Amersfort Blockhouse |
Fort Amsterdam |
Fort Anne (1) |
Fort d'Anormee Berge
Boswyck Blockhouses | Dutch Supply Post | Fort George (1) | Governors Island Barracks
Grand Battery | Fort Willem Hendrick | Fort William Henry (1) | Indian Fort | Fort James
New Utrecht Blockhouse | Fort New York | Nipnichsen | Nooten Eylandt Fort
Queen's Fort (1) | Sapohannikan Fort | Signal Hill Blockhouse | Snakapins
New York City Revolutionary War Forts
Northeastern NY - page 1 | Mohawk River Valley - page 2 | Hudson River Valley - page 3
Catskill Region - page 4 | New York City II - page 6 | New York City III - page 7
Long Island - page 8 | Western New York - page 9 | Northwestern New York - page 10
NEW YORK'S FORTS AND MILITARY HISTORY
NEW YORK'S INDEPENDENCE TRAIL
NOTE: This page covers forts of the colonial period only (to 1790). Please see NEW YORK CITY II and NEW YORK CITY III for later period forts.
Fort d'Anormee Berge
A French fortified trading post located on an island (or a marshy extension) in a small fresh-water lake on Manhattan Island, later known as Collect Pond, in the area bound by present-day Franklin, Lafayette, Duane, and Baxter Streets, near the present New York County Courthouse. The pond remained a landmark until drained in 1811.
Dutch Supply Post
(1609, 1610), Manhattan
A small fort, supply post, or trading post was possibly built on the southwestern tip of Manhattan Island by the explorer Henry Hudson during his voyage up the Hudson River in 1609. Another post (or possibly a reuse of the earlier post) may have been built by explorer Adriaen Block in 1610. Possibly located at the west end of Fulton Street (now the World Trade Center Plaza), which was the river crossing site of the old Tulpehoken Indian Trail.
Fort George (1)
(1625 - 1790), Manhattan
A Dutch fur trade blockhouse was originally built here in 1612. Samual Argall of Virginia raided the post in November 1613 after also raiding French Port Royal, Nova Scotia (Acadia). The Dutch later built a new and larger fort known as Fort Amsterdam (1625 - 1664). In 1626 Manhattan Island was sold by the Indians and the settlement of the city began in earnest. In 1653 a wall (palisade) was built along the settlement's northern edge for protection. It included two stone blockhouses at William Street and at Broadway. The wall was dismantled in 1699. Wall Street now occupies that location. When the British seized the colony in 1664 they renamed the fort to Fort James, and the city and colony were renamed New York. The Dutch regained the colony in 1673 and renamed the fort to Fort Willem Hendrick and the city as New Orange. Again the British controlled the colony in 1674 and they reused the Fort James name. The name was changed to Fort New York from 1685 to 1691. The name was changed again to Fort William Henry (1) (1691 - 1703), Fort Anne (1) (or Queen's Fort (1)) (1703 - 1714), and finally to Fort George, by which it was known until it was demolished in 1790 by the city. The Grand Battery was an outer work located at the shoreline, which is today's Battery Park. The fort was partially destroyed by a fire in 1741. The fort was partially destroyed in 1776 by Patriot forces in order to try to prevent the British from using the defenses should they capture the fort, which they then did rather easily. The Patriots had already erected a new battery below the south wall of the fort. The British strengthened the defenses in 1779. The U.S. Customs House is now located at the site of the fort. A marker was placed on the southwest bastion location in 1818, but was removed in 1904 when Broadway was lengthened and the subway constructed. A new marker from 1907 now stands in Battery Park. Castle Clinton (1823), originally known as the Southwest Battery (1807) is now located at the Grand Battery site.
See also The Battery Conservancy || New Netherland Museum
(c. 1600 - 1666), Manhattan
A Sapohannikan Indian fortified village located on the Hudson River, probably located at or near the present-day intersection of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. Visited by Henry Hudson in 1609.
(c. 1600), Bronx
A Weckweeskeck Indian fortified village located on Spuyten Duyvil Hill at the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. Visited by Henry Hudson in 1609. Probable site is at Henry Hudson Memorial Park. Marker on New Bridge Drive.
(c. 1600), Manhattan
A Weckweeskeck (?) Indian fortified village located on the Harlem River opposite Ward's Island, probably located near East 105th Street.
(Castle Hill Park Historic Marker)
(c. 1535), Bronx
A Siwanoy (Sewanoe) Indian fortified village located on a hill at Screven's Point (Castle Hill Neck) on the East River at Pugsley Creek. Some members of Henry Hudson's crew were attacked near here in 1609. Visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1610. Area first settled by whites in 1685.
