THE HUDSON HIGHLANDS
P.O. Box 182
Stony Point, NY 10980
Hours: Mid-April to October 31
Museum: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 AM.-4:30 PM., Sun. 12-4:30 PM.
Grounds only open: Monday through Saturday, 10 AM –5 PM. Sunday 12-5
Phone: (845) 786-2521
Fax: (845) 786-0463
King’s Ferry between Verplanck’s Point and Stony Point was the key ferry crossing in the Lower Hudson. British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton gained control of it on 31 May 1779 with about 6,000 British and Hessian troops by capturing Fort Lafayette on the eastern bank of the Hudson River and building fortifications at Stony Point on the opposite shore as a possible prelude to a decisive battle in the Hudson Highlands with General George Washington’s Continental Army. Facing a reduced British force, on 6 July at Buckberg Mountain Washington and Brigadier General Anthony Wayne planned an attack to retake Stony Point. On 15 July Wayne led his Corps of Light Infantry of about 1,150 against the British garrison of 564 men commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Johnson. After an eight-hour march from Sandy Beach north of Fort Montgomery, to Springsteel’s farm just west of Stony Point, Wayne organized his force into three columns for the final movement and the nighttime attack that began at midnight. Led by 20- man "forlorn hopes," two flanking forces, using only bayonets, penetrated the northern and southern ends of the abatis of the Outer Works of the fort while the third column effectively created a diversion with musketry to its front. Both assault columns penetrated the Inner Works, and by 2:00 A.M. on 16 July Wayne reported the fort captured. At a cost of 15 men killed and 83 wounded, Wayne’s soldiers captured the garrison, killing at least 20 and wounding 74. Deciding not to maintain the fort, Washington ordered it destroyed and abandoned. The British reoccupied and refortified it on 19 July but abandoned it and the Highlands for good, as it turned out, by October.
series of numbered signs tell the story of the battle and indicate the major features of the British fort. A small but excellent museum, featuring archeological artifacts and three British guns from the battle, is open five days a week. Costumed interpreters set up a soldiers’ camp on weekends and demonstrate muskets, camp-life, cooking, the activities of a military surgeon and much more. Take a short walk on a woodland path to a vantage point overlooking the terminus of the King’s Ferry in the north cove of the peninsula. The oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River, built on the grounds of Stony Point Battlefield in 1826, guided vessels for ninety-nine years before it was decommissioned. Visitors to Stony Point Battlefield today can tour the recently restored and re-lighted lighthouse on weekends for a magnificent view of the Hudson Valley.
Take Palisades Interstate Parkway to Exit 15, and follow the signs to Rt. 106/210 (east) to Route 9W (north). The Stony Point Battlefield is 1/2 mile north of intersection with East Main Street, Stony Point.