Heritage, Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 1992 Page: 23
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50 six-inch batteries were to be constructed
in the United States at an estimated cost of
$75,000 apiece. It was decided that Fort San
Jacinto would become the location of a
"Battery 235," the first new battery to be
constructed at that location in four decades.
The conclusion of World
War II brought with it
demolition of buildings
January 6, 1959, Fort
San Jacinto was transferred
from military to
civil accounts, and the
military function of the
Planning for Battery 235 and construction
of other facilities such as four 90-mm
guns at the end of the seawall and housing
for personnel continued, with the result
that Fort San Jacinto reached the height of
its physical development by 1942-1943. At
that point the Fort was the location of two
fixed and two mobile 90-mm gun emplacements
at the north end of the seawall and
five batteries: Croghan, Hogan, Heileman,
Mercer, and No. 235. There were also
numerous facilities associated with the batteries
and emplacements, including barracks,
radio and observation towers, and an
oil and gasoline storage area.
Development of facilities at Fort San
Jacinto during World War II was accompanied
by reassessment of several older facilities.
In 1943 Batteries Mercer and Heileman
were decommissioned. The four mortars
left in Mercer and the armament located in
Heileman were removed and disposed of in
June 1943. Metal items were salvaged, and
the power plant and equipment were removed
by a 1946 demolition contract.
Acceptance of the new 90-mm gun
emplacements at the end of the seawall by
the Headquarters of the Western Gulf
Subsector at Fort Crockett on August 12,
1944, and of Battery 235 later that year
signaled the end of a series of building
episodes that had begun with the construction
of Galveston Island's first fortifications
more than 125 years earlier, and it foreshadowed
the gradual phasing out of military
activities on Galveston's east end. The
conclusion of World War II brought with it
demobilization and demolition of buildings
and fortifications. With the exception of
the area on the west side of the reservation
known as Fort Point, the entire tract became
available for spoil disposal from dredging
operations in Galveston Channel.
On January 6, 1959, a memorandum
transferred Fort San Jacinto from military to
civil accounts, and the military function of
the installation ceased. By the early 1990s,
only Battery Croghan, the C.R.F. station
associated with it, and Gun #4 of the 90-mm
battery at the end of the seawall lay outside
the disposal area levees and were visually
intact. To the south, the remains of Batteries
Mercer and 235 could be seen protruding
from dredge material that probably exceeded
10 feet in depth.
A statement by the assistant chief of
the Corps of Engineers Real Estate Division
in 1962 that "there is no installation
named Fort San Jacinto, Texas" was technically
correct. The physical remains have
not been so completely eradicated, however,
and the abandoned concrete structures
still visible continue to testify to a
long and significant military history at the
east end of Galveston Island.
For a complete copy of A History of Fortifications
at Fort San Jacinto, contact Prewitt
and Associates, Inc., (512) 459-3349.This
research was conducted for a project with the
U.S. Corps of Engineers, Galveston District.
HERITAGE * WINTER 1992 23
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 1992, periodical, Winter 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45418/m1/23/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.