Nooten Eylandt Fort
(1624 - 1625), Governors Island
A Dutch fort located somewhere on the island. It was abandoned after Fort Amsterdam was built on Manhattan. The British called the island "Nutten Island" before changing it to "Governors Island".
Governors Island Barracks
(1755 - unknown, 1776 - 1783), Governors Island
British troops were posted on the island for the first time in 1755. No defense works are known to have been built at that time.
Patriot forces erected several batteries and entrenchments in 1776, but were captured by the British. (see also Nutten Island Batteries (1776) listed below)
(1630 - 1664), Brooklyn
A Dutch blockhouse in the Flatlands area. Exact location unknown.
(1662 - 1664), Brooklyn
Two Dutch blockhouses at each end of the French Huguenot village. Located in the Bushwick area.
New Utrecht Blockhouse
(1657 - unknown), Brooklyn
A Dutch blockhouse for French Huguenots, built by Jacques Cortelyou. Located at or near the future site of American Fort Hamilton (2).
Signal Hill Blockhouse
(1636 - 1655, 1663 - unknown), Staten Island
A Dutch blockhouse erected at the Narrows. It was rebuilt after several settlements were destroyed by Indians. The British captured this post in 1664 after ousting the Dutch from New Netherland. This site became the future site of Patriot Flagstaff Fort (1776), and American Fort Tompkins (1807).
Revolutionary War Forts of New York City
(1776 - 1783), unless otherwise noted
NOTE: The British occupied New York City (Manhattan Island) from September/October 1776 to November 1783. Staten Island was occupied from July 1776 to December 1783. Brooklyn was occupied from August 1776 to December 1783. Bronx was occupied from October 1776 to October 1782.
Bronx | Brooklyn | Staten Island
Barrier Gate (1779 - 1783), a line of British fortifications extending from Fort Tryon to Fort George (2) on Laurel Hill, including at least five redoubts and several stockades. Did not see action.
Circular Battery, a Patriot five-gun work located on the Hudson River at Harrison Street (Manhattan Community College), with additional breastworks extending along the river to Hubert Street.
Citizens Redoubt (1780 - 1783), on the site of the Patriot Badlam's Redoubt (1776) on Rutgers Hill at Madison and Market Streets. Rebuilt with eight guns and renamed by Loyalist citizens. Garrisoned by 100 Royal Navy seamen. Did not see action under the British.
Coenties Slip Battery (1776), a Patriot work located on the wharf of the same name, east of Battery Park (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza).
Crown Point Battery (1776), a Patriot work on Corlaer's Hook (Corlaer's Hook Park). This became the future site of Corlaer's Hook Fort (1812).
Fort Bunker Hill, a Patriot fort located on Bayard's Hill (Bunker Hill) in the area of Centre, Broome, Mott, and Grand Streets. Also known as Bayard's Hill Redoubt, and Independent Battery. Captured and garrisoned by the British.
Fort Cock Hill, a Patriot fort also known as Fort Cock's Hill, Fort Cox Hill, and New Battery. Located on the summit of Inwood Hill in Inwood Hill Park. Captured by the British. It was improved in 1778.
Fort George (1), (see seperate listing above).
Fort George (4), previously the Patriot Laurel Hill Battery. Consisted of two redoubts, one halfway up the crest, and the other on the crest. Captured by the British during the attack on Fort Washington, and renamed Fort Clinton (3) early on. A blockhouse was added in 1778, but was later dismantled and carted off to Stony Point. Earthwork lines connected to Fort Tryon in 1779. Additional repairs were made in 1781. Remnants of these works still exist on Fort George Hill at George Washington High School. A marker is at the spot on West 192nd Street and Audubon Ave..
Fort Prince Charles (1776 - 1779), originally the Patriot Fort Number Nine, an earthwork redoubt located on Marble Hill at Fort Charles (Corlear) Place and Marble Hill Ave. It was captured by the British during the assault on Fort Washington. It was reconstructed and renamed in 1777. Also known as Charles Redoubt. It was demolished in 1779. A marker is at St. Stevens Church.
Fort Tryon (1778 - 1783), originally the site of the Patriot two-gun Forest Hill Redoubt, an earthen redan. It was captured by the British during the Fort Washington assault and destroyed. The British built a new fort on the site, adding a barracks. Became a city park in 1933. The actual site of the fort is at the observation platform. A marker is at the site.
