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