Battery Hambright - Fort Pulaski, Georgia
Battery Hambright - Fort Pulaski, Georgia
Battery Hambright
An Endicott system defense, Battery Hambright is
located on Coxspur Island at the mouth of the
Savannah River near historic Fort Pulaski.
Battery Hambright
Built of concrete, steel and
earth, Battery Hambright was
built to defend the entrance to
Georgia's Savannah River.
Savannah River
A view of the Savannah River
and the historic Fort Pulaski
wharf from the top of Battery
Battery Hambright - Fort Pulaski N.M., Georgia
Harbor Defenses of Savannah
Copyright 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: February 24, 2013
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Civil War Sites in Georgia
Gun Emplacement
This is one of the two 3" gun
emplacements of Battery
Hambright. The guns were
mounted here in 1903 to
protect the Port of Savannah.
Earth and Concrete
The massive mound of earth
at left gave extra protection to
the concrete part of Battery
Hambright, a form of military
construction made necessary
by the conquest of nearby Fort
Pulaski during the Civil War.
Battery Hambright is a concrete and earth
artillery position that stands on Cockspur
Island near
Savannah, Georgia. It is part of
Fort Pulaski National Monument.

The battery dates from the era of the Spanish
American War, but its history actually began
just a few hundred yards away at Fort Pulaski

When the Civil War erupted in 1861, Fort
Pulaski was thought to be one of the
strongest forts in North America. General
Joseph G. Totten, the U.S. Army's Chief of
Engineers, was so convinced of its strength
that he proclaimed that an enemy "might as
well bombard the Rocky Mountains" as the
brick fort on Cockspur Island.

In less than 48 hours in April 1862, however,
Union forces used newly developed rifled
artillery to breach Pulaski's walls and force
its submission. The era of brick and mortar
coastal forts was over.

Burdened with the colossal debt it had built
up to defeat the South, the United States was
not in a position to do much to modernize its
coastal defenses after the Civil War. It was
not until a new war threatened in the 1890s,
in fact, that the defense of the homeland
again became a priority in Washington, D.C.

A revolution against Spanish rule broke out in
Cuba in 1895. As the war intensified, the
Cuban rebels gained popular support in the
United States. U.S. citizens provided guns
and other supplies to the rebels, much to the
chagrin of Spain which considered these
intrusions to be violations of that nation's

As tensions grew with Spain, concern surged
over the defenseless condition of most of the
key port cities of the United States. Officials in
Washington suddenly began to pay serious
attention to the recommendations of the
Endicott Board. That military planning group
had been created in 1885 to recommend
ideas for the modernization of America's
coastal defenses.

While some construction had taken place, it
was not until the prospect of war with Spain
loomed on the horizon that the U.S. really got
serious about rebuilding its harbor defenses.

Forts Pulaski and Jackson, of course, were
obsolete so in 1896, one year after the
outbreak in Cuba, the U.S. Congress funded
the construction of a major coastal defense
installation on the northern end of Tybee
Island. This facility eventually was named
Fort Screven.

In addition to the array of batteries on Tybee
Island itself, the government also built
batteries across the mouth of the Savannah
River in South Carolina, on Cockspur Island
at Fort Pulaski and at other points in the area.
A network of electronic mines were also
placed in the entrance to the Savannah River
to provide further protection against enemy

The battery on Cockspur Island was named
for Horace Hambright, a West Point graduate
who died in North Dakota in 1896. Built of
concrete, steel and earth, the battery was the
last of the original defenses built at the
mouth of the Savannah at the time of the
Spanish-American War.
The United States was drawn into that war
following the sinking of the battleship USS
Maine in Havana harbor in 1898. The U.S.
Army pushed forward with the completion of
the batteries on the north end of Tybee and
began planning the facility on Coxspur.

Work on Battery Hambright, however, was not
started until 1899 by which time the Spanish-
American War was already over. The conflict
lasted only 3 months, 2 weeks and 4 days.

The much feared Spanish fleet never
appeared off the U.S. coastline and the
nation's new system of defenses never came
under fire or opened fire against hostile

Even though the war was over, military
engineers pushed forward the completion of
the Endicott system defenses already on the
drawing board. Among these was Battery

Measuring 100-feet by 50-feet, the concrete
and steel structure of the battery stands 15-
feet high. It was designed to mount two
3-inch rifles, but there is no indication the
guns were ever actually installed. The face of
the battery was covered with a massive
mound of earth to protect it from the heavy
naval guns of the day.

Battery Hambright was completed by March
31, 1901, and remains in good condition
today. It provides an outstanding opportunity
for visitors to Fort Pulaski to see how military
planners adapted to the devastation wrought
on the antebellum fort by rifled artillery. The
differences between the two facilities are

Battery Hambright is located down the
walkway that leads into the woods from the
main parking lot at Fort Pulaski. It can be
visited daily.