Celebrate Washington’s Birthday With Reenactment

Children can enlist in Continental Army in New Windsor Feb. 16-18

Following the capture of British forces by the allied armies of France and America, at Yorktown, Va., in the fall of 1781, the northern Continental Army returned to the Hudson Highlands. The destruction of the principal British field army in the south broke England’s will to continue the struggle. In the fall of 1782, near New Windsor, 7,500 Continental Army soldiers built a city of 600 log huts. Along with some of their family members, they braved the winter and kept a wary eye on the 12,000 British troops in New York City, just 60 miles away.

Costumed interpreters Sean Winchell and Matt Thorenz stand guard at the reconstructed Temple of Virtue at New Windsor Cantonment. Photo by M.A. Ebner

Costumed interpreters Sean Winchell and Matt Thorenz stand guard at the reconstructed Temple of Virtue at New Windsor Cantonment. Photo by M.A. Ebner

During the winter of 1782-83, the soldiers of the northern Continental Army anxiously waited, in New Windsor, for news of the peace treaty. Though peace might be announced, Washington still ordered his soldiers to train for battle.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 17, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Monday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Presidents’ Weekend, soldiers will bring to life the Continental Army’s final winter encampment with musket and cannon firings, blacksmithing, medical demonstrations and other aspects of daily life.

Muskets and a cannon will be fired on Saturday at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.; and Monday at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Following these firings, children enlist in the Continental Army, drill with wooden muskets and get paid in Continental currency for their service.

New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300, 374 Temple Hill Road, in New Windsor, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84. For more information, call 845-561-1765, ext. 22.

Upcoming Palisades Parks Conservancy events include a half-marathon/ 5K run on May 5 at Ross Dock Park, N.J. (sign up online at escapetopalisades.com) and the Palisades Founders Award Gala on June 13. For more information about the conservancy, visit their website, palisadesparksconservancy.org.


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