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Fort Lee in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Abatis Construction at Fort Lee
Abatis Construction Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2008
1. Abatis Construction Marker
Inscription. Fortifications were protected by obstacles, such as an abatis, or other major hindrances to assaulting troops. They were easily placed before a parapet, or breastwork, wherever trees were plentiful and were used to supplement defensive rampart walls or barricades.

Derived from the French word meaning heap of material thrown together, the abatis was built of piles of trees or large branches sharpened to a point and turned toward the enemy’s approach. They were entangled to form an impassable barrier for cavalry and infantry.

At Fort Lee, maps show than an abatis was placed to provide protection from an assault from the northwest exposure.

The use of an abatis either alone or together with other entanglements, led to an extensive tree-chopping program to supply logs for these obstructions and for battery emplacements as well as to provide timber for huts and firewood for cooking and heating.

Maps show that the fortification built on the high ground to the west was rectangular in shape with bastions at each corner. It undoubtedly was built to provide additional protection to the important batteries on the bluff and to prevent their capture by a land assault.
Erected by Fort Lee Historic Park.
Marker at Fort Lee Historic Park Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2008
2. Marker at Fort Lee Historic Park
A reconstructed abatis is located on the walking trail at Fort Lee Historic Park.
40° 50.943′ N, 73° 57.845′ W. Marker is in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Click for map. Marker is in Fort Lee Historic Park on a walking trail to the south of the Visitor Center. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Lee NJ 07024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Musketry Breastwork (within shouting distance of this marker); Soldier Hut (within shouting distance of this marker); The Barbette Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Magazine (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The American Crisis (about 400 feet away); Mortar Battery (about 500 feet away); Historical Chronology 1776 (about 600 feet away); Cannons (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Lee.
More about this marker. The left side of the map contains a map showing the location of Fort Lee and of the fortification on the Bluff Rock.

The right side of the marker has pictures of downed trees used in constructing fortifications, and of the completed, barricaded fort.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This series of markers follows the walking tour of Fort Lee Historic Park.
Also see . . .  The Battle of Fort Washington. The American Revolution. (Submitted on May 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
Fort Lee Abatis Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2008
3. Fort Lee Abatis
Obstructions such as this one were constructed to keep the British from attacking the Continental Army's batteries located on the Fort Lee bluffs, but the fort was abandoned before the British arrived.
Abatis Fortification Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2008
4. Abatis Fortification
Washington abandoned Fort Lee in 1776 after Fort Washington, located on the other side of the Hudson River, fell.
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
Credits. This page originally submitted on May 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,883 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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