Battle of Stony Point
This is the site of the Battle of Stony Point which took place during the American War of Independence. Taking place July 16th, 1779 an American force lead by Anthony Wayne launched a surprise night assault on a British outpost north of New York City. This was a decisive victory for the Americans allowing them to gain control of a major river crossing along the Hudson.
Entrance to the Stony Point Battlefield
A strategic overview of the battle
A depiction of the battle
Backstory and Context
After losing New York City to the British in 1776 Washington was forced to retreat inland to avoid a major confrontation. His retreat took him into New Jersey and then into Pennsylvania. It was from here he was able to harass the British position. In an attempt to draw Washington into open battle the British started to position themselves strategically along the Hudson River. The British believed that this would strain Washington's supplies forcing him to fight them on the open field where they had an advantage. Wanting to counter this action Washington planed to attack multiple outposts along the Hudson river including Stony Point.
His plan was to attack at night so that they could get closer to the fortifications without being spotted. It also prevented the British ships nearby from offering any kind of naval support. Washington was aware that the outpost was lightly defended so he selected 1,500 of his best light infantry and placed them under the command of Anthony Wayne for the attack. The night of the attack could not have been more perfect for Wayne. Heavy cloud cover kept the moonlight from revealing the Americans as they crossed the shallow swamp between the point and the mainland. In just under thirty minutes Wayne's force was able to dismantle the defenses and break into the outpost. This night attack was an outstanding success for the Patriots allowing them to capture 546 of the forts 750 defenders and only sustaining 15 deaths on their own side. Although this victory did not have a major strategic impact on the war it was a well needed morale boost for the struggling Continental Army.