Tag Archives: Fort Montgomery

Lecture: Lincoln’s Secret Visit to West Point

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West Point 1860sPresident Abraham Lincoln made a clandestine trip to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1862, during the Civil War. It was his longest journey away from the White House and his only trip to New York State during his Presidency.

Based upon new and original research, Anthony J. Czarnecki, past president of the Lincoln Society in Peekskill, will reveal why Lincoln came to West Point, what he did during his three-day stay in the Lower Hudson Valley, and how history changed as a result of his visit to the Academy. Continue reading

Lecture: David Bushnell’s Turtle and Underwater Mines

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The Turtle First SubmarineOn September 6, 1776 American forces launched the first-ever submarine attack against British warships in New York Harbor. The submarine Turtle utilized in the attack was later called “an effort of genius” by George Washington.

Historian and author Mike Kochan will present the story of the Turtle’s inventor David Bushnell, his development of the first underwater mine and the submarine invented to carry it to the enemy, his later success with drift mines and the resulting Battle of the Kegs. Continue reading

In the Words of Women: Rev War And Nation’s Birth

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Fort Montgomery State Historic Site will host a presentation entitled “In the Words of Women: The Revolutionary War and the Birth of the Nation, 1765-1799” on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 7 pm.

The book In the Words of Women brings together the writings of women who lived between 1765 and 1799. These writings are organized chronologically around events, battles, and developments from before the Revolution, through its prosecution and aftermath. Continue reading

AJ Schenkman: The Hasbrouck Ledger

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One of the problems in researching the life of Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck is that there are so few primary sources written by him left to us. We are fortunate that at least one of the treasures that give us a peek into his life, one of his account ledgers, has been preserved. It is a rich source for a researcher of not only Hasbrouck, but of others from his time period as well. Continue reading

Forts Montgomery and Clinton: Twin Forts Day

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On October 6, 1777 an invading British Army assaulted Fort Montgomery and nearby Fort Clinton. Outnumbered 3 to 1, the defending Continental soldiers and militia held out as long as they could until at last the forts were overrun, the Continental ships burned by their own crews to prevent capture, and the Great Chain removed. Over half of the garrison was captured or killed.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site in the Hudson Highlands on Saturday October 6th will commemorate the 235th anniversary of this bloody battle. Reenactors are portraying the American Continentals and militia as well as the British, their German allies, and the Loyalist Americans. There will be a reenactment of the battle on the actual battlefield of Fort Montgomery; cannon firings, including the fort’s 32-pounder “George” and military drill and living history demonstrations throughout the day.


10:00 AM – Camps Open. Living History Demonstrations and Military Drill throughout the Day
11:00 AM – Guided Tour of Fort Montgomery – Starting at the Museum
12:00 PM – Children’s Musket Drill – Reenactment Field
1:00 PM – Artillery Firing – Grand Battery
1:30 PM – Military Music Demonstration – Grand Battery
2:00 PM – Children’s Musket Drill – Reenactment Field
3:00 PM – “Soldiers of the Twin Forts” – Museum Terrace
4:00 PM – Battle Reenactment – Reenactment Field
5:00PM – Camps Close

Parking will be available off-site with a shuttle bus running throughout the day (follow the posted signs). Twin Forts Day is presented by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Fort Montgomery is located at 690 Route 9W, ¼ mile north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. The museum and grounds are open Wed. through Sun. 9 AM to 5 PM. Call 845-446-2134 for more information.

Stella Bailey to Receive 2012 Woman of History Award

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Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site announced that this year’s recipient of the Martha Washington Woman of History Award is history advocate Stella Bailey.

Bailey, co-founder of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, has been involved and dedicated to preserving Hudson Valley History for over 50 years. She has worked in over 20 different organizations. At present, she is the Executive Director and Financial Officer of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, President of the Town of Highlands Historical Society for 32 years, and Town/Village Historian for 19 years. Bailey also finds time to write “Then and Now” columns for the News of the Highlands while busy with community projects such as the Senior Citizen’s Group and the Local Development Corporation for Main Street revitalization.

The Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association is the non profit friends group that supports the preservation and restoration of the Revolutionary War battle site. Opened to the public in 2001, the Battle site features a media room, conference room, and museum.

Bailey will be added to the list of previous winners of this award, including local historian and author Janet Dempsey, Times-Herald Record columnist Barbara Bedell, City of Newburgh Historian Mary McTamaney, City of Newburgh Record Keeper Betsy McKean, and last year’s recipient community activist Mara Farrell.

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site presents the “Martha Washington Woman of History Award” as part of their annual Woman’s History Month program, “The General’s Lady”. This event will take place on March 31st starting at 1:00 PM at the Ritz Theatre lobby in Newburgh, NY. In addition to presenting this prestigious award, “The General’s Lady” program includes a reception and a special speaker.

The program is open to the public. For more information, please call 845-562-1195.

Hudson Valley Hessian Winter Muster on Sunday

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Little known are the attacks on Forts Montgomery and Clinton on October 6, 1777. Even less known is the fact that the assault was a multinational effort involving German and Scottish troops, and a Polish nobleman.

