Fort Washington (3)

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Fort Washington (3) (1776-1783) - A Patriot Revolutionary War Fort established in 1776 in New York City, New York County, New York. Named Fort Washington for General George Washington. Captured by the British in 1776 and renamed Fort Knyphausen. Returned to Patriot control with the departure of the British in 1783 and renamed Fort Washington. Probably abandoned as a fortification in 1783 at the end of the war. The fort may have existed through 1810.

Fort Washington Plan

History of Fort Washington

A Patriot fortification established in September 1776 during the Revolutionary War. Built as a five-sided earthwork, hastily built and still incomplete when attacked. At the time it was attacked it lacked a ditch, a palisade, casemates and a barracks to house the troops. The fort was located at the highest point on Manhattan Island directly across the Hudson River from Fort Lee. George Washington reportedly watched the fall of Fort Washington with his telescope from Fort Lee.

George Washington, on horseback, determined where works were to be placed in the middle of June. Colonel Rufus Putnam, Chief Engineer of the Army directed the construction. Pennsylvania troops who also arrived in New York during June 1776 built the fort. The fort was armed with about 20 heavy cannon.

Fort Washington was captured by the British on 16 Nov 1776 as the last remaining Patriot fortification on Manhattan Island. The surviving garrison of nearly 3,000 patriots were made prisoners of war. The British renamed it Fort Knyphausen in November 1776 after the Hessian General Baron von Knyphausen who became the fort commander. The Hessians improved the fort, adding a headquarters, barracks, a hospital and bakehouses. A six-gun battery was added in 1779.

The British evacuated New York City at 12 noon on 25 Nov 1783 and the city was secured by Colonial troops under the command of General Henry Knox. George Washington reclaimed Fort Knyphausen and then marched his army down the length of Manhattan to the Battery on the southern tip of the island. The fort was renamed back to Fort Washington.

The fort was probably abandoned as a fortification in 1783 at the end of the war. The fort may have existed through 1810.

Current Status

No remains, monument and marker only. The site was initially identified with a monument and a Revolutionary War cannon. Years later the monument was demolished. Today the site is commemorated by a small Marble monument and plaque just off the sidewalk on Fort Washington Avenue in James Gordon Bennett Park (between 183rd Street and 185th Streets). Some of the fort wall locations are marked by stones inside the park.

Location: Gordon Bennett Park, New York City, New York County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.85278 Long: -73.93833

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 262'

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