A message from our President
Several weeks ago, our group became aware that the sponsor of the Continental Commons commercial development plan had registered his own wreath-laying ceremony (at the soldiers’ cemetery in Fishkill) through the Wreaths Across America organization. While we support the continued remembrance of the soldiers who served and perished in Fishkill, we are not participating in the owner’s wreath-laying event or sponsoring our own ceremony for these reasons:
- an official e-mail sent by the land owner in November 2014 permanently banned members of our group from ever walking on the soldiers’ cemetery or other parts of his property;
- supporting a Continental Commons-sponsored event is akin to supporting the commercial development plan known as Continental Commons; and
- sponsoring a separate wreath-laying ceremony in Fishkill will only confuse the wider public about the precise location of the soldiers’ cemetery – a location proposed for a massive development plan that will destroy unique ruins, dishonor the heroes who are buried at the site, and permanently scar the historic landscape of Fishkill.
In place of our annual wreath-laying event and in partnership with the Fishkill Historical Society, we are leading a Solemn Evening Vigil to be held at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) monument on the grounds of the Van Wyck Homestead museum (in Fishkill) on Tuesday, December 29th, at 6:00pm.
Please follow the link: PR112015 to view the official press release and we look forward to seeing you there.
Lance A. Ashworth
President, Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot
Last year, the National Park Service awarded our group a generous American Battlefield Protection Program preservation grant to consolidate past studies and archaeological findings of the Fishkill Supply Depot into one, all-inclusive report. On Sunday, October 25th Hunter Research, Inc. presented "Fishkill - Military Supply Hub of the Revolutionary War: A Historical and Archaeological Overview." Over 70 people came to the Hyatt-House Fishkill and we graciously thank them all for making this one of our biggest events to date. Stay tuned as the corresponding booklet is set to be released soon.
The 6th Annual Revolutionary War Weekend was held on September 19-20, 2015, on the grounds of the Van Wyck Homestead and our group, Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot (FOFSD), on behalf of our partners the Fishkill Historical Society (FHS), would like to thank everyone who attended and all the volunteers who gave their time to make our event a big success.
An estimated 550 visitors were treated to a multitude of colonial era activities including blacksmithing, musket ball fabricating, candