Tag Archives: Knox’s Headquarters

Artillery Day At Knox’s Headquarters


By on

0 Comments

American Revolution ArtilleryThe long barrel artillery piece or gun was a dominating presence on most of the battlefields of the American Revolution.  Firing solid iron balls out to distances of 1,000 yards and deadly shotgun blasts of caseshot, small iron balls, in a tin canister, up to 300 yards, the gun devastated enemy formations.  The larger versions battered down walls and smashed holes in great warships.

On Saturday, June 20th, from 11 am to 3 pm, Revolutionary War cannon firings every half-hour will highlight a program about the 1780-81 artillery encampment at Knox’s Headquarters in New Windsor, Orange County, NY. Continue reading

Washington’s Birthday: Guide To Hudson Valley Events


By on

0 Comments

FSHSHH_2015GWBCschedule_GraphicDepending on where you are or who you talk to, the third Monday in February represents either Presidents’ Day or Washington’s Birthday. At three Revolutionary War historic sites in the Hudson Valley, the day is part of a three-day celebration of George Washington.

The Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands (FSHSHH) have created an inclusive schedule to the array of activities taking place at Washington’s Headquarters, Knox’s Headquarters, and the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Sites on February 14th, 15th, and 16th. Each day offers something new. Continue reading

Knox Headquarters: Hauntings in the 18th Century


By on

0 Comments

220px-Hammersmith_GhostTwo or three hundred years ago people were terrified of what lurked in the night. Ghosts stalked the gloomy forests and hovered about dark corners, preying on the unwary. Learn what role ghosts, specters and apparitions played in the lives of these people.

Stories such as the Tedworth Drummer show that the supernatural was an ever present part of English and American life. Ghost appeared baring their death wounds, as walking corpses or disembodied heads. Continue reading

Knox’s Headquarters To Celebrate General’s Birthday


By on

1 Comment

New Windsor Cantonment StaffGeneral Washington knew exactly what he was about, in the summer of 1781, by trying to convince the British and his own soldiers that he would attack New York City. Unbeknownst to all but trusted officials, he had agreed to move with the French Army south to Virginia.

In Virginia, a French naval force from the Caribbean would join them to complete the encirclement of the British Army at Yorktown. The soldiers of the 2nd and 3rd Continental Artillery Regiments, encamped at New Windsor, NY since the previous November, spent their time assembling and training on heavy siege artillery. Without the heavy guns to batter down the fortifications of British General Cornwallis’ Army at Yorktown, the decisive victory achieved there would not have been possible. Continue reading

Presidents Weekend:
Events At Knox’s HQ, New Windsor Cantonment


By on

0 Comments

soldier 2Knox’s Headquarters in Newburgh and the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site will be offering a full schedule of activities for the Presidents’ weekend. New Windsor Cantonment was the final encampment of the northern Continental Army, in 1782-83. Here over 7,000 soldiers and 500 family members endured the winter and prepared for a renewal of the fighting in the spring. Instead peace was proclaimed and after 8 long years of war they returned home.

Knox’s Headquarters, the elegant 1754 combination English and Dutch style home, of the prosperous merchant miller John Ellison, was one of the longest occupied military headquarters of the Revolutionary War. Continental Army Generals, Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox and Horatio Gates used the house as headquarters, during various periods between 1779-1783. Continue reading

First-Person Living History at Knox’s Headquarters


By on

0 Comments

image004General Washington knew exactly what he was about, in the summer of 1781, by trying to convince the British and his own soldiers that he would attack New York City. Unbeknownst to all, but trusted officials, he had agreed to move with the French Army south to Virginia. In Virginia, a French naval force from the Caribbean would join them to complete the encirclement of the British Army at Yorktown. Continue reading

‘Who Do These People Think They Are?’ at Knox’s Headquarters


By on

0 Comments

General George Washington knew exactly what he was about, in the summer of 1781, by trying to convince the British and his own soldiers that he would attack New York City. Unbeknownst to all, but trusted officials, he had agreed to move with the French Army south to Virginia. In Virginia, a French naval force from the Caribbean would join them to complete the encirclement of the British Army at Yorktown. 

The soldiers of the 2nd and 3rd Continental Artillery Regiments, encamped at New Windsor, since the previous November, spent their time assembling and training on heavy siege artillery. Without the heavy guns to batter down the fortifications of British General Cornwallis’ Army at Yorktown, the decisive victory achieved there would not have been possible. On Saturday July 28 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM costumed historians will think and act like they were the actual participants, at Knox’s Headquarters, in New Windsor, in July 1781, making the final arrangements for the movement of the artillery to the south.

As the evening progresses, the masking darkness gives the grounds a surreal experience, adding significantly to the authenticity of the setting. The residents will beguile visitors with tales of past glories, suffering, and share their hopes and aspirations for an uncertain future. Tour the grounds and mansion by the glow of tin lanterns and experience the tense days before Yorktown with the soldiers and civilians, who once made their homes in the area. 

The “residents” have no knowledge of the fact that Washington wants to take them south instead of to New York. Visitors will meet few, if any, names that they recognize from history, but instead humble souls whose efforts combined with thousands of others, helped forge a nation. This type of presentation, called “first-person living history,” has developed into a very exciting way to make history more meaningful to visitors. This technique is used at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts and Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia. 
For more information please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22. Knox’s Headquarters is at 289 Forge Hill Road, in Vails Gate, New York at the intersection of Route 94 and Forge Hill Road, four miles east of Stewart Airport and three miles from the intersection of I-87 and I-84.
Photo: New Windsor Cantonment Staff in Front of Knox’s Headquarters, the John Ellison House (provided).

