“The Last Encampment of the Northern Continental Army”
Sunday March 4, 2012: 2:00 PM
Surrounded now on all sides by housing developments and in certain areas completely built over, the Continental Army's New Windsor 1782-83 winter encampment was during its short existence the second largest city in New York State. Soldiers fashioned approximately 600 buildings out of the ancient forest arraying them in tidy rows that replicated battlefield formations. Though a major base, its effects upon the locale was fleeting. The Continentals moved on in June 1783 leaving only one wife and her two young children, abandoned by her ne’er do well husband, and the quartermasters responsible for disposing of the encampment. Surplus army equipment and nearly all of the log structures were sold at public auction. Following the Revolutionary War, farmers cleared the land and made stonewalls out of the collapsed huts fieldstone chimneys. By the mid-19th century, except to the most discerning eye, all traces of the Continental Army had vanished.
On Sunday March 4, at 2:00 PM, learn about the historical significance of the New Windsor Cantonment and the struggle to preserve and interpret the final winter encampment of the northern Continental Army. At the time, the soldiers at New Windsor and the few thousand more in the vicinity of West Point were the only force standing between the people of New York and New England and 12,000 British troops in New York City, just 60 miles away.
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is located on Route 300, 374 Temple Hill Road, in New Windsor, NY, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84. National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is also on-site
For more information please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.
Drawing of the Massachusetts Line at the New Windsor Cantonment after the sketch done by Private William Tarbell of the 7th Massachusetts Regiment. Caldwell and Garrison Civil Engineers Newburgh, New York. Collection of Washington Headquarters State Historic Site. The original drawing of the Massachusetts Line at New Windsor by William Tarbell is currently on loan to New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site from Dr. Edward Willett, a descendant. This version captures the details that had faded over the years.