Fort Montgomery in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Fort Montgomery was built to prevent British ships from sailing up the Hudson River. The centerpiece of the fort’s river defenses was its Grand Battery of six 32-pounder cannons. One of the largest cannons of the Revolutionary War, a 32-pounder was a formidable piece of artillery with a range of well over a mile. The term 32-pounder refers to the weight of the gun’s cannonball. Each cannon weighed more than 6,000 lbs. Enemy ships sailing up the river would be exposed to these giant guns before they could return fire.
The cannons sat on a platform of 2.5- to 3-inch thick planks. The large mound just in front of this sign is all that remains of the battery’s defensive wall. The wall was made by stacking bundles of sticks, called fascines, and filling the space between them with dirt. The guns fired through open spaces in the wall, called embrasures. The embrasures were covered with a thick layer of mortar to prevent the fascines from igniting when the cannons were fired.
“In the afternoon, a [British] tender sloop made sail, and ran up within full view and long-shot of our battery, sounding the river carefully
General George Clinton, Fort Montgomery, 23rd July 1776
Erected by Fort Montgomery State Historic Site.
Location. 41° 19.433′ N, 73° 59.174′ W. Marker is in Fort Montgomery, New York, in Orange County. Marker is in Fort Montgomery State Historic Site on the walking trail, overlooking the Hudson River. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Montgomery NY 10922, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Naval Battle of Fort Montgomery (a few steps from this marker); 32-Pounder (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Naval Battle of Fort Montgomery (a few steps from this marker); Three Sisters Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Gardens of the Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Powder Magazine (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Battle of Fort Montgomery (about 300 feet away); Building a Fort (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Montgomery.
More about this marker. The top right of the marker contains “A cross-section sketch of the Grand Battery based on archeological evidence. Illustration based on an original drawing by Jack Mead.”
The drawing shows a 32-pounder cannon on a Gun platform that was constructed over a 3-inch layer of small stones on top of a raised platform of stone. In front of the cannon is the firing platform on a layer of mortar over yellow sandy soil. The assumed height of the parapet is also indicated in the drawing.
There is also an illustration of a fascine bundle, with the caption “Based on impressions left in bits of mortar, the fascines (bundles of sticks) were approximately 10 inches in diameter and were made up of saplings ranging from about a quarter of an inch to 1 inch in thickness.”
The bottom left of the marker features a painting of British ships in the Hudson River near Fort Montgomery. It has the caption “This historic view of Fort Montgomery by Joseph Des Barres may have been created from a sketch drawn by Capt. James Wallace, who commanded the “Flying Squadron” of ships that attacked the forts during the battle of October 6, 1777. Like other Des Barres prints, this one is quite stylized.
Fort Montgomery, No. 35, Series III, Des Barres reprints by the Barre Publishing Co., 1968 by Barre Publishers.”
The bottom right of the marker contains a “Drawing of the chain across the Hudson River, January 7, 1777. Courtesy of the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy.”
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This series of markers follow the walking tour of the Fort Montgomery Battlefield.
Also see . . .
1. The Battle of Fort's Montgomery and Clinton. The American Revolutionary War. (Submitted on May 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. The Battle of Fort's Montgomery and Clinton. (Submitted on May 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Military • Notable Places • War, US Revolutionary •
More. Search the internet for Grand Battery.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,227 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 6. submitted on October 3, 2011, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.