The Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands (FSHSHH) will gather for their Annual Meeting at the Temple Building at New Windsor Cantonment on Saturday, April 17th at 2pm. Following the brief meeting, this year’s program will include a presentation on “The Highland Adventures of William Thompson Howell.”
FSHSHH, a group of local supporters, meet year-round to benefit the activities of three Revolutionary War historic sites: New Windsor Cantonment, Knox’s Headquarters, and Washington’s Headquarters. FSHSHH works to supplement the educational, public event, and collections needs, and to increase public awareness of each sites’ historical significance. This year’s presentation on “The Highland Adventures of William Thompson Howell,” highlights the author, naturalist, photographer, outdoorsman and preservationist.
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is where the Continental Army under General George Washington spent the last winter and spring of the Revolutionary War. In October 1782, General Washington moved his northern army to New Windsor to establish winter quarters. Some 7,500 soldiers and 500 women and children civilian refugees encamped here. By late December 1782, they had erected nearly 600 log huts into a “cantonment,” a military enclave.
Nearby, John Ellison’s Georgian-style house in Vails Gate served at the military headquarters of Major General Henry Knox, Commander of the American artillery in 1780-81, and then as headquarters for General Horatio Gates, commandant of the New Windsor Cantonment in 1782-83. And in Newburgh, during those critical last months of the war, General Washington made some of his most important contributions to shaping the American republic at his headquarters in the Jonathon Hasbrouck House, the first publically owned historic site in the nation.
In addition to the special programs and activities, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment Visitor Center are open. These buildings feature the history of the New Windsor Cantonment; Behind Every Great Man: The Continental Army in Winter, 1782-83, Revolutionary War artifacts, the exhibit The Last Argument of Kings, Revolutionary War Artillery and the story of the Purple Heart. A picnic grove is available and there is plenty of free parking. The site is open to the public Saturday April 17 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Also be sure to visit Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, a short drive from the New Windsor Cantonment.
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The Palisades Interstate Park Commission administers 27 park, parkways and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State parks and historic sites, please visit our website at www.nysparks.com and follow the links for historic sites.