Stony Point, New York

My colleagues and I gave an illustrated reading of selections from our book In the Words of Women at Stony Point Battlefield, a New York State Historic Site, on September 22. Stony Point was an American fort at a crucial location on the Hudson River adjacent to Haverstraw Bay, opposite Verplanck’s Point, and downriver from West Point. It was taken by the British during the Revolution, but in a midnight assault on July 16, 1779 the Continental Light Infantry, under the command of Mad Anthony Wayne, seized the hilltop garrison. The Americans waded through 3-foot deep water on the Haverstraw Bay side and made their way up a steep embankment with orders to use only bayonets so as not to raise the alarm. The British were surprised and, recognizing defeat was inevitable, surrendered.

Our friend Julia Warger, the site manager, has made Stony Point a popular destination. She arranged for a medicine chest to be on display as well as other artifacts related to the passages we were reading. The audience was enthralled and there were many questions. After refreshments there was a demonstration of the firepower of the site’s six-pound cannon. Did you ever wonder about the derivation of the term “ramrod?”

The site also boasts the Hudson’s oldest lighthouse, which was built in 1826 and operated for nearly 100 years. I was given a tour by site interpreter, Mike, in costume. The photo was taken next to the lighthouse, atop the site, from which the view is spectacular. Mike pointed out where the British ship Vulture had picked up traitor Benedict Arnold when he fled from West Point. I think Mike looks like Russell Crowe.

posted September 27th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Battles, Maps, New York

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