Fort Clinton (West Point)

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Fort Clinton
Part of United States Military Academy
West Point, New York
Remains of Ft. Clinton, NY.JPG
Remaining earthworks of Fort Clinton (formerly Fort Arnold), with Kosciuszko's Monument in background
Historical Marker
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Site information
Owner United States Army
Controlled by US Army
Open to
the public
Year round
Condition mostly demolished
Site history
Built 1778-1780
Built by de La Radiere and Tadeusz Kosciuszko
Battles/wars Revolutionary War
Garrison information
Garrison West Point

Fort Clinton was the main defensive garrison of the Revolutionary War defense network at West Point. Commanded by and named after Benedict Arnold before his betrayal of the Revolutionary Army and defection to the British, it was later renamed after General James Clinton. Construction was begun under Captain Louis de la Radiere,[1] and completed under the command of Tadeusz Kosciuszko between 1778–1780; it was the key defensive fort, overlooking the turn in the Hudson River and the Great Chain.[2] After the war, the remains of Fort Clinton fell into disrepair and were eventually demolished to make way for the expansion of the United States Military Academy, founded at the garrison in 1802. Today, all that remains of the fort are some earthworks and stone base structures, easily seen off of Thayer Road as it rounds the plain and the soccer fields at West Point.

Fort Clinton

In 1778, Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam wrote, "The place agreed upon to obstruct the navigation of Hudson river was at West Point." "As the governor's brother, Col. James Clinton, and his brigade would build the main fort, it was to be named after him." The southern and western walls were nine feet high and twenty feet thick. Three redoubts and batteries on the south were named Forts Meigs, Wyllys and Webb.[3]:53,55

See Also


  1. J. E. Kaufmann (2004). Fortress America. Tomasz Idzikowski (illus.). Da Capo Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-306-81294-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "West Point". A Revolutionary Day. Retrieved 2009-02-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Storozynski, A., 2009, The Peasant Prince, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9780312388027