Map of Firshill Supply Depot and Encampment

Map of Fishkill Supply Depot from Friends of The Fishkill Supply Depot.
Click for large image.

Where once stood an important component of our nation’s fight for independence, now squats a mall and some restaurants and gas stations. Beneath these symbols of Fishkill’s commercial progress can be found the almost forgotten graves of patriots and the archaeological relics of a patriotic undertaking that by all rights should have been memorialized and preserved.

The Fishkill Supply Depot and Encampment stood on the ground of the commercialized area now surrounding the intersection of Route 84 and Route 9 in Fishkill, NY, in the County of Dutchess. Declared as “the last of the important Revolutionary War sites yet to be properly explored,” the Fishkill Supply Depot remains so today: a one-of-a-kind site of national importance that has never gotten its due. The Depot was a key strategic center of the American Revolution, established and visited repeatedly by George Washington. Known as the “Military nerve center of the Continental army,” the Depot was one of three major encampments along with Morristown and Valley Forge. Hallowed history happened here – hundreds of the original soldiers who fought to found the nation died and were buried here in unknown graves.

This hallowed ground has been continually threatened and desecrated by Fishkill’s ever encroaching commercial complex to the point where very little of the original site has been left intact. Little known, and getting much less recognition than deserved, this ground and those that are enshrined beneath have languished in near obscurity for centuries.

Author Wallace Bruce included this in one of his writings:

“Upon one of these hills, rising out of this mountain pass-way, very distinct lines of earthworks are yet apparent. Near the residence of Mr. Sidney E. Van Wyck, by the large black-walnut trees, and east of the road near the base of the mountain, was the soldiers’ burial ground. Many a poor patriot soldier’s bones lie mouldering there; and if we did but know how many, we would be startled at the number, for this almost unknown and unnoticed burial ground holds not a few, but hundreds of those who gave their lives for the cause of American independence. Some fifteen years ago, an old lady who had lived near the village until after she had grown to womanhood, told the writer that after the battle of White Plains she went with her father through the streets of Fishkill, and in places between the Dutch and Episcopal churches, the dead were piled up like cord-wood. Those who died from wounds in battle or from sickness in hospital were buried there. Many of these were State militiamen, and it seems no more than just that the State should make an appropriation to erect a suitable monument over

[…]” “whether any spot in the State has as many of the buried dead of the Revolution as this quiet burial yard in our old town!”

Yet one voice today does sound out as the voice of reason- Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot. The not-for-profit organization was formed to advocate for the preservation, study, and proper interpretation of the Fishkill Supply Depot and Encampment. This may as many think be an uphill fight against great odds, but the odds and the fight can be leveled with your help. Visit the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot website to learn more and lend your support.