guns were removed in 1900 to arm new Endicott batteries elsewhere and to make room for the new batteries at Fort Stark.
12-inch M1895 gun mounted on a disappearing carriage at Fort Stark, some time after 1905. (New Hampshire Visitor Center Photos)
Construction began on the newly named Fort Stark in 1901 and was completed in 1905. Four batteries were originally built: Battery Hunter with two 12-inch (305-mm) M1895 guns on disappearing carriages, Battery Kirk with two 6-inch (152-mm) M1903 guns on disappearing carriages, and Batteries Hays and Lytle, each with two 3-inch (76-mm) M1902 guns on pedestal mounts.
3-inch gun M1903 on masking parapet mounts c1945, Fort Stark. (New Hampshire Visitor Center Photos)
155-mm Model 1917 Field Gun employed in Coastal Defence, Fort Stark. (New Hampshire Visitor Center Photo)
Battery Hunter was named for Major General David Hunter of the Civil War, Battery Kirk was named for Brigadier General Edward N. Kirk, Battery Hays was named for Major General Alexander Hays, and Battery Lytle was named for Brigadier General William Haines Lytle. Each of the last three were killed in action in the Civil War. Facilities for controlling an underwater minefield in the harbour were added in 1907-1909; Batteries Hays and Lytle were built primarily to defend this minefield against minesweepers. As with other US seacoast forts, Fort Stark was garrisoned by the United States Army Coast Artillery Corps. The fort was part of the Coast Defenses of Portsmouth (Harbor Defenses after 1925), along with Fort Foster and Fort Constitution.
After the American entry into the First World War the two 6-inch (152-mm) guns of Battery Kirk were dismounted for use on the Western Front on field carriages. These guns were sent to France and returned to the United States after the war, but were not returned to Fort Stark. A history of the Coast Artillery in the First World War states that none of the regiments in France equipped with 6-inch guns completed training in time to see action before the Armistice.
In 1940-1944 the Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth were garrisoned by the 22nd Coast Artillery Regiment. In 1942 a new combined Army-Navy Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) and Harbor Defense Command Post (HDCP) was built atop the inactive Battery Kirk and disguised as a seaside mansion of the period; the design of this facility was unique to Fort Stark. It included an SCR-682 radar.
(Carol White Photo)
16-inch shell on display inside Fort Stark.
Although most of the heavy guns in the Portsmouth area were superseded by the new 16-inch (406-mm) gun battery at Fort Dearborn, Battery Hunter's 12-inch guns remained in service until February 1945, several months after the guns at Fort Dearborn entered service. The original Batteries Hays and Lytle were deactivated in 1942. Battery Hays' two 3-inch guns were sent to Battery Hackleman at Fort Constitution, while a new Battery Lytle was built just south of Battery Hunter, consisting of two concrete pads atop the 1870s earthworks. A 90-mm M1A2 anti-aircraft gun battery, called Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 953 (AMTB 953), was proposed for Fort Stark but not built.
With all the guns scrapped, the fort was deactivated in 1948 and turned over to the Navy in 1950. The Navy used the fort for harbour defence purposes until 1953, when it became a reserve training center for a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit until 1980. In 1963 two Navy 3-inch (76-mm) guns were placed on the "new" Battery Lytle's gun blocks as a memorial to USS Thresher (SSN-593), lost while operating from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Years later, one gun was returned to the shipyard, while the other gun was left derelict after a 1978 storm dislodged its mounting block. The fort is now a state park, with a small museum in the Visitors' Center that includes the remaining 3-inch gun. (Wikipedia)
3-inch Mk. 2 Fisher Naval Deck Gun, 1942, inside the Fort Stark Museum. (Carol White Photos)
3-inch Model 1905 Field Gun and limber, Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School, 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.
3-inch Model 1905 Field Gun, mounted on a Model 1902 carriage Serial No. 382, Rock Island Arsenal 1911, No. 1 of 2.
