Over the winter of 1780-81 at this headquarters, General Henry Knox organized the artillery for the projected attack on New York City. Soldiers, at the nearby encampment, repaired and trained on the guns, howitzers and mortars.
“Mount Ellison,” the genteel combination English and Dutch-style stone house was built for prominent local merchant Thomas Ellison by an unknown number of skilled artisans and laborers between April and September 1754 under the direction of stonemason William Bull.
During the American Revolution, Continental Army generals Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox and Horatio Gates used this house as a military headquarters. Inside these walls, General Knox planned and directed the gathering of the artillery that was used to win the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781.
In 1783, Major John Armstrong, at the urging of Nationalists in the Continental Congress, wrote the letters sparking the Newburgh Conspiracy, calling for the army to menace the government with military force.
Knox’s Headquarters is set to celebrate George Washington’s Birthday on Sunday, February 16th, with guided tours and cannon firings. Tours of the house will be held at 10 am, 11 am, noon, 1 pm, 2 pm & 3 pm and a small cannon will be fired at 11:45 am, 1:45 pm & 3:45 pm.
Knox’s Headquarters is located at 289 Forge Hill Road, Vails Gate, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84 and is 1 mile south, of the co-located National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment. For more information call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.
Nearby New Windsor Cantonment has a full schedule of activities from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday February 15 & Monday February 17. For more information call (845) 561-1765 X 22. Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, at 84 Liberty Street, in Newburgh, has a full schedule of activities for the Presidents’ weekend. For more information call (845) 562-1195.
Photo of Knox’s Headquarters in winter provided.