Redoubt 5
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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 23
USMA History Department 2d Edition, March 1998 Redoubt 5 

Purpose: Located behind Greaton's battery on knoll, oriented west, to protect against attack from the marsh against batteries protecting chain. Provided mutual support for Redoubt 6, island to north, and North Redoubt.

´ Construction began in autumn 1778 in response to DuportailÝs recommendations following his inspection of West PointÝs defenses that year.
- May have contained a blockhouse and probably had palisades on parapet
- Parapet probably very high due to large amounts of remaining earth on scarp and interior revetment.
- Scarp was 2-3Ý high and appx 7Ý wide on the eastern side
- Barbette (gun platform) battery may have been able to fire along the wall in NW corner
- Exterior stone scarp is 8Ý high
- Entrance on N side, facing most likely enemy AA, explains elaborate protection
- Probably included an abatis surrounding redoubt
- Existence of banquettes suggests that no heavy artillery was present
´ Required external battery to cover southern marsh - no evidence of battery exists
´ May have mounted two 12-pdrs, two 6-pdrs, four 3- or 4-pdrs
´ Manpower: 160 men (lived outside redoubt in huts

View south from Redoubt 5 to West Point.  While Redoubt 5 did not mount heavy ship-killing guns, it commanded the high ground above the Gravel Hill/Greaton's Battery, Hill Cliff Battery, Marine Battery and Roman's Battery.  During the War of Independence, the redoubt's field of fire was actually much better than it appears in this photo--both Constitution Island and West Point were essentially stripped bare of trees, partly for tactical advantage but moreso because the garrisons required construction materials and firewood.


View northeast of kill zone between Redoubt 5 and Redoubt 6--Redoubt 6 is clearly visible at top center.   Infantry passing through this ravine in an assault on the waterline batteries from the marsh would be caught by enfilading fire from both redoubts.   Steep broken terrain would have made it impossible for infantry to assault either redoubt in close order. 

View north from Redoubt 5--shows the all-around field of fire from atop the hill.

This page maintained by Erik Riker-Coleman
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