3-inch Model 1905 Field Gun, N2 3182, mounted on a Model 1902 carriage Serial No. TBC, Rock Island Arsenal 1911, No. 2 of 2. These two guns are located in the historical district next to the oldest town forest in the USA.
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, No. 1 of 2, mounted on an iron garrison carriage, on display in front of the G.A.R. Hall on a hill in Peterborough.
(Nelson Lawry Photo)
32-pounder M1864 (6.2-inch) Dahlgren Shell Gun, 4,500 lbs, No. 2 of 2, mounted on an iron garrison carriage, on display in front of the G.A.R. Hall on a hill in Peterborough.
QF 6-pounder Naval Deck Gun, Fort Belknap.
QF 6-pounder Naval Deck Gun, manufactured by Driggs-Seabury Gun and Ammunition Co., New York, NY 1889, on display near the war memorials in downtown Peterborough. The QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss (called the Rapid Fire gun rather than Quick Firer in the US), was a light 2.25-inch (57-mm) naval gun and coast defence gun of the late 19th century used by many countries.
Bronze 12-pounder Napoleon Model 1857 smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun-Howitzer, (Federal Gun with muzzle swell used in the Civil War), mounted on a wheeled gun carriage, located in the Town Common.
(1929, Town of Plymouth Photo)
(1921, Town of Plymouth Photo)
Two bronze smoothbore muzzle-loading guns once stood on Burial Hill overlooking Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth.
The present location of these two guns is unknown, but a plaque on the site states:
Bronze guns like these were named by Bradford and Winslow in the annals of Plymouth as mounted on the first fort, 1621, and were still in use in 1645 when the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts under its Commander Major General Gibbons joined the Plymouth Company under the Command of Captain Myles Standish to fight against the Narrangansett Indians.
These pieces are from the collection in the British National Artillery Museum. They were the only cannon of that period of English manufacture in the collection “in consideration of the greatness of the occasion, the Tercentenary celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims, and the good will of the English nation, the government, on behalf of the British people have made this gift to the Town of Plymouth Massachusetts.
On the right is a “Minion” of the time of (Queen) Mary, 1554, with a rose and the letters M.R. (Maria Regina) and is inscribed “John and Thomas Mayo, Brethern, made this pece (sic) Anno Dni 1554.” On the left is a “Sakeret” of the time of (King) Edward VI with a shield and three lions passant inscribed ÈTomas Owen made this pece for the ye’l of Carnse Vhan Ser Peter Mevtas vas Governor and Captayn, Anno Dni 1550.” They were transmitted through the Honorable Artillery Company of London, chartered 1537, and placed here by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, chartered 1638 and dedicated 4 October 1921.
3-inch Model 1861 Ordnance Rifle, mounted on a wheeled wooden carriage, possibly Serial No. 69, in front of the war memorial on the Town Common, No. 1 of 2.
3-inch Model 1861 Ordnance Rifle, mounted on a wheeled wooden carriage, on the Town Common, No. 2 of 2.
3-inch/23 cal naval deck gun, in the park on the edge of the South Mill Pond.
(Lawrence Mirsky Photos)
Cast-iron (possibly 3-pounder) smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun mounted barrel down as a bollard, downtown Portsmouth. No. 1 of 2, both guns have a plaque stating "Taken from the British by Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 Sep 1812".
(Lawrence Mirsky Photo)
Cast-iron (possibly 3-pounder) smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun mounted barrel down as a bollard, downtown Portsmouth. No. 2 of 2, both guns have a plaque stating "Taken from the British by Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 Sep 1812".
