Rediscovering and Preserving the Fishkill Supply Depot and Revolutionary War Cemetery

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in All Event Postings, Curator's Choice Talks, News and Press | 0 comments

Rediscovering and Preserving the Fishkill Supply Depot and Revolutionary War Cemetery

The Warwick Historical Society invites you to attend their November Curator’s Choice Presentation. Please honor all of our veterans by attending an event that reflects upon our first veterans and their revolutionary sacrifice. Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11, 2013, 7:00PM at the Buckbee Center, located at 2 Colonial Avenue. Reservations preferred. Please call 845-986-3236 or e-mail whs@warwick.net. Tickets may be purchased at the door; $10.00 per person, refreshments served.
Reflecting Upon Our First Veterans
Rediscovering and Preserving the Fishkill Supply Depot and Revolutionary War Cemetery,
presented by Lance Ashworth, President of the Friends of the Fishkill Supply

On Veterans’ Day, it is appropriate to reflect on the place of the Fishkill Supply Depot in the Revolutionary War, and especially upon the hundreds of brave men who died and were buried in the soldiers’ cemetery on the Depot property.

Most of us know about the cold winter of 1777 and the encampment of the Revolutionary Army at Valley Forge. Few of us, however, know about the 7 cold winters our troops, along with the artisans who equipped them, and the doctors and nurses who cared for the wounded, ill and dying spent at the Fishkill Supply Depot. The Depot was a sophisticated 72- acre military city with a special mission – to supply the war effort and to protect the Hudson River from the British. Without the sophisticated, co-ordinated logistics of the Supply Depot, Valley Forge and other crucial battles might well have been lost.
Many hundreds of soldiers died from wounds, illness, starvation and hypothermia and lie buried in unmarked graves at the Depot. There is no known burial site of Revolutionary War soldiers that is larger than the Soldiers Burial Ground at Fishkill. Militia from Warwick and other towns rotated in and out for tours of 3 months or more to maintain the buildings and even guarding the Colonial Army Burial Ground itself. Their efforts and hard work were crucial to keeping the Depot operating and supplying the war effort.
This important part of our National identity has become a casualty of time and progress, even after being recognized and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970’s.
Recent archaeological investigations in anticipation of commercial development have unearthed hard evidence in the ground that establishes where the graveyard lies, as well as the foundations of part of the military city. Subsequent painstakingly detailed research into the muster rolls from the Revolutionary War has confirmed the names of 100 rank-and-file soldiers, officers and medical personnel who are buried there.
The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit advocates for the permanent protection, preservation and ongoing interpretation to the public of the Supply Depot and the Continental Army Burial Ground which lies within the boundaries of the Depot site.
Lance Ashworth, president of the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot, and other trustees will explain what has been discovered and the extraordinary efforts underway to permanently preserve the Depot and Burial Ground.