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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Key West in Monroe County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Gunrooms

Fort Jefferson

 

—Dry Tortugas National Park —

 
Gunrooms Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 27, 1996
1. Gunrooms Marker
Inscription. The 8- and 10-inch columbiads were standard U.S. cannon for coast defense. They were cast-iron, muzzle-loading smoothbores. The 8-inch weighed 9,210 pounds and when elevated 4” threw a 65-pound ball about a mile. From the top of the fort, the 10-inchers, 400 pounders could be elevated to 39” and throw a 128-pound shell over three miles.

The fort had no guns when Major L.G. Arnold and his 66 artillerymen arrived from Boston, January 19, 1861 As they worked on the first gun mount, a courier from an armed vessel came ashore and demanded surrender in the State of Florida. When Arnold met the messenger, he rushed to his gunport "Tell your captain," he shouted to the messenger, "I will blow his ship out of the water if he’s not gone in ten minutes!"

The bluff worked. By the time war began in April, Arnold had mounted 68 cannon.

Technically, gunrooms are “casemates.” This fort has 303 of them. A thick wall in front and strong vaulting above protected guns and men from enemy fire. Open backs and overhead vents carried off heat and smoke.

Though designed to deliver the most concentrated firepower of its time, Fort Jackson never received more than 141 guns—a third of its full armament—because of structural failure.
 
Erected by
Gunrooms-Casemates image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 27, 1996
2. Gunrooms-Casemates
National Park Service, US Department of Interior.
 
Location. 24° 37.674′ N, 82° 52.368′ W. Marker is in Key West, Florida, in Monroe County. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park. Marker is in this post office area: Key West FL 33040, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In Memory of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd (within shouting distance of this marker); Navy Days at Fort Jefferson (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dry Tortugas, Home to a Myriad of Life (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alfred Goldsboro Mayor (approx. 2.9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Dry Tortugas National Park. National Park Service (Submitted on December 7, 2016.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Entrance to Fort Jefferson image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 27, 1996
3. Entrance to Fort Jefferson
Inside Fort Jefferson image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 27, 1996
4. Inside Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson from the air image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 27, 1996
5. Fort Jefferson from the air
Sign at the entrance to Dry Tortugas National Park-Fort Jefferson image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 27, 1996
6. Sign at the entrance to Dry Tortugas National Park-Fort Jefferson
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 202 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 6, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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