Independence Day at New Windsor Cantonment, Knox’s HQ


By on

0 Comments

The New Windsor Cantonment and Knox’s Headquarters present a day of Revolutionary War activities. At New Windsor Cantonment, see a military drill and cannon firing at 2:00 PM, as well as blacksmithing and children’s activities throughout the day.

At Knox’s Headquarters, tour the 1754 Ellison House, the military command post for three generals. New Windsor Cantonment is open Monday July 4 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. At Knox’s Headquarters see a small cannon fired at 12:00 & 4:00 PM. The house is open for tours at 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM.

On the 4th, at 3:00 P.M., New Windsor Cantonment invites visitors to help read the Declaration of Independence, the revolutionary document that started it all. Following the reading, the 7th Massachusetts Regiment will fire a “feu-de-joie,” a ceremonial firing of muskets in honor of independence.

Throughout the day authentically dressed soldiers and civilians will share stories of life from that exciting time. Knox’s Headquarters, the Ellison House, honors the site’s namesake General Henry Knox, Washington’s Chief of Artillery, with the firing of a 4 1/2 ” bronze coehorn mortar at 12:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. This mortar, designed to be carried by two men, fired a grenade size exploding ball. John and Catherine Ellison were gracious hosts to three Continental Army generals at different times during the Revolutionary War.

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. Just one mile from the Cantonment is Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site. Elegantly furnished by John and Catherine Ellison, the 1754 mansion served as headquarters for Revolutionary War Generals Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, and Horatio Gates. Also be sure to visit Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, a short drive from the New Windsor Cantonment.

Admission is free. For more information please call New Windsor Cantonment at (845) 561-1765 ext. 22. New Windsor Cantonment is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill Road) in the Town of New Windsor, four miles east of Stewart Airport. It is three miles from the intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, New York. Knox’s Headquarters is located, a mile away from the New Windsor Cantonment, at the intersection of Route 94 and Forge Hill Road in Vails Gate.

Knox HQ: Newburgh Addresses Crisis Event Sunday


By on

0 Comments

Written at the Ellison House in early March 1783, the two letters that came to be known as the Newburgh Addresses stirred passions within the Army. The author called for the officers of the Continental Army to threaten a march on Philadelphia and use military force to compel Congress to redress their longstanding grievances. Had the conspirators been able to make good on this threat the United States, considered the beacon of freedom and democracy for the world, might have developed quite differently.

Whether this threat was real or just an elaborate bluff, the implications of the letter shocked George Washington. Throughout its long troubled history the Continental Army had been kept together by its officers despite dreadful conditions, bitter defeats, and soldier mutinies. If the officer corps turned against the country, who could prevent the military from dictating to its civilian masters?

Washington countered the first letter by expressing his “disapprobation of such disorderly proceedings” and directed that the officers meet in the Temple Building on March 15th to hear the latest report of the Committee of the Army to Congress. In the second letter dated March 12th, the author argued that Washington by not banning further meetings actually supported their tough rhetoric. They could not have been more wrong.

Unexpectedly and certainly not welcomed by the conspirators, General Washington appeared at the meeting and he addressed the esteemed gathering. The Commander-in-Chief poured out his heart to the officers but so deep was their resentment that most of them were still unmoved. In a fit of desperation he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a letter from Congressman Joseph Jones, one of the Army’s staunchest supporters. He struggled to read it to them because his eyesight was failing. His speech, in his own hand, was in large letters but the Jones letter was written in smaller script making it very difficult to read. He finally set the letter down and pulled from a pocket his new spectacles. Just a few at headquarters had ever seen him wearing them. This was his first use of them in public. Washington put on his spectacles and in a self-effacing manner said:

“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”

Gone for that poignant moment was the iconic great captain on horseback and in his place was revealed a fellow sufferer, aged beyond his years. This humble admission of human frailty unleashed a tidal wave of emotion. Some openly wept. Others felt the burn as the feelings of shame increased the flow of blood to their faces. Overcome by this compassionate response, Washington quickly gathered his papers and left as unceremoniously as he arrived.

Experience a dramatic reading of the events culminating with the conspiracy to force Congress to redress longstanding army grievances this Sunday March 11, 2012 at 2 PM at Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site. Call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22 for more information or to make reservations.

Photo: The 1754 John Ellison house, Knox’s Headquarters, viewed from the 18th century bridge over Silver Stream (provided).

Knox’s Headquarters Holiday Programs


By on

0 Comments

For two Christmases, John and Catherine Ellison shared their home with the officers and soldiers of the Continental Army. Over the winter of 1780-81, General Henry Knox, his wife Lucy and the young Henry and Lucy were there, while two years later it was General Horatio Gates and his military family of aides de camp who shared in the season’s festivities. From 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday December 16th & Saturday December 17th tour the elegantly appointed 1754 Ellison house decorated for Christmas and staffed by Revolutionary War era costumed interpreters.

In December 1774, Colonel Thomas Ellison of New Windsor, John’s father, received a letter from a grandson in New York City wishing him greetings of the season: “May you and yours see the return of many happy Christmasses & New Years & may each bring you an occasion of joy and peace – especially of that peace which passeth understanding & which this world can neither give or take away.”

On Monday December 26th, Tuesday December 27th & Wednesday December 28th Open House at Knox’s Headquarters. The Ellison mansion is open for tours at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM each day. Tour the elegant 1754 historic house decorated for the season in 18th century fashion.

Knox’s Headquarters is located at 289 Forge Hill Road, in Vails Gate, New York, three miles southeast of the intersection of I-87 and I-84. The bridge over Moodna Creek, just east of Knox’s Headquarters, was damaged by Hurricane Irene, so access to the site is from State Route 94 only. For more information please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.

Photo: The 1754 John Ellison house, Knox’s Headquarters, viewed from the 18th century bridge over Silver Stream (provided).