On Sunday, January 29th, learn about Hessian participation in the Revolutionary War, as the Landgraf Regiment presents Hudson Valley Hessian Winter Muster. The program will feature period drill and a slideshow presentation: Martial Splendor: Introduction to the Clothing, Weapons, and Accoutrements of the “Hessian” Soldier in the Revolutionary War.


1:00 PM: Muster and Drill (Field Behind Museum)

3:00 PM: Slideshow Presentation: Martial Splendor: Introduction to the Clothing, Weapons, and Accoutrements of the “Hessian” Soldier in the Revolutionary War. (Fort Montgomery Museum Classroom)

For more information, please call (845) 446-2134. Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is located at 690 Route 9W, in Fort Montgomery, Orange County, NY.

Cowboys in the American Revolution Lecture

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Fort Montgomery State Historic Site will offer a lecture entitled “Samuel Wire and the Cowboys: An Exercise in Research Frustration” on Thursday, December 1, at 7 P.M. Samuel Wire, a young Dragoon from Connecticut, was on a break from “Hunting Cowboys” when a door to a small house popped open. The green-clad Loyalist officer who stood in that doorway pointed his firelock and pulled the trigger. Revolutionary War researcher and historian Phil Weaver will detail his discovery of this remarkable story and the winding road he took to document it. You will not only hear the narrative story, but learn who the “Cowboys” were, that chasing leads is not always a linear process, and that historical research can be fun and frustrating.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Thursday Night Speaker Series seating is by reservation only and is limited to the first 50. You may reserve seats by calling 845-446-2134. Please leave your name, phone number and number of people in your party.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is located at 690 Route 9W, in Fort Montgomery, NY.

Illustration: A Cowboy depicted in Uniforms of the American, British, French, and German Armies in the War of the American Revolution, 1775-1783, by Lt. Charles M. Lefferts, 1926.

Fort Montgomery 2011 Special Events

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Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is located at 690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, NY, 1/2 mile north of the Bear Mountain Bridge Traffic Circle. The site is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM. For more information, please call (845) 446-2134.

The site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 28 parks, 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.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site 2011 Special Events Calendar

Saturday, May 7th, 10 AM: Appalachian Trail History Hike

The Appalachian Trail is well known, but its history is not. Starting at the fort’s visitor center, participants will hike to the trail’s newly rerouted section on Bear Mountain, learning about its history, but stopping along the way to take in items of natural interest including indigenous plants, animals, trees, and geology. This is an intermediate/difficult hike, so bring your boots, water, and a snack.

Saturday, May 14th, 10 AM – 4 PM: British Brigade Academy

British regulars, German mercenaries and Loyalist troops will be on site to give visitors a view of the non-rebellious side of the American Revolution.

Saturday, May 21st, 10 AM – 4 PM: 5th New York Regiment Muster Day

Fort Montgomery’s own 5th NY Regiment will be garrisoning the fort and preparing for the campaign season by establishing a camp, conducting military drills and camp life activities, and firing the fort’s three cannons. Be prepared to be immersed in the action!

Saturday, June 4th, 10 AM – 4 PM: Colonial Trades and Skills Day

Trades people will be on hand demonstrating coopering, blacksmithing, broom-making, fishnet-weaving, hornsmithing, quilting, cider-making, Native-American skills and more! Try your own hand at one or more of these trades and help preserve history!

Sunday, June 5th, 9 AM: Birding at the Battlefield

Ever look out your back window and wonder to yourself “What kind of bird is that?” Find out once and for all by joining noted birder David Baker for a beginner bird walk through the ruins of Fort Montgomery. Discover which of our winged friends garrison themselves in the fort year-round and which ones are just on temporary posting.

Saturday, July 2nd, 12 PM: Declaration of Independence Day Cannon Firing Program

In 1776 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail “The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” Join us as we celebrate in true John Adams fashion the actual date that American Independence was declared, by firing the fort’s artillery, including “George”, the 32-pounder cannon.

**Monday, July 4th: Fort Montgomery will be CLOSED for Independence Day**

Saturdays and Sundays in July and August: Musket Demonstrations at Noon and 3 PM, Artillery Demonstration at 1 PM**

**Monday, September 5th, Labor Day: Fort Montgomery will be CLOSED**

Saturday, October 1st, 10 AM – 5 PM: Twin Forts Day

Join us for the annual commemoration of the bloody October 6th 1777 assault on Forts Montgomery & Clinton with military drills, living history demonstrations, cannon firings and reenactment of the battle.

**Monday, October 10th, Columbus Day: Fort Montgomery will be CLOSED **

Saturday, October 29th, 6:30, 7 & 7:30 PM: Lantern Tour of Fort Montgomery

Tour the ruins of Fort Montgomery at night! Hear dramatic tales from the battle and bring yourself back to October 1777. Witness the fort come alive as re-enactors depict various scenes from the fort’s dark, dramatic history. Tours leaving from Fort Montgomery Visitor’s Center at 6:30 PM, 7:00 PM & 7:30 PM. Reservations required. Call 845-446-2134.