Description - In October 1782, General George Washington moved his army to New Windsor to establish living quarters for his soldiers. Six hundred log huts became the cantonment with high-ranking officers residing in private homes. It was at the New Windsor Cantonment that the cease fire orders were issued by Washington on April 19, 1783. Guests are also welcome to view the exhibits at the visitor center and the reconstructed Temple Building that served as a chapel for the soldiers.
Copyright: - New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site
- In October 1782, General George Washington moved his army to New Windsor, above West Point and just beyond the Hudson Highlands, to establish winter quarters. He was accompanied by 7,000 troops including 500 women and children or "camp followers." By late December 1782, they had erected nearly 600 log huts into a "cantonment," a military enclave. High-ranking officers were quartered in private homes.
Washington was pleased that the army was better housed, fed and clothed than ever before in the long war, but life for the officers and troops at the Cantonment remained hard. It was at the New Windsor Cantonment that the cease fire orders were issued by Washington ending the eight-year War of Independence on April 19, 1783. The final success, however, was the gradual, orderly disbandment of the army at the Cantonment, and the peaceful march of its still largely unpaid officers and men back to their homes or new pursuits.
Today, staff in reproduction period dress and uniforms demonstrate musket drills, blacksmithing, military medicine and camp life activities. Guests are also welcome to view the exhibits at the visitor center and the reconstructed Temple Building that served as a chapel for the soldiers.
Recreation - Visitors to New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site may experience audio-visual programs, period costumed interpreters, demonstrations, group tours, educational services, guided tours and re-enactments. The site also offers picnicking, scenic views, hiking along with a visitor center / museum. The park is open mid-May through October, Wednesdays-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 1-5 p.m. It is also open Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Admission is $3.00 adults, $2.00 NYS senior citizens and $1.00 children ages 5-12. Children under 5 are admitted free. Group reservations requested.
Climate - The historic site experiences average January temperatures above 22 degrees Fahrenheit (above -6 degrees Celsius). Summer temperatures average around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (around 22 degrees Celsius). Precipitation in the region ranges from 40 to more than 44 inches of rain and snowmelt. The central Catskills receive the highest precipitation.
New Windsor Cantonment is located just north of Vails Gate along Temple Hill Road north of the junction of SRs 94 and 32.