Gravel Hill Battery - Constitution Island

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Gravel Hill Battery - Constitution Island (1776-1783) - A Patriot Revolutionary War battery first established as Gravel Hill Battery in 1776 on Constitution Island in Putnam County, New York. The battery was captured and destroyed by the British in October 1777. Rebuilt as Greaton's Battery when the Patriots returned to Constitution Island. Named for Colonel John Greaton, 3rd Massachusetts Regiment, commander of the regiment that rebuilt the battery. The battery was abandoned in 1783 at the end of the war.

Gravel Hill Battery Marker
Gravel Hill Battery Site
Gravel Hill Battery Site and Marker Location

History of Gravel Hill Battery

Part of Fortress West Point.

Built in early 1776 as part of an effort to block the Hudson River from the British invasion. The battery had a clear field of fire on the southern river approach to the island at the point where ships entered the "S" curve and slowed down. The battery mounted eleven cannons in 1776. No stone masonry was used and the battery was likely constructed of just earth and timber.

The battery was destroyed by the British in October 1777 and was rebuilt by the Patriots starting in May 1778 after the British withdrew and the Great Chain was placed across the Hudson.

Colonel John Greaton's 3rd Massachusetts Regiment, was charged with rebuilding the battery at the site of the destroyed Gravel Hill Battery. An artillery report from June 1778 lists five 6-pounders and one 9-pounder on the island and a September 1778 report indicates only Greaton's Battery on the island. Colonel Greaton's Regiment remained at West Point until disbanded 3 Nov 1783.

Current Status

Remains and a plaque on Constitution Island United States Military Academy reservation which is an active Military installation and access may be restricted. Tours offered by United States Military Academy from West Point in the late spring and summer months.

Location: Constitution Island, United States Military Academy at West Point, Putnam County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 41.40215 Long: -73.94908

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 591.
  • West Point Fortifications Staff Ride Note Cards, 3rd ed, USMA History Department, January 1994 changed 1998 and 2008, Pdf, 82 pages, page 15-16.
  • Sheffield, Merle, The Chain and Boom, Pdf


Visited: 11 May 2012

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