Guns for New Fort at Halifax (1901)
Military Wharves to be Extended and Other Improvements Made at Once
The Daily Telegraph, Quebec, 22 May 1901
Halifax, May 22—Orders were received from England to-day to have Bellevue, the residence of the commander-in-chief of British North America, put in thorough repair with all possible speed. This is taken to indicate the appointment of a new commander-in-chief before the arrival in Canada of the Duke and Duchess of York. It has also developed to-day that the steamer Evangeline, now on her way from England, has a number of guns for the new forts, southwest of York Redoubt. They are two 9.2 and four 8-inch quick-firing guns of the Cabot pattern.
York Redoubt is to have five new 9-inch and two 7-inch quick firing guns.
The present strength of MacNab's outside battery is two 6-inch breach-loaders and one ten-inch, all quick firing guns. These will be augmented by two more 7-inch guns.
Fort Cambridge will be supplied with two new 6-inch and four 4.7-inch quick-firing guns, while Ives Point battery will get two 9-inch and two 9.2-inch. Some of these are expected on the Evangeline.
Fort Ogilvie's two 6-inch quick-firing guns will be augmented by two more of the same calibre. The casement battery on MacNab's Island will be reconstructed, and three guns now there will be condemned and replaced by quick-firing ones.
It is intended to extend the military wharves on the island in order to get a sufficient depth of water to allow ocean steamers to land armament, etc., there. Fort Clarence is being extended, and a number of men on it will be kept busy there for some time to come. The old guns will be replaced by quick-firing ones.
It is stated that in the defence improvements contemplated, Great Britain is only keeping on her old policy of keeping pace in fortress improvements with those in the fleets of the different nations. Up to within a few years the Halifax forts were thought to be able, with the assistance of the British ships on the station, to cope with the fleet which any attacking nation might send, but there have been great improvements in fighting ships in recent years, and it is to keep pace with these improvements that the six years' work laid out is intended.
Battery Locations at Halifax
The following map shows battery locations of the Halifax defences (from Defending Halifax: Ordnance, 1825-1906; A.J.B. Johnson, No. 46 History and Archaeology, Parks Canada, 1981):