Sullivans Island in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Disappearing Rifle: The Endicott System
1898 - 1943
This rooftop cavity held the carriage mechanism for one of Battery Jasper’s four 10-inch disappearing rifles. Installed in 1898, these formidable weapons represented the latest technology. Weighing 55 tons with a range of 8.5 miles, they fired 571-pound shells.
Rising above the parapet to fire, the rifle recoiled by moving back and down, “disappearing” behind the thick concrete walls to allow the crew to reload in safety. The breech-loading rifle was raised and lowered by using a counterweight which rested on the deep center cavity of the gun mount.
In 1943, Charleston Harbor’s Endicott batteries were obsolete, and the coast artillerymen removed the guns and carriage.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts and Castles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1898.
Location. 32° 45.52′ N, 79° 51.341′ W. Marker is in Sullivans Island, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker can be reached from Poe Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located at Fort Moultrie National Monument. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sullivans Island SC 29482, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within A Forgotten Branch Of The Service . . . The U.S. Army Coast Artillery (a few steps from this marker); America Responds To A New Challenge (a few steps from this marker); Powerhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Water for the Army (within shouting distance of this marker); Coastal Defense: The Endicott System (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery Jasper (within shouting distance of this marker); Buoyant Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); 10-Inch Parrott (300 pounder) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sullivans Island.
More about this marker. Two photos at the top of the marker have a caption of “The above photographs show the Battery Jasper crew operating a disappearing rifle in 1927. Note the gun’s 571-pound shell mounted on the shot cart.”
A drawing at the bottom right of the marker shows a range officer using a targeting device. It has a caption of “To obtain accurate range and target information, and range officer manually computed, then relayed information to gun commanders. Hitting a moving target eight miles at sea required exceptional skill and coordination.”
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 406 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 22, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.