The Battle of Fort Washington


Fort Washington and Fort Lee were originally designed to the protect the lower Hudson from British warships. Fort Washington was named after General George Washington.

The Battle of Fort Washington

On November 16th, 1776, over eight thousand British and German Hessian troops attacked Fort Washington. Just before the attack began, General George Washington evacuated to Fort Lee. It was a fortunate decision as Fort Washington fell in a catastrophic loss. The American troops bravely fought off the attacking forces for hours before being overwhelmed by the much larger force. Colonel Robert Magaw and his remaining 2,837 troops were forced to surrender as Prisoners of War.



The Battle of Fort Lee

Three days after the fall of Fort Washington, the British approached Fort Lee with over 5,000 troops. General Washington and Nathaniel Greene, still reeling from the crushing loss only days earlier, evacuated Fort Lee. As a result, British ships were able to move up and down the Hudson River at will until the construction of West Point in 1778.


Fort Washington and Fort Lee Today

What is now known as the borough of Manhattan is where Fort Washington was located. It was at the northernmost tip of the area. Fort Lee was located in New Jersey on top of the Pallisades, just across the Hudson River.