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Diagram of Fort Clinton, Fort Montgomery, and the Chain on the Hudson River, n.d.

Map. Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery showing boom and chain

Map. Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery showing boom and chain

Other, USMA_Maps_ClintonMontgomery
 
Document Description
Diagram of Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery, including surrounding terrain and showing boom and chain on the Hudson River. Lithograph by R.H. Pease, Albany, n.d.
 
Questions
After breaking the map into quadrants, what elements of geography do you see? 
How has the author chosen to show these elements (artistically, with text, etc.)?
What does the text on this map teach you about the purpose of the map?
 
How has the geography of the land influenced the shape of the forts?
 
What evidence on the map explains the selection of the sites for the forts?
 
What is the purpose of the boom and chain in the map?  What does this have to do with the geography of the region?
 
What can you learn about the American Revolution/ Continental Army based on this document?
 
 
Historical Challenges
Research the battle at Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery in October of 1776.  What benefits did the geography of the land provide the American forces?  What drawbacks were there?
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a letter from the general in charge of each fort to George Washington.  Explain the strengths and weaknesses of each, focusing on geography. 
 
 

Historical Context
As the impending war drew closer, the newly independent states needed to raise and supply an army capable of defeating a major world power: Great Britain. Originally defended by the local militia, the former colonies established the Continental Army in April of 1775. George Washington was named the Commander-in-Chief and the leaders set out to build an army that could defeat England.
 
Despite major obstacles, the former colonies were able to build an army. The major advantage for the Americans came from their knowledge of geographical features within the colonies. Geography played a major role in many of the battles of the American Revolution.
 
Built on the Hudson River, Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton were built to control movement on the river and limit British advancement up the river. On October 6, 1777, British, Loyalist and Hessian forces attacked both forts.  Though the Americans lost the battles, they fought bravely until they were forced out of the forts. 
 
 
Essential Question
How did geographical features affect military strategy during the Revolutionary War?
 
Check for Understanding
Students should answer the following question with evidence from the document.
 
How does this map show the influence of geography on military strategy?