[View of
fort from the sea] This battery was basically a new design for the military. Changes came about to improve coastal fortification due to recommendations from a committee led by Secretary of War, William C. Endicott. These modifications had to be initiated due to the significant changes in weapons. Previously, the forts of the United States had been exposed stone or brick, making the walls vulnerable to the direct fire of cannons. With the advent of rifled bores or barrels, weapons became more destructive. The new style fortifications had thick walls and ceilings and were camouflaged using massive amounts of dirt. To withstand the direct fire of a ship's weapon, the walls of this battery ranged from eight to twenty feet thick. The ceiling was five feet thick consisting of reinforced concrete with I-beams. There were approximately 72,000 cubic yards of sand covering the topside of the battery. Each of the two gun pits housed four 12-inch mortars.

Click here to view army plans for Battery Laidley.

Click here to view army plans for Battery Bigelow.

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