Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site

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Park Update

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site’s Grounds and Trails have REOPENED as of September 22nd. Access to the Popolopen-Torne Trail from the fort remains closed.

Address
690 Route 9W
Fort Montgomery, NY 10922
Latitude 41.324532
Longitude -73.988701

Fort Montgomery was the scene of a fierce Revolutionary War battle for control of the Hudson River. Visitors today can tour the remains of the 14-acre fortification, perched on a cliff overlooking the magnificent Hudson. On October 6, 1777, British, Loyalist and Hessian forces attacked Fort Montgomery and nearby Fort Clinton. The defending American Patriots, outnumbered 3 to 1, fought desperately until driven out of their forts at the points of the enemy bayonets. More than half of the Patriot forces were killed, wounded or captured.

Visitors can learn about this important military post at the site's museum, which showcases original artifacts and weapons, large scale models of the fort and the attack, highly detailed mannequins frozen in poses of battle, and an action packed fifteen minute movie of the 1777 assault. Archeologists have revealed many of Fort Montgomery's remains, including stone foundations of barracks, the gunpowder magazine and eroded redoubt walls. There is a spectacular view of the Hudson River from the Grand Battery, where reproduction cannon stand guard and are occasionally fired by the fort's staff. The past comes alive at Fort Montgomery with living history demonstrations of artillery, musketry, music and camp life activities.

 

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 213 Fort Montgomery, NY 10922

Hours of Operation

  • Fort Montgomery is closing for the season on Sunday, October 29, and will reopen in mid-April 2024.

    Fort Montgomery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 1 PM to 5 PM.

    An additional parking lot located on Route 9W, 1/8 mile north of our main entrance can be used by hikers, and by site visitors when our main lot is full.

    During the off-season, Fort Montgomery is open by reservation for group tours. For more information, please call 845-446-2134.


Fees & Rates

  • Fees & Rates
  • Access to Fort Montgomery is free to visitors during regular hours. Donations are welcome. Some program fees for tours and evening events are charged, please call the site for information.

In the Hour of Their Country's Trial: The Battle of Fort Montgomery, October 6, 1777

Fort Montgomery's museum exhibits include original items excavated here in 1967-71, associated artifacts from museum collections, large scale models of the fort and highly detailed mannequins frozen in poses of battle. Together they tell us about the people who lived and fought here. The artifacts have been divided into three categories: those representing the weapons used here, those revealing the material culture of the soldiers, and those related to the building and destruction of the fort.

The Combatants

Sergeant, British 52nd Regiment of Foot

This infantryman is in the act of loading his fusil, a short, light-weight musket carried by sergeants and officers. His uniform consists of a red regimental coat with buff facings and white buttonhole lace, buff waistcoat and breeches, and black half-gaiters over his shoes to keep out stones and dirt. In addition to the silver lace on his black cocked hat, his rank is indicated by the sash around his waist and hanger, or short sword at his side.

Private, Loyal American Regiment, attached to Emmerich's Chasseurs

The chasseurs (sharpshooters) consisted of 100 troops drawn from five Loyalist regiments. In 1777, all Loyalist units were clothed in green regimental uniform coats with white facings, white wool breeches and waistcoat, and a black cocked hat trimmed with white tape and a black military cockade. This particular chasseur is dressed in a non-regulation coat that has been shortened for ease of movement through rough terrain. His hat has likewise been cut down in size. He is taking aim with a rifle, a much more accurate weapon than the usual military musket of the era.

Privates, Ulster County Militia and 5th New York Regiment

The militia was not a component of the regular Continental Army. Instead, it consisted of local citizens who were called into service in an emergency by their state governments, and usually for a short term. Thus, the militiaman on the left wears a civilian coat, vest, and breeches. He is carrying a British Long Land Pattern 1742 musket, probably obtained from a pre-war British arsenal. He assists a wounded private from the 5th New York Regiment. Authorized by the Continental Congress in November 1776, the 5th recruited men from Ulster and Orange Counties. This soldier's brown regimental coat with blue facings is adorned with buttons bearing a joined "NY" emblem. His vest has buttons marked "USA." Suffering from a wounded leg, he leans on his French Model 1728 musket, one of the thousands of weapons secretly supplied to the Patriots by France in 1777.

Weapons of War

Objects dropped or discarded at Fort Montgomery provide archeologists and historians with a wealth of knowledge about military equipment, uniforms, and activities. Gun parts and musket balls reveal the types of weapons employed by both British and American forces. Buttons indicate military units and the clothing of some of the participants. They even show that some British uniforms had been captured and were being worn by American troops. Wherever possible, archeological artifacts from Fort Montgomery are shown close to corresponding locations on complete original weapons of the period. British, French and American muskets are displayed as well as swords, bayonets and artillery projectiles.

A City in the Wilderness: Food Vessels

The types of food vessels found in the officers' and enlisted men's quarters reveal differences in social status between the two groups of men. Lead-glazed, slip-decorated buff earthenwares were old-fashioned, utilitarian vessels used for food storage and preparation and for liquid-based foods, such as soups and stews. These wares were found in greatest numbers in the enlisted men's barracks. Creamware and white-glazed stoneware were a more refined type of ware, consisting of flat plates in matched sets used for serving individual portions of meat, such as slices from a roast, that required the use of a knife and fork while sitting at a table. These white-toned ceramics were found in higher proportions in the officers' quarters. Here visitors may view porcelain and salt-glazed stoneware items, case bottles, buff earthenware platters and bowls and a number of posset pots.

A City in the Wilderness: Personal Items

Fort Montgomery was a bustling community of hundreds of people. Soldiers, laborers, merchants, families, servants, and slaves lived at or visited the fort. Ships and boats arriving and departing added to the atmosphere of a small city. The inhabitants of the fort worked, cooked, baked bread, butchered meat, mended clothing, fished, ate, got sick, took medicine, smoked, drank tea, drank wine, drank punch, wrote letters, entertained themselves and each other with music and games of chance, and slept—all activities that went on in the villages and farms from which they came. Items on display in this case include clay pipe fragments, bone handled forks, pins, jaw harps, coins, buckles, spoons, cuff links, buttons, and animal bones.

Built and Destroyed

The construction of Fort Montgomery began early in 1776, and it fell to the British in battle on October 6, 1777. The British occupied the fort for a few days and then razed it before moving on. They destroyed the iron chain, burned the buildings, knocked down the chimneys, carried off or sank the guns, blew up the powder magazine, and took anything else of value with them. What remained were burned-out foundations and tumbled-down earthworks. The variety of burnt items on display serve as a testament to the thoroughness of the fort's destruction. Also on display here is a link of Fort Montgomery's chain, raised from the river bottom by fishermen in 1861.

In Pursuit of Fragile Liberty

Two of the smallest yet most important objects found during the archeological excavations at Fort Montgomery were these delicate jewels from a cuff link, impressed with the word "LIBERTY." Similar examples were found at a Continental Army barracks site in northern Manhattan and may ironically have their origins in the "Wilkes and Liberty" movement of pre-war Britain. Transplanted to America and worn by an American soldier during the battle, they would have symbolized the resolute hope of Fort Montgomery's defenders.

 

Sun 10 Mar
Winter Tree Identification
Sunday, March 10, 2024 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
Do all trees look the same to you in winter? Then join us for a guided identification of trees without their leaves! Meet in front of Bear Mt. Inn Program geared to adults. Parking fee $10.00 per vehicle. For more information contact:845-942-3861 or chris.osullivan@parks.ny.gov.
Thu 11 Apr
The Men Who Stormed the Fort
Thursday, April 11, 2024 07:00 PM
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site

On October 6, 1777, Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton were stormed by a substantial military force that included some 2,000 British soldiers. Who were these soldiers, part of a professional standing army fighting in a war an ocean away from their homeland? This talk by historian Don Hagist looks at the men in two regiments, giving an overview of their ages, places of origin and other aspects of their backgrounds, their military careers, and what became of them after the war was over, as well as introducing several individuals involved in the battle that day. 

PLEASE NOTE: The Thursday Night Speaker Series is Proudly Sponsored by the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association. Seating is by reservation only. Call (845) 446-2134 to Register. Suggested Donation: $5, FMBSA Members $3
Sat 27 Apr
Colonial Blacksmithing
Saturday, April 27, 2024 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
During the American Revolution blacksmiths played an important role supplying iron implements vital to the construction of military works like Fort Montgomery. Local master blacksmith Tom Hunt will use 18th century tools and methods to fabricate items such as those used here in 1777!
Sat 04 May
Colonial Candle Making
Saturday, May 4, 2024 11:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
Join Living History Presenter Tom Hunt for Colonial Candle Making! Learn about different types of candles and illumination from the colonial time period. Participants will leave with a beeswax candle (while supplies last).
Sat 11 May
Birding at the Fort
Saturday, May 11, 2024 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
Join DEC Wildlife Technician Rachel Guerrieri for a walk during peak migration through the grounds of the Fort. Learn how to ID both migratory and year-round birds. The fort traditionally holds a nice diversity of native birds including warblers. Bring Binoculars and Water! Suitable for Ages 12 and Up.

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Additional Documents

Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Costumed Interpreters
  • Demonstrations
  • Hiking
  • Tours
  • Visitor Center (Accessible)
  • Documents