New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, Vails Gate

#217 of 413 in Historic Sites in New York State
Must see · Military Museum · Historic Site
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is where the Continental Army under General George Washington spent the last winter and spring of the Revolutionary War. In October 1782, General Washington moved his northern army to New Windsor to establish winter quarters. Some 7,500 soldiers and 500 women and children civilian refugees encamped here. By late December 1782, they had erected nearly 600 log huts into a "cantonment," a military enclave. It was at the New Windsor Cantonment that the cease fire orders were issued by Washington ending the eight-year War of Independence on April 19, 1783.

New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is also home to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. To honor the service of his troops, General Washington chose a select few to receive a small purple cloth Badge of Merit, inspiring creation of the present day Purple Heart medal. In 1932, the new Purple Heart medal was presented to nearly 138 veterans of World War I on these same historic grounds. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is dedicated to preserving the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service and across generations.
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New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
29 reviews
  • Outstanding state historic site with awesome buildings and a nice easy trail. Totally worth a visit.  more »
  • The area is shared by the cantonment which is where the continental army rested during their last encampment after Yorktown victory. The houses are nondescript but what really made it interesting was....  more »
  • I was here some 30 years ago and wow has it changed!! This is a worth while place to visit to study the last encampment of the Revolutionary Army and the struggles of had. Also the Hall of Purple Heart recipients is very interesting and worth while. This is a place that you do not want to miss!!😀😃
  • This was a great visit! Very well done. Our whole family learned so much.

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