New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site hosting President's Day weekend events

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  • Continental Army Soldier Matt Thorenz from Wallkill stands guard (Photo provided)

  • Washington's Headquarters (Photo provided)

  • George Washington by Charles Willson Peale, 1787

NEW WINDSOR — Visitors to the Cantonment Historic site on President's Day weekend can take a trip back through time and see what is was like to serve in the Continental Army during the American Rvolution.

Discontent filled the encampment at New Windsor during the winter of 1782-83 as the men bitterly reflected upon their ill-treatment by an ungrateful nation.

Heavily armed and angry, the disgruntled officers and soldiers of the Continental Army were the biggest threat to the future of the country.

Following the capture of British forces by the allied armies of France and America, at Yorktown, Virginia, in the fall of 1781, the northern Continental Army returned to the Hudson Highlands.

The destruction of the principal British field army in the south broke England’s will to continue the struggle.

In the fall of 1782, near New Windsor, 7,500 Continental Army soldiers built a city of 600 log huts.

Along with some of their family members, they braved the winter and kept a wary eye on the 12,000 British troops in New York City, just 60 miles away.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, and again on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., soldiers will bring to life the Continental Army’s final winter encampment with musket and cannon firings, medical demonstrations and other aspects of daily life.

On Saturday and Monday at 11 a.m. 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., visitors can see muskets and a cannon being fired.

Following these firings, children can enlist in the Continental Army, drill with wooden muskets and get paid in Continental currency for their service. New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300, 374 Temple Hill Road, in New Windsor, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84.

New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission administers 29 parks, parkways and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey.

For more information please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.

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