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Fortress West Point

606 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

Fortress West Point was a series of fortifications arraigned on the west bank of the Hudson River and Constitution Island. Spanning the river between the two locations was The Great Chain, a chain supported by log rafts stretched across the river to impede British movement north of West Point.

On the heights of the west bank stood Fort Arnold, the largest at Fortress West Point. Named after Benedict Arnold, who oversaw the fortifications at West Point, it was renamed Fort Clinton in honor of James Clinton after Arnold defected to the British. Fort Putnam protected the landward side of Fort Arnold, a stone fortification that included three interior casemates, two bomb proofs, and a provision magazine. Across the river on Constitution Island was Fort Constitution, which was only partially completed in 1776, with efforts and materiel being diverted to Forts Montgomery and Clinton. When Montgomery and Clinton fell in October 1777, Fort Constitution was also captured and destroyed by the British. In 1778, the fort was partially rebuilt to protect the eastern end of The Great Chain.

On July 4, 1802, Fortress West Point ended its defense of the Hudson and officially became the United States Military Academy.