Fort Lafayette (1)
Fort Lafayette (1) (1779-1783) - A Patriot Revolutionary War fort established in 1779 in the town of Verplanck, Westchester County, New York. Captured by British forces before it was completed in 1779. Abandoned by the British in October 1779 and reoccupied by Patriot forces until the end of the war. Abandoned in 1783. Also spelled as Fort LaFayette.
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Two Patriot forts were constructed to guard the narrow Hudson River passage between Stony Point on the west side and Verplanck on the east side. This passage was the location of the critical Kings Ferry and the southernmost supply route across the Hudson for the Patriots. British General Sir Henry Clinton moved some 8,000 troops up the Hudson and took these two unfinished forts on 30 May 1779. Clinton split his forces and attacked both forts. Fort Lafayette and Fort Stony Point were both taken by 1 Jun 1779.
The British expanded and strengthened both forts in preparation for a push further up river toward Fortress West Point. Fort Stony Point was not a traditional fortification because of the uneven rocky terrain, it was more a series of individual defenses surrounded by log abatis. Fort Lafayette was a more traditional fortification with a central bombproof blockhouse surrounded with a stockade and an abatis that ran across the whole point.
General George Washington sent Brigadier General Anthony Wayne to retake Fort Stony Point and secondarily Fort Lafayette. General Wayne retook Fort Stony Point on the night of 15-16 July 1779 in a daring surprise night attack but was unable to take Fort Lafayette the next day. The Patriot forces withdrew from Fort Stony Point on 18 Jul 1779 and the fort was reoccupied by the British. The British stayed at the both forts until October 1779 when they left for the Charleston, South Carolina, campaign.
Both forts remained in Patriot hands until the end of the war.
Exact site unknown in the Town of Verplanck, Westchester County, New York.
Visited: area 12 May 2012