Fort Porter Training c. 1900
Gunnery training photo of Fort Porter, a federal military reservation located between Massachusetts & Vermont Streets, bounded by
Front Street (now Busti Avenue) on the east side and the Niagara River on the west side. The 13th U.S. Infantry regiment was
stationed at Fort Porter from the mid-1840's through 1926. It was called "Buffalo's own" regiment because of its long association
with the city.
In the scene above, the gunners in the foreground
are ready to fire a piece of field artillery. The wagon and soldiers located
distance to the rear are soldiers responsible for the caisson (or limber) which carried spare ammunition. The crew of 4 soldiers
standing at right are "replacements" for gunners who may be wounded or killed during action.
The field artillery being demonstrated in this photo is the the Gatling gun which, by the 1880's, could fire up to 1,200 rounds
per minute. It was a tremendously effective weapon which was eventually replaced by the first true machine gun, the British Maxim.
In 1926 Fort Porter was closed as a military
reservation and the barracks demolished as part of the construction of the Peace
(The City of Buffalo acquired other parts of the fort's acreage, moving the fort's "Castle" there, until the 1953 expansion of the Peace
Bridge approach facilities absorbed the remaining land and the old stone building was demolished.)
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