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Battery Barlow-Saxton
Eight 12" Rifled Mortars

Construction of batteries John Barlow and Rufus Saxton commenced on April 1, 1915 and was completed on June 27, 1919. The excavation for the structure was done almost entirely by hand labor due to a lack of available heavy machinery in the area. The powder and shell magazines are located underground to the front of the building and are accessed by a series of doors located between the guns.
Eight twelve-inch M-1912 mortars on
M-1896 M-III carriages were mounted in these

Battery Barlow - Saxton  in action during the 1930's

batteries. The guns had a range of about eleven miles and could be turned 360 degrees which gave them the ability to be fired into the city to provide some protection to the rear of the fort incase it was attacked from that direction.
The design of Battery Barlow-Saxton with its four, two gun pits in a lateral arrangement, make it the only architectural example of its kind in the continental United States. Its design represented a radical new thinking of mortar battery technology that allowed the gun crews to be more efficient while increasing the number of guns that could be fired or serviced at the same time. In 1943, the Army decided that it was time to retire the guns of Battery Barlow – Saxton. The guns were finally scrapped just after the end of World War Two.

Battery Barlow - Saxton under construction and almost ready for service 1919

Battery Barlow is named for Brigadier General John Whitney Barlow (1838-1914) a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point class of 1861. His classmates remembered him as “an entirely lovable person” and a devout Christian. He served as an engineer during the battle of Gettysburg, the siege of Atlanta, and supervised the construction of the defenses of Nashville. From 1870-1874 he was the chief engineer for the Military Division of Missouri. During this time he made several scientific explorations of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. His detailed reports later became trusted guides for settlers and later helped set the boundaries for Yellowstone National Park. In 1891, he was promoted to Lt Colonel and from 1892-1896 served as the senior American member of the international commission that re-marked the disputed boarder with Mexico.
On May 2, 1901 John Barlow was commissioned as a Brigadier General and appointed Chief of Engineers. He retired from the army the next day at his own request after 40 years of military service. In 1913 General Barlow and his wife traveled to Jerusalem, Palestine, where the general took ill and died. General Barlow is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.


Battery Saxton is named for Major General Rufus Saxton (1824-1908) a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point class of 1849. Prior to the Civil War, Saxton fought against Seminole Indians in Florida, and as an artillery tactics instructor at West Point. During this period he also patented a self-registering thermostat for deep-sea soundings. During the Civil War he served on the staff of General McClellan and commanded the defenses of Harpers Ferry from May through June of 1862. For his actions there he would later be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for “Distinguished gallantry and good conduct in the defense”.
After his service at Harpers Ferry, he was placed in charge of the enlistment and organization of negroes into the Union Army. After the war ended, Saxton was appointed as the Assistant Commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau and spoke before Congress on the subject of civil rights for African Americans. Major General Saxton was forced to retire in 1888 having reached the mandatory retirement age of 65. He died on February 23, 1908 and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the last know photographs of Battery Barlow - Saxton in operation 1943

The Guns of Fort MacArthur

    Battery Osgood - Farley

    Battery Leary Merriam
    Battery Barlow - Saxton

         Photos of the battery today
         Battery details

    Battery Lodor
    Battery Erwin

    Battery Eubanks

    Battery 127 (Paul D Bunker)

    Battery 128

    Battery 240 (Harry C. Barnes)

    Battery 241

    Battery 242 (Harry J Harrison)

    90mm AMTB

    155 GPF Mobile Guns

    Anti-Aircraft (Fixed and Mobile)

Missile Systems of Fort MacArthur

    The Nike Program

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