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The hudson valley during the american revolution

The hotbed of the revolution was in Boston and most of Gen. The river separated the northeast from the rest of the country. If the British took control of the river, the head would be cut off from the body, and both sides knew what would follow. By 1776, the British had seized New York City and held on to Canada, and had a water route just about the entire way between the two. Blocking British ships became paramount.

But American fortifications in the valley were not sufficient. George Washington needed a great idea. He got it from an English-born patriot named Thomas Machin. He had been an apprentice canal builder in England, and, as a captain in an artillery company he was called by Washington to help defend the river at the Hudson Highlands. The river was narrow there, and since ancient times armies had placed sharpened logs, scuttled ships, and other debris in a narrows to block passage.

But here the river was too deep. Machin had his a-ha moment: Why not forge an iron chain and float it across the river, anchoring it at either shore? The rafts allowed the chain to be removed during the winter. Johnson retired of Marist College, where he is the Frank T. They tried a chain at Fort Montgomery first, in 1777.

Henry Clinton sailed upriver to support The hudson valley during the american revolution. John Burgoyne at Saratoga, in the fall of 1777, the chain stopped him — sort of.

Clinton recognized the chain was too much of an obstacle, but the troops on shore were not.

  • In fact, one of the few things that scholars have agreed upon is that the British strategy, though disastrously executed, should have been swift and effective;
  • The rafts allowed the chain to be removed during the winter;
  • Henry Clinton sailed upriver to support Gen;
  • The latter is a fine example of early Hudson River Valley architecture.

West Point then was not what West Point is now. It was a somewhat shabby redoubt, one of many up and down the river that failed to halt the enemy.

  • George Washington commanded the war from this strategic area, living close to the troops that would bring our nation to independence;
  • A museum displays relics of the battle, and you can also visit the first lighthouse built on the Hudson River;
  • Loyalist Fredrick Philipse III was arrested and his property lost to the state after he pledged his allegience to British rule;
  • The hotbed of the revolution was in Boston and most of Gen;
  • Saint Paul's, a mile away from the battle, was used as a hospital for the British.

But the chain had succeeded. Sean Sculley, assistant professor of history and chief of the American Division at the U. Military Academy at West Point. There are differing opinions on where the iron for the Chain was mined: Sculley says the iron was mined in New Jersey and other areas, while Doc Bayne, president of the Friends of Sterling Forest, says all the iron was mined in Sterling Forest.

American Revolution Sites & Museums

It was smelted at the Sterling Furnace, according to Bayne, and the pig-iron bars were taken to secret forges to be forged into links see sidebar. The links were brought by oxen sleds to New Windsor, assembled in chains of 10 links, and floated on rafts to West Point. For example, some of the links that still exist today measure 19 inches long, while others are as long as 36.

As a result, the actual number of links in the Chain is unknown. Each link weighed more than 100 pounds, and the finished chain with accompanying attachments and anchors weighed 75 to 80 tons. As such, the chain deserves a more prominent place in the history of the American road to independence.