New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, NY
Historic Site Information
The Cantonment was a thriving community of 8,000 of General George Washington's soldiers, their wives and children, and hundreds of skilled artisans and medical personnel, who together spent the final winter of the Revolutionary War encamped in the Hudson Valley. The term "cantonment" referred to a more permanent post than a tent camp, and at New Windsor it consisted of nearly 600 log huts built by the soldiers and private homes in the area that played host to Major Generals. After seven years of fighting, General Washington's army arrived here in October 1782, resolved to continue training through the winter for a possible attack on British-controlled New York City. That winter, Washington defused a suspected insurrection amongst his officers with perhaps the most impassioned speech of his career, requesting their loyalty and support for the young republic. Instead of receiving orders to return to the battlefield, the orders announced here on April 19, 1783 proclaimed the cease-fire that ended the Revolutionary War.

Today, staff members dressed in the period's soldiers uniforms and civilian clothing provide an up-close and personal view of life in an 18th-Century military camp. Throughout the day, guests enjoy live demonstrations of musket drills, carpentry and blacksmithing, sometimes accompanied by demonstrations of open-hearth cooking and period medicine. A visitor center and exhibit galleries explain the historical significance of the camp and feature original military equipment and documents. One gallery showcases a variety of cannon and tells the story of an earlier encampment at New Windsor, the 1780-81 winter cantonment of the Continental Artillery troops, whose training nearby prepared them for the siege of Yorktown, Virginia, the last major battle of the war. Special events throughout the year feature period style entertainment and programs designed especially for children.

The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site has been named as a significant stop on the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Revolutionary War trail.

New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is closed holidays except President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Costumed living history demonstrations mid-April – end of October, Wednesday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM & Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 PM. The visitor center is open except for the above mentioned holidays and Mondays from January to end of March year round, Monday – Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

For more information, please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.
Things To Do & See
 
Exhibits
Cantonment
Living History Demonstrations
Special Events
Tours
Exhibit galleries feature the history of the 1782-83 Continental Army winter encampment at New Windsor, New York and The Last Argument of Kings: Revolutionary War Artillery.
Buildings include the reconstructed "Temple of Virtue," which served as a chapel and office and the Mountainville Hut, perhaps the only surviving example of original timber construction by the Continental Army. Year round, guests can view two exhibits at the Visitor Center on the stories of the men and women who lived at the 1782-83 cantonment, and on General Henry Knox's New Windsor Artillery Park that stood nearby in 1780-81.
From mid-April through October, visitors will find costumed staff demonstrating musket drills, blacksmithing, military medicine and other 18th century skills, with additional demonstrations in July and August.
Special events include an encampment by Revolutionary War reenactors each April, Memorial Day and Independence Day activities and a Children's Day of fun activities remembering the 219 children that once lived here. Annual living history programs take place in cooperation with nearby Knox's Headquarters State Historic Site. Please call for specific details or for more information. KHQ 2018 Special Events
Explore the Cantonment at your own pace enjoying the beautiful semi-wooded grounds and trails. From late spring through early fall enjoy talking with a soldier or soldier's wife along with occasional demonstrations of musket firing or blacksmithing. With summer the site is alive with costumed soldiers and civilians demonstrating period skills like 18th century medicine, drilling with muskets or cannon, cooking over an open fire, laundering clothing, or hewing timbers for log huts. It's not all work though, and you'll be invited to try your hand at period games and sports, along with occasional celebrations such as Independence Day. Guided tours with living history demonstrations are available for organized groups by advance arrangement only. Please contact the Interpretive Programs office at New Windsor Cantonment (845-561-1765 ext. 22) for more information on tours.
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