1st New Hampshire Heavy Artillery Volunteer Regiment
The First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery Regiment was first raised in 1863 for the defenses of Portsmouth harbor in New hampshire and Maine during the Civil War. The regiment was later transferred to garrison the numerous fortifications of Washington, DC.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. Long was commissioned captain of the First Company NH Heavy Artillery Volunteers, ordered by the War Department for use in the defenses of Portsmouth harbor. The men were mustered into service on 22 July 1863, and stationed at Fort Constitutionin New Castle. On 17 September 1863, the Second Company was mustered in, and garrisoned at Fort McClary, Kittery Point, Maine. They remained at these posts until the following spring when, on 6 May 1864, both companies were ordered to Washington, DC, for the defense of the capital, with detachments of them being spread between a dozen forts and batteries. Shortly after this, a third company began recruiting in Manchester.
In August 1864, Ira McL. Barton, the captain of Company B, requested further recruits and, with authorization granted to organize a battalion-sized unit, he returned to New Hampshire to take part in the raising of an additional four companies. Recruiting within the cities of Nashua, Concord, Laconia and Dover, the number of volunteers exceeded what was needed. The state adjutant applied to the War Department for authority to continue the formation of companies, and by November 1864 nearly had the required number of men to be organized into a proper regiment. To do so, the 1st New Hampshire Light Battery, which had just gone through its r-eenlistment following the end of a three-year term of service, became "Company M" of the 1st NH Heavy Artillery on 9 November. However, they were soon detached and returned as light artillery in Hancock's II Corps.
As soon as each unit was organized, they were sent to Washington and assigned to different divisions, though seven companies remained together under Lt Col Barton in DeRussey's Division, 3rd Brigade. Col Long was mustered in as the regiment's commander on 16 November and took command of the 1st Brigade, Hardin's Division, XXII Corps, on the 21st. While Company A returned to Portsmouth Harbor in November 1864 and Company B did the same the following February, the remainder of the regiment stayed in the vicinity of Washington. On 15 June 1865, the regiment was mustered out, arriving in New Hampshire on the 19th for final pay and discharge. (Waite, Otis Frederick Reed (1870). New Hampshire in the Great Rebellion. Claremont, NH: Tracy,Chase & Co.)
IX-inch Dahlgren Shell Gun, No. 1 of 2, mounted on an iron stand in front of the Civil War Memorial. One gun is mounted on an authentic iron Marsilly fighting carriage, the other on an iron replica stand. (Charles W Canney Camp Photos)
IX-inch Dahlgren Shell Gun, No. 2 of 2, mounted on an iron stand in front of the Civil War Memorial.
Rye, Odiorne Point State Park, Fort Dearborn
Odiorne Point State Park is a New Hampshire state park located on the seacoast in Rye near Portsmouth. The location of the first European settlement in New Hampshire, the point got its name from the Odiorne family, who settled on the land in the mid-1660s. Among the park's features are the Seacoast Science Center and the remains of the Second World War Fort Dearborn.
Prior to 1942, the site of the park was private, expensive oceanfront land. In 1942, the site was condemned and purchased by the United States government for the construction of Fort Dearborn as part of an across-the-board modernization of US coast defences . In 1961 the site was ceded to the state of New Hampshire.
The fort was named for Henry Dearborn, a colonel in the Revolutionary War and later Commanding General of the United States Army and Secretary of War. The fort was part of the Harbour Defenses of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, along with Fort Stark, Fort Constitution, and Fort Foster. In 1940-1944 the Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth were garrisoned by the 22nd Coast Artillery Regiment. The first battery at Fort Dearborn was called Battery Dearborn, and consisted of four 155-mm towed guns on "Panama mounts", which were circular concrete platforms. The platforms remain today.
Fort Dearborn was primarily acquired to build a battery of two 16-inch (406-mm) Mark IIMI ex-Navy guns, heavily protected by concrete and earth casemates. This was completed and test-fired in June 1944, and eventually superseded all other heavy guns in the Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth. It was initially called Battery 103 and later named Battery Seaman in honour of Colonel Claudius M. Seaman. The battery remains today. A companion battery, Battery 204, consisted of two 6-inch (152-mm) M1 guns in shielded barbette mounts with a large bunker between them containing magazines and fire control facilities. This was also completed and test-fired in June 1944. The battery is near the park entrance and parking lot, and today has several 16-inch shells displayed. A similar 6-inch battery (Battery 205) was built at Fort Foster but not armed. Near Fort Dearborn at Pulpit Rock, short-range defence was provided by Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat Battery (AMTB) 951, consisting of four 90-mm M1A2 anti-aircraft guns, two on fixed mounts and two on towed mounts. A similar 90-mm M1A2 anti-aircraft gun battery, AMTB 952, was built at Fort Foster, and AMTB 953 was planned for Fort Stark but never built. In 1948 Fort Dearborn was deactivated and all guns were scrapped. (Wikipedia).
Rye Air Force Station. Part of Fort Dearborn was used as a radar station by the United States Air Force beginning in 1949, and in 1955 this became the Rye Air Force Station. This was an Air Defense Command radar site that also supported the nearby Pease Air Force Base of the Strategic Air Command. In 1957-59 Rye AFS was deactivated, but unmanned "gap filler" radar remained active until 1968. Nothing remains of the Air Force installation. (Wikipedia).
(Lawrence Mirsky Photo)
1-pounder 37-mm Mk A Model 1 (1-Pdr MA/M1) semi-automatic light Gun mounted on a wheeled carriage with gun shield, one of two in a park (the town common) at the corner of Bridge & Main streets. Possibly made by the Bethlehem Steel Company, these field pieces were initially designed as a landing light gun for the French Army in 1916. Both the French and American versions were used as an infantry gun by the US troops on the western front in 1918. The shells for this gun had a range of 3750 metres.(12,303 feet). (Canon de 37mm SA - Nr. unknown)
(Lawrence Mirsky Photo)
(Lawrence Mirsky Photo)
37-mm Gun mounted on a wheeled carriage with gun shield, second of two in a park (the town common) at the corner of Bridge & Main streets. Salem, New Hampshire lies roughly ten km (6.2 miles) to the west of Haverhill, Massachusetts, the former home of Sergeant Elijah Estabrooks of the Massachuchetts Provincials (and one of the author's ancestors who came to Canada in 1760.
Bronze 6-pounder Model 1841 smoothbore muzzle-loading Field Gun, Cyrus Alger & Company, Serial No. TBC.
(Vic E Photo)
M5 High Speed Tractor. Similar to this one on display at Fort Lewis, Washington.
M29C Weasel. Similar to this one on display at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas.
(Nelson Lawry Photos)
3-pounder Maxim Semi Automatic Quick Firing Gun, central green.
Bronze 6-pounder Model 1841 smoothbore muzzle-loading Field Gun, Cyrus Alger & Company, Serial No. 305, dated 1847, No. 1 of 2. This gun was previously on display on the lawn of the NHVA headquarters.
Bronze 6-pounder Model 1841 smoothbore muzzle-loading Field Gun, Cyrus Alger & Company, Serial No. TBC, dated 1805, No. 2 of 2.
57-mm M1A1 Anti-tank Gun, Wright Museum of WWII History. Similar to this one on display in the 1st Cavalry Museum, Fort Hood, Texas.
M16 Half-track, GMC (Serial No. RN 4050418). Similar to this one on display at the 3rd Cavalry Museum, Fort Hood, Texas.
M20 Light Armoured Car (Serial No. 2446), private owner. Similar to this M20 on display at the New Orleans National Guard Museum in Louisiana.
(Mark Holloway Photo)
M32B3 Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), (Serial No. 11619). Similar to this one on display at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
M3A1 Stuart Light tank, No. 1 of 2, Wright Museum of WWII History. Similar to the M3A1 Stuart Light Tank on display at the 3rd Cavalry Museum, Fort Hood, Texas.
M3A1 Stuart Light tank, No. 2 of 2, Wright Museum of WWII History.
M4A1(76) HVSS Sherman Tank (Serial No. 68264), RN 30161945. Similar to this one preserved in France.
T26E Pershiing Tank (Serial No. 35). Similar to this M26 Pershing Tank on display at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas.