Washington’s Headquarters, Newburgh, New York – Uzal Knapp’s grave

For many years it was believed that he had served as one of Washington’s personal guards, but more recently historians have come to doubt this. The inscription reads: “The last of the life guards. Uzal Knapp. Born 1759. Died 1856. Monmouth. Valley Forge. Yorktown”.

For more information see: Uzal Knapp – Was He Or Wasn’t He a Guardsman? by Donald N. Moran.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Washington’s Headquarters, Newburgh, New York – The Victory Tower

Recently renovated it now looks as it did when it was built. When I was last there (January 2017) the roof and the area immediately below it were no longer there, having been destroyed in a hurricane in the 1950s.

According to the Hudson Valley Magazine:

A 132-year-old monument to peace is reopening on historic grounds in Newburgh.

The ribbon will be cut April 27 on the restored Tower of Victory on the grounds of Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, and — for the first time since 1953 — visitors can climb to the belvedere at the top and enjoy beautiful views of the Hudson River and the Highlands.

The 53-ft-tall limestone monument features four large archways. An atrium inside the structure holds staircases leading to the belvedere, as well as a red granite pedestal with a life-size bronze of George Washington sculpted by William Rudolf O’Donovan. The belvedere commands a direct view of Mount Beacon, where Revolutionary War fires were lit to signal approaching British vessels.

The construction of the Tower of Victory commemorated the end of the Revolutionary War 100 years earlier. In 1883, Secretary of War Robert T. Lincoln, the first son of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary, commissioned well-known architect John Hemenway Duncan to design the structure on the property where Washington created the “Badge of Military Merit,” now called the Purple Heart medal. It was completed in 1887.

Even back then, Hudson Valley builders kept things local: The foundation of the tower was made in part from Rosendale Cement, and the stone was quarried near Newburgh, as well as from a quarry in Albany. Originally, an iron tile roof was supported by 13 large limestone columns. Four bronze statues of soldiers were added to the niches of the tower’s east and west exterior walls — each statue represented a branch of the military that had served during the American Revolution: dragoons, artillerymen, riflemen, and line officers. Four finely detailed bronze gates were added to each arch to prevent vandalism and/or the unauthorized removal of tower artifacts.

In November 1950, hurricane winds damaged the tower’s tile roof, and the state originally proposed the monument’s destruction. Outcry by local residents saved the structure. In 1953, a decision was made to remove the roof, and the Tower was no longer open to the public.

A $1.6 million capital campaign by the Palisades Park Conservancy culminated in the current restoration of the tower.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Washington’s Headquarters, Newburgh, New York – Overview

Today’s excursion took us to General George Washington’s Headquarters (his last wartime HQ) in the Hasbrouk House in Newburgh, NY. He stayed there from April 1782 until August 1783 and it was here that he issued an order for the “cessation of hostilities”, and gave his Proclamation of Peace, which formally ended the fighting of the Revolutionary War. We also visited the museum and toured the interior of the house, but unfortunately photography was forbidden in both locations.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Military Re-Enactment Day at Boscobel – The Assembled Multitudes

I don’t know what I was expecting when I went to the re-enactment – possibly something like the large US Civil War re-enactments I had seen pictures of and read about. These seem to be serious affairs with hundreds, even thousands of participants.

This was nothing like that. The above picture shows ALL of the uniformed re-enactors. If you add in the female re-enactors it was probably less that 40 in all. They seemed to be enjoying themselves though.

For a sense of how seriously some people take these re-enactments take a look at Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz.

Taken with a Sony A77II and Tamron A18 AF 18-250mm f3.5-6.3.