If you are spending a day at the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park for a jolt of nature, it’s easy to forget that another outdoor adventure awaits just 10 minutes north, a historic site where a bloody Revolutionary War battle unfolded.
Fully aware of the Hudson River’s importance as a transportation hub, the Continental Army, commanded by Governor George Clinton, had the foresight to take to the west bank and build two prominent fortresses. The choice location of these sites afforded soldiers stellar glimpses of any verboten British ships traveling up the river with supplies in tow. Myriad fortifications were in place. Massive iron chains stretched across the river, sunken logs were implemented to fend off the enemy, and a battery of six 32-pound cannons were in place. Yet all this was still not enough.
On October 6, 1777, British, Loyalist, and Hessian forces outnumbered the Continental troops, and, when they made their way through, more than half the Patriot troops were killed. This monumental battle over the mighty Hudson is memorialized here, a 14-acre cliffside perch overlooking the very waters that spawned the fierce fight.
Now declared a National Historic Landmark, this location’s past is conjured through walking trails, intoxicating views, and an informative museum packed with displays of original weapons and artifacts. Although the British burned down much of this locale, archaeologists have uncovered original stone foundations. Lucky visitors can witness the firing of the reproduction cannons standing guard from the Grand Battery.
Can you identify the name and location of these cannons? Submit your answer to the form below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!