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Picturing Washington's Army: 9th Massachusetts Regiment

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Picturing Washington's Army: Verplanck’s Point | 1st Connecticut Brigade

Take a closer look at the decorated tents of two Connecticut regiments. These tents paralleled a road that led from Verplanck’s Point to Peekskill, New York.

Image: Museum of the American Revolution, Gift of the Landenberger Family Foundation 

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Picturing Washington's Army: Philip Van Cortlandt

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Picturing Washington's Army: Samuel Blachley Webb

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Picturing Washington's Army: Stony Point

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Picturing Washington's Army: Sarah Osborn

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Picturing Washington's Army: Alexander Milliner

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Picturing Washington's Army: West Point

In August 1782, Pierre Charles L’Enfant painted West Point, the administrative and strategic center of the Continental Army. Since the spring of 1778, West Point had become the army’s largest post. During that summer, New England troops dug entrenchments on the surrounding hills and built fortifications on Constitution Island, across the river. These buildings and fortifications are visible in L’Enfant’s scene. 

Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 

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Picturing Washington's Army: Verplanck’s Point

Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s watercolor of the encampment at Verplanck’s Point (August-October 1782) depicts the Continental Army at its professional best. Wooden bowers, or shades made of tree branches, decorated the long line of soldiers’ tents. Washington’s marquee tent stood on a hill where it “towered, predominant” over the camp, as one eyewitness put it.

For a month, the Continental troops at Verplanck’s Point gathered firewood for the coming winter and drilled for the next campaign. On September 22, the Continental Army demonstrated their fighting readiness for French forces marching from Virginia through the Hudson Highlands. One astonished French officer admired the transformation of an army that had “formerly had no other uniform than a cap, on which was written Liberty.” 

Image: Museum of the American Revolution, Gift of the Landenberger Family Foundation

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Picturing Washington's Army: Map of West Point

This map from 1783 shows the American fortifications in place at West Point. The yellow point indicates the location where Pierre Charles L’Enfant stood to paint his panorama of West Point. 

Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, Washington, D.C.

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