Fort Clinton (West Point)

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Fort Clinton
Part of the United States Military Academy
Near West Point, New York, United States
Remains of Ft. Clinton, NY.JPG
Remains of Fort Clinton in 2009
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Fort Clinton
Location in New York
Coordinates 41°23′39.42″N73°57′9.36″W / 41.3942833°N 73.9526000°W / 41.3942833; -73.9526000 (Fort Clinton)
Type Fort
Site information
OwnerFlag of the United States Army.svg  United States Army
Open to
the public
ConditionPartially demolished
Site history
Built by
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
Garrison information
Major General Benedict Arnold

Fort Clinton (originally known as Fort Arnold) was an American Revolutionary War fort located near West Point, New York. Commanded by and named after Benedict Arnold before his betrayal of the United States and defection to the British Army, the fortification was renamed after General James Clinton.



Map of West-Point, 1780 Plan des forts, batteries et poste de West-Point, 1780 (2674338525).jpg
Map of West-Point, 1780

Construction of the fort was begun under Captain Louis de la Radiere, [1] and completed under Colonel Tadeusz Kościuszko between 1778–1780; it was the key defensive fortification, overlooking the turn in the Hudson River and the Great Chain. [2]

In 1778, Major General Israel Putnam wrote, "The place agreed upon to obstruct the navigation of Hudson river was at West Point." "As the governor's brother, Colonel 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

After the war, the remains of the fort 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 Fort Clinton 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.

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  1. J. E. Kaufmann (2004). Fortress America . Tomasz Idzikowski (illus.). Da Capo Press. p.  117. ISBN   978-0-306-81294-1. de la radiere.
  2. "West Point". A Revolutionary Day. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  3. Storozynski, A., 2009, The Peasant Prince, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN   9780312388027