Fort Washington, a Patriot five-sided earthwork that was hastily built without proper defensive works (no ditch, palisade, or casemates) and without barracks and a well. An outer work was located at Harlem Cove (Manhattanville), and also one below at Jeffrey's Hook. A chevaux-de-frise (barricade) was placed in the Hudson River, stretching over to Fort Lee in New Jersey. This was the last Patriot holdout in New York City (Manhattan) until captured in October 1776. The British then built barracks, a hospital, and bakehouses, and the fort became the headquarters for the Hessian troops. It was then renamed Fort Knyphausen (1). A new six-gun battery was added in 1779, and the river barricade was removed. The original name was restored in 1783 after the British left, and the fort may have still existed up until 1810 (shown on 1806 map). The site was excavated in the 1920's. A monument was built, but was later demolished. The site is currently marked by the 265-foot high flagpole in Gordon Bennett Park on Washington Ave., between West 183rd and West 185th Streets.
Foundry Redoubt, previously the Patriot Grenadier's Battery on Lispenard's Hill at Varick and Laight Streets. It was rebuilt by the British in 1779. It was coupled with the Star Redoubt, originally the Patriot Lispenard's Redoubt, or also known as the Circular Redoubt, also located on Lispenard's Hill. It was a circular redoubt, and was the Patriots' western defense anchor. It was captured by the British, and rebuilt into a star-shaped earthwork and renamed. An unnamed Patriot redoubt was located just to the north at Thompson and Spring Streets.
Horn's Hook Fort, previously Patriot Thompson's Battery, a series of breastworks and entrenchments on Gracie Point/Horn's Hook (Carl Schurz Park). Destroyed in battle in 1776, it was renamed and partially restored by the British in 1778. It was enlarged in 1781 to nine guns, adding a palisade. A secondary stockade was constructed just to the north, with an additional palisaded blockhouse and battery just beyond that. Did not see further action. The works were finally destroyed in 1794, in order to build the Gracie Mansion (1799).
Hospital Redoubt, a strong Patriot breastwork protecting a hospital at today's West Broadway and Worth Street. It was destroyed by the British.
Jeffrey's Hook Battery, a Patriot lunette battery on the Hudson River below Fort Washington, just north of the George Washington Bridge. The British built a blockhouse here after it was captured after the fall of Fort Washington.
Jersey Battery, a Patriot work located on the Hudson River at Reade Street (Manhattan Community College) to the left of, and connected to, the Circular Battery. It was a five-sided five-gun fort. Captured by the British, it was renovated and improved in 1782.
Jones Hill Fort, previously the Patriot Fort Pitt, a semi-circular redoubt located at Grand and Pitt Streets. Trenches lined the summit of the hill to a circular battery on the north side, just north of Broome and Pitt Streets. Works continued on Grand Street to the Bowery. Two additional circular batteries were located at Grand and Norfolk Streets, and at Grand and Eldridge Streets. It was strengthened after capture, and wooden gun platforms for eight guns were added in 1780. New entrenchments were dug along the old Patriot lines. Garrisoned by 210 Royal Navy seamen.
King's Bridge Redoubt, a small Patriot earthen redoubt on the south side of the crossing, now Marble Hill Houses. The British rebuilt the work after capture into a semi-circular flèche.
McGowan's Pass Redoubt, a British post located at the site of the Fort Clinton (5) Monument (1814) in the northeastern portion Central Park. It commanded the post road into Harlem Plains.
Montresor's Island Post, previously a Patriot quarantine station for smallpox, this British work was unsuccessfully attacked by Patriot forces in 1776. Known today as Randall's Island. Became a city cemetery and hospital in 1835.
Negro Fort (1776 - 1779), a small Patriot work located on the south side of the old Boston Post Road, one-half mile from the Valentine-Varian House Museum, southwest of Fort Prince Charles. It was named after its garrison of a company of Free Blacks. It was captured by the British, recaptured early in 1777 during the assault on Fort Independence (1), and was demolished in 1779.
Nutten Island Batteries, a line of Patriot works throughout Governors Island, consisting of several redoubts, batteries, and encampments. Captured by the British. Governors Island became the future location of Fort Jay (1794) and Castle Williams (1807).
Oyster Battery (1776), a Patriot five-gun work located behind Trinity Church at Rector and Greenwich Streets. It was also known as McDougall's Battery.
Shipyard Battery (1776), a small Patriot battery located adjacent to Waterbury's Battery.
Turtle Bay Depot (unknown - 1775), a British magazine and storehouse located at East 47th Street on the East River. It was captured and destroyed by Patriot forces in 1775, its stores sent to Boston, MA and Fort Ticonderoga for the Patriot cause.
Turtle Bay Redoubt (1776), a Patriot earthwork located just south of the former British depot, on East 45th Street. Now the location of the United Nations Headquarters.
Waterbury's Battery (1776), a Patriot seven-gun battery located on Catherine Street at Cherry Street. Site now under approach to Williamsburg Bridge.
Whitehall Battery, a Patriot two-gun battery east of the Grand Battery, practically an extension of it. It was captured by the British, and repaired and improved in 1782. Located at South Ferry Dock (Whitehall Dock).
Fort Number 1 (1776 - 1779, a Patriot work on the southwest slope of Spuyten Duyvil Hill, located at West 230th Street and Sycamore Ave. just north of the Henry Hudson Monument. It was a small square fort with an abatis. It was abandoned without a fight. Later destroyed as the British moved their lines southward.
Fort Number 2 (1776 - 1779), a Patriot circular abatised fort on the crest of Spuyten Duyvil Hill, located west of West 230th Street and Arlington Ave.. Also known as Fort Swartwout. Abandoned before the British, who built a small redan on the west side of the fort. Destroyed in 1779.
Fort Number 3 (1776 - 1779), a Patriot fort on the eastern slope of Spuyten Duyvil Hill, located on Netherland Ave. between West 227th and West 231st Streets. It was a square abatised earthwork. Captured by the British, and in 1778 a curtain wall was built connecting to Fort #2. Destroyed in 1779.
Fort Number 4 (1776 - 1779), a Patriot square palisaded earthwork redoubt, 70 feet to a side, with a ditch. Located at the southern end of Jerome Park Reservoir east of Sedgwick Ave.. Captured by the British after two assaults. It was rebuilt, but demolished in 1779. The site was excavated in 1910, revealing brick remains of the fireplaces of the Officers' quarters.
Fort Number 5 (1777 - 1779), a British square earthwork located on Kingsbridge Road, on the grounds of today's V.A. Hospital. Did not see action, and was demolished.
Fort Number 6 (1777 - 1779), another British fort on the V.A. Hospital grounds, near Kingsbridge Road and Sedgwick Ave.. Demolished in 1779. Excavated in 1899.
Fort Number 7 (1776 - 1779), British earthworks located at Fordham Road and Sedgwick Ave.. Used in the attack on Fort Washington. Rebuilt in 1777 as a square fort with an abatis. Log barracks built in 1778 between the fort and King's Redoubt. Demolished in 1779.
Fort Number 8 (1776 - 1782), a British four-pointed star fort, located on the NYU campus on University Heights in Fordham. A marker is on Battery Hill. It was the southern anchor of the Fordham Heights Line, and it was involved in the attack on Fort Washington. After 1779 this fort was the only British fort remaining in Bronx County. Renovations and an abatis were added in 1779. The Schwab Mansion was built within the site in 1857. The site was excavated in 1965, with several artifacts in the Valentine-Varian House Museum of the Bronx Historical Society.
Fort Independence (1) (1776 - 1779), a Patriot fort located near Fort Independence Park. It was a rough parallelogram with bastions in the northwest and southwest angles, and a square bulge flanking the eastern wall. There were stone barracks, Officers' quarters, and powder magazines. The fort was torched and abandoned before the British, with many stores left behind. Partially restored in 1776 after the battle, and attacked unsuccessfully by the Patriots in 1777. The works were destroyed in 1779. The site was excavated in 1914 and 1958, in the area of Giles Place, Cannon Place, and Sedgwick Ave.. The walls of the powder magazine and Officers' quarters were unearthed, along with several artifacts. A marker is at the park entrance. A city park since 1916.
King's Redoubt (1776 - 1779), a British circular earthwork located just west of Fort #7. An abatis was added in 1778. Demolished in 1779.
Rebel Redoubt (1776 - 1779), a Patriot circular redoubt. It was captured by the British, who then added an abatis. It was destroyed in 1779. It was located just north of the NYU campus.
Spuyten Duyvil Battery, a Patriot lunette battery at the mouth of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, just behind today's Spuyten Duyvil Station. It was captured by the British.
Fort Box (1776), a Patriot diamond-shaped four-gun redoubt on Bergen's (Boerum's) Hill, on or very close to Pacific Street, above Bond Street on the edge of the Gowanus Creek marshes. It was captured by the British and destroyed. This location became the future site of Fort Fireman (1814).
Fort Brooklyn (1780 - 1783), a large British fort located at Pierrepont and Henry Streets, about four blocks from the site of Fort Stirling. It was 450-square feet, with ramparts 40 - 50 feet above the bottom of the encircling 20-foot deep ditch. Each angle had a bastion, and a barracks and two magazines were in the center of the fort. It was armed with 18 guns and garrisoned by 200 men. It was also known as The Citadel. This location was previously occupied by the unfinished Patriot work The Congress Citadel in 1776. The site was developed in 1825.
Fort Corkscrew (1776 - 1781), a Patriot four-gun fort located on Cobble Hill (since reduced), in the area of Atlantic Ave., Court, Pacific, and Clinton Streets. It was originally named Fort Cobble Hill, and then to Fort Spiral. Also known as Smith's Barbette (1776). It was captured by the British and maintained until July 1781. A marker is at Atlantic Ave. and Court Street, near the future site of Fort Swift (1812).
Fort Defiance (1) (1776), a Patriot five-gun redoubt located on Red Hook, at Dwight and Beard Streets. It was captured by the British and destroyed. A marker is at the site. A marker at the foot of Coffey Street is incorrect.
Fort Putnam (1), a Patriot star-shaped five-gun fort, somewhat smaller than Fort Greene (1). It was on the salient of the Brooklyn defense line, thus becoming the main British objective during the Battle of Brooklyn. It was captured by the British, and converted to a square fort in 1782. Located at Myrtle Ave. and Cumberland Street, the future site of Fort Greene (2) (1814), now Fort Greene Park, a city park since 1847.
Fort Stirling, a Patriot fort on a bluff at the edge of Brooklyn (Columbia) Heights, at Columbia Street between Clark and Orange Streets (Fort Stirling Park). It was manned by 13 men. It was also known as Fort Half-Moon (2). It was captured by the British, and improved. A marker is at Clark Street.
Fort Sutherland, a British fort that was originally the Patriot star-shaped Fort Greene (1), armed with six guns, and with two interior magazines. It was located 300 yards to the left of Fort Box, between State and Schermerhorn Streets, above Bond Street. It was captured by the British, and renamed in 1778. It was improved in 1782. This location became the future site of Fort Masonic (1814).
Left Redoubt, a Patriot redoubt to the left of Fort Putnam (1), located on Cumberland Street between Myrtle and Willoughby Aves.. It was captured by the British, and repaired in 1779.
Narrows Fort, a Patriot redoubt garrisoned by 200 men, located on Denyse Point. It was captured by the British. This location became the future site of Fort Hamilton (2) (1826).
Oblong Redoubt (1776), a Patriot circular redoubt to the left of Fort Greene (1), on a hill (since gone) at De Kalb and Hudson Aves.. It was also known as Oblong Square. It was captured by the British and destroyed. This location became the future site of Fort Cummings (2) (1814).
Amboy Ferry Post (1777 - 1783), a British post located near Tottenville.
Decker's Ferry Fort, a fortified stone house converted by the British after the Patriots fled the island in 1776. Located in Port Richmond near the ferry landing to Bayonne, NJ. Attacked unsuccessfully by the Patriots in 1777.
Dutch Church Fort, a fortified stone church in Port Richmond. It was attacked and destroyed by Patriot forces in 1780. The present church (1845) is on the site at 54 Richmond Ave..
Elizabeth Ferry Redoubts (1777 - 1783), three British redoubts located near Howland Hook.
Flagstaff Fort, a Patriot redoubt garrisoned by 400 men, located on Signal Hill at the Narrows. It was captured by the British, and rebuilt in 1779. It was rebuilt again in 1782 with five bastions and several barbette batteries. It did not see further action under the British. This became the future site of Fort Tompkins (1) (1807), which later became part of Fort Wadsworth (1870's).
Fort George (5), a British encampment at St. George.
Fort Knyphausen (2) (1777 - 1783), a British earthen redoubt located on Fort Hill in St. George. Attacked by Patriots in January 1780, but repulsed.
Fort Richmond (1), a British post consisting of three earthen redoubts about 50-square feet each with ditches, located on the hill overlooking Richmondtown, currently on the grounds of the La Tourette Country Club. It was renovated and strengthened in 1781. It was twice attacked by Patriot forces in 1777, both repulsed. It was also known as Fort Izzard (1). Excavated by the Staten Island Historical Society, with many artifacts recovered.
Old Blazing Star Post, an inn that was fortified by the British, located on the north bank of the mouth of Fresh Kills, west of Richmondtown.
Watering Place Redoubts, three British circular redoubts, double-abatised, with about 200 men each, located on Pavillion Hill in Tompkinsville. Patriot forces previously had entrenchments located here.
Northeastern NY - page 1 |
Mohawk River Valley - page 2 |
Hudson River Valley - page 3
Catskill Region - page 4 | New York City II - page 6 | New York City III - page 7
Long Island - page 8 | Western New York - page 9 | Northwestern New York - page 10
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