Marine Battery
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Constitution Island Fortifications

West Point Fortifications

The Great Chain 

Hudson River


 Sources and Author's Note  

West Point Fortifications Staff Ride Note Cards 14
USMA History Department 2d Edition, March 1998


´ Construction began in autumn 1778 in response to DuportailÝs recommendations following his
inspection of West PointÝs defenses that year.
´ Construction
- Begun as SE curtain of Grand Bastion in Dec 1775
- Nicolls, Drake, and Palmer recommend in Dec 1775 that curtain be made into a battery of 4-6
cannon facing West Point
- Completed in Mar 1776
- Stone rubble rampart 130Ý long and 4Ý high with earthen parapet held in place by timber and
supported by a stone scarp or foundation
- Interior and exterior faces reveted with dry-laid stone masonry
- Rampart and parapet (at base) - 10Ý thick. Parapet constructed with timber revetments filled
with earth
- Rear foundation had a forward pitch to offset cannonÝ recoil and facilitate return to fireing
- Mounted seven 9-pdrs and one 6-pdr (eight embrasures)
´ Destroyed in 1777, but partially rebuilt in 1778 to protect eastern end of the Great Chain
´ Manpower: 40 men recommended by Duportail in 1779

View from Marine Battery area to south--Trophy Point at right.  Ships moving north up the Hudson would have to round West Point, then face the Great Chain, which was anchored in the foreground under the battery.
This page maintained by Erik Riker-Coleman
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