You are looking at the remains of Fort Clinton's Outer Redoubt; it is all that survives of this Revolutionary War fort. Work on Fort Clinton began in July 1776 on the recommendation of American officers who were concerned that this high ground would compromise Fort Montgomery, which was under construction on the opposite shore of Popolopen Creek.
Both forts were critical to the defense of the Hudson River Valley north of the Highlands. Work on Fort Clinton continued until British forces under Sir Henry Clinton captured it and Fort Montgomery on October 6, 1777. Some of the day's fiercest fighting took place here, at Fort Clinton's Outer Redoubt. Fort Clinton was renamed Fort Vaughn and became Sir Henry Clinton's headquarters for nearly three weeks before the British withdrew from the Hudson Valley, destroying the fort as they left.
Please treat this hallowed ground where patriots spilled their blood for American independence with respect and reverence.
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The First Stars and Stripes
On June 14, 1777, Congress resolved:
"That the flag of the thirteen United
States be thirteen stripes, alternate
red and white; that the union be
thirteen stars, white on a blue field,
representing a new constellation."
Congress did not specify how the stars should be arranged, so different patterns emerged. The flag with thirteen stars in a circle is sometimes called "The First Stars and Stripes" and is also commonly called the "Betsy Ross" flag, referring to the legend that she designed and made the first U.S. flag. The first recorded use of the new flag was at Fort Schuyler (Stanwix) in August 1777, when British General Barry St. Leger besieged the fort. It is possible, therefore, that the new American flag flew above Fort Clinton when the British attacked on October 6, 1777.