Fort Canby Days

Fort Canby was constructed during the Civil War.

God knows why.

By 1863, all the hostile Indians had been deported to Shitsville, Oklahoma and the looming threat of the Confederate Navy was confined to Mobile Bay and its environs.

I was stationed there in 1941, a regular Army sergeant on my third and (I thought) final hitch.

I had two privates under me, amusingly named Caine and Abel. The three of us were billeted in a British Nissen hut down the hill from the Cape Disappointment lighthouse.

We played cards, drank coffee, and wrote daily reports. It rained all day, every day. 95% of our reports read Zero Visibility. No activity.

After Pearl, the government came roaring in to throw up buildings and fortifications that included a shielded barbette emplacement of reinforced concrete that contained a six-inch naval gun.

They finished it in 1944, by which time the Japanese Navy was as much a threat as the Rebels had been.

What Pegman Saw: Washington State


Add Yours
  1. Joy Pixley

    Nice one. I have a soft spot for stories by the workaday cogs in the wheel who stop to laugh about how the higher ups manage to mess everything up with inane decisions from far away.

  2. Lynn Love

    Well written, Josh. There’s something that stabs about the career soldier about to leave the army just as a world war hits. You’ve just scraped the surface of a truly interesting character. Great stuff

  3. k rawson

    Great voice. So many nicely chosen details lend an authentic feel. Especially liked ” It rained all day, every day. 95% of our reports read Zero Visibility. No activity.”

Don't just stand there.