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Last Encampment of the Continental Army

In April, 1782 General Washington came to Newburgh, NY to what would be his final Headquarters at the Hasbrouck House. With the British Army still in New York City, he wanted the Northern Army close by in the event hostilities erupted again. New Windsor was chosen due to its proximity. Here the Continental Army would build its fourth and final winter cantonment.

In October 1782, the troops began to arrive and set up tents, while they began building their huts. This encampment or cantonment covered 1600 acres and quartered 6000-8000 men, women and children from New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maryland. Here this army built a log city of over 700 huts for the soldiers and many other out buildings, guardhouses, blacksmith shops, stable, kitchens and a hospital. In addition, a long building called the "Temple" was constructed. It was proposed by Rev. Israel Evans, Chaplain to the Army, that a structure be built for workshop services; hence, this structure was built.

In an effort to preserve this encampment, the Town of New Windsor acquired a 167 plus acre tract consisting of much of the former hut sites. Since 1936, the Town of New Windsor and the membership of the National Temple Hill Association have strived to ensure the preservation of this- the final winter encampment.

Recent archeological investigations have uncovered some of this log city of immense size, and you are invited to walk about these grounds and enjoy their natural beauty and wildlife.

GENERAL ORDERS

"As it is expected the troops will have sufficient time to cover themselves commodiously before the setting in of the winter. The General directs that regularity, convenience and even some degree of elegance should be attended to in the construction of their hutts; the plan and dimensions of which will be furnished by the Quarter Master General as soon as the positions for the several corps shall be fixed upon. Any hutts that shall be guilt irregularly in violation of this order will be demolished."
--Writings of Washington, vol. 25, pg, 203

North of Vails Gate Intersection. A section of the actual campground (1782-83) is preserved along with two new enlisted men's huts. A visitor's center is available for general information. Walk the Grand Rounds and see the huts of the Massachusetts Regiments. Explore the new Freedom Appreciation Trail. Self guided walks along the Nature Trail, a part of the 167 acres. New nature tower.

Visiting the Last Encampment

Hours: open every day for walks during daylight hours. FREE to the public. Picnic areas. Open Tuesday thru Sunday from 10 to 5 mid April thru October.

Specifics on visiting The Last Encampment of the Continental Army were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
 
 
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