THE HUDSON HIGHLANDS
United States Military Academy,
West Point, NY 10996
Phone: (845) 938-2203/3590
Hours: May – September
Contact the West Point Museum for available hours and information.
Colonel Rufus Putnam's 5th Massachusetts Regiment built Fort Putnam in 1778 as one of Fortress West Point's largest and most important military fortifications. From this site, the Plain and approaches to the Great Chain could be protected. The fort predates the United States Military Academy (1802) by nearly twenty-five years and it is positioned to protect against infantry assaults. Originally a wood and earthen redoubt, Fort Putnam evolved into a stone fortification that stands today after restoration during the American Revolutionary Bicentennial.
A complete refurbishment of Fort Putnam occurred during the nation's Revolutionary War Bicentennial. Cannon and mortars were reproduced and placed according to drawings by Lieutenant Louis-Alexandre Berthier, a Revolutionary War topographic engineer. Fort Putnam provides a view of West Point, Constitution Island, and the surrounding Hudson River Valley. Particularly evident is the S-shaped bend in the Hudson as it passes between Constitution Island and West Point that convinced military leaders that West Point should be fortified in 1778.
Located within the compound of West Point, Fort Putnam overlooks USMA and is situated northeast of Michie Stadium. It is presently not open to visitors.