Fort Clinton (2)

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Fort Clinton (2) (1778-1802) - A patriot Revolutionary War fort first established in 1778 as Fort Arnold by Captain Louis de la Radiere, and completed under Colonel Taddeus Kosciusko at West Point in Orange County, New York. Originally named for General Benedict Arnold who commanded the fort. Renamed Fort Clinton for General James Clinton in 1780 after Benedict Arnold's betrayal of the patriot cause. The largest of the fortifications in Fortress West Point. Abandoned as a fortification in 1802.

Fort Clinton Wall Marker
Fort Clinton Reconstructed Wall and Parapet
Fort Clinton Plan from a Marker

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

Fort Clinton Map Snippet 1883

Part of Fortress West Point.

Fort Arnold was originally designed by Captain Louis de la Radiere who began construction in 1778. The fort was completed under Colonel Taddeus Kosciusko in 1780. General Benedict Arnold assumed commanded of West Point in August of 1780 and advanced a plot to hand over the plans to the British. The plot was discovered and Arnold escaped to a British ship. The fort was renamed Fort Clinton for General James Clinton.

Fort Clinton was the largest fortification in Fortress West Point with a garrison of some 700 troops. Armament in 1780 included one 24-pounder, six 18-pounders, one 12- pounder, one 4-pounder, three 3-pounders, five 8-inch mortars, five Royal (5 1⁄2”) mortars, and one Coehorn (4 2/5”) mortar. Structures supporting the fort included a powder magazine, two barracks, and bomb proofs. The fort was placed to protect the great iron chain and log boom that was strung between West Point and Constitution Island blocking the Hudson River. Fort clinton was in turn protected by Fort Putnam on a hill above the plain and by a series of redoubts that guarded the land side approaches to the whole fortress.

From the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 until 1802 Fort Clinton remained an active fort and storage depot. When the reservation was designated a Military Academy in 1802 the fort deactivated.

Current Status

Must See! Part of the United States Military Academy at West Point in Orange County, New York. Mostly destroyed but sections and a plaque remain just below the statue of General Taddeus Kosciusko overlooking the Hudson River. Most of the old fort is covered by the athletic fields in back of the statue. On active Military installation and access may be restricted.

Location: United States Military Academy, West Point, Orange County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 41.394526 Long: -73.952816

See Also:


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 590-592.
  • West Point Fortifications Staff Ride Note Cards, 3rd ed, USMA History Department, January 1994 changed 1998 and 2008, Pdf, 82 pages, page 29-32.
  • USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2091608.
  • Cubbison, Douglas R., Historic Structures Report: The Hudson River Defenses at Fortress West Point, 1778-1783, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, January 2005, pdf, 63 pages, illustrated, page 35.


Visited: 8 May 2012

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