A206 - A plan of Fort Montgomery & Fort Clinton
This plan of Forts Montgomery and Clinton, first published as part of J.F.W DesBarres's Atlantic Neptune, tells the story of a pivotal moment in the battle for control of the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War in 1777.
- Samuel Holland & John Knight, J.F.W. Des Barres
- h25.5" x w35"
The Hudson River was the main arterial route for the transportation of supplies and troops throughout a large portion of the northeast, and provided a vital link to British interests in that region. On May 25, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution to construct fortifications amongst the highlands along the Hudson River in order to retain control of the river. In this chart, published in 1779, we see an account of the battle for the Forts Montgomery and Clinton and the ultimate control of the River on the 6th October 1777.
Holland's survey includes such detail as the use, by the Americans under Governor George Clinton, of felled trees and open ground to inhibit easy approach to the Forts from the land. It also marks the chain and boon the Americans stretched across the river to impede British naval advancement up the river, as well details of the engagement of British and American ships on that day.
The outcome of the engagement was a resounding success for the British under Major General Sir Henry Clinton as his superior force routed the 300 soldiers, 100 artillery men and 300 militia of the American forces under the command of General Israel Putnam to finally take control of the Forts in the evening of the 6th October. The whole engagement was a brilliantly orchestrated joint operation by the British land and naval forces who acted in tandem to bombard the forts and provide covering fire for the land based attack.
The inset panel, surveyed by Lieut. John Knight of the Royal Navy 'shewing the position of Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton, with the Chevaux de Frieze (a defensive structure consisting of sharpened stakes with metal tips), cables, chains &c to obstruct the passage of His Majesty's Forces up the river', offers more of an overview of the river, fortifications and settlements as well as all important soundings for navigation of the river.
With the exception of a small tear on the top margin and a larger one on the bottom of the chart the original copy of the chart is an otherwise pristine copy of a first state of this important chart of the War of Independence.
- A plan of Fort Montgomery & Fort Clinton