West Point

West Point

Situated at a sharp curve in the Hudson River, West Point’s strategic location was valuable to both sides during the Revolutionary War.  It was possible, for example, to position defenses in the river to prevent enemy ships from navigating it. 

If the British could have gained control of this key fort, General Clinton would have been able to divide the colonies and Washington would have had to reposition his men.  The American general’s plan (to combine with French forces to attack Clinton in New York) would have thus gone awry, leaving the patriot cause in serious jeopardy and French soldiers vulnerably stranded on Long Island.

On the 3rd of August, 1780, Washington allowed Benedict Arnold to take control of West Point.  The stage was set for Arnold to betray his new command.

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Media Credits

Images and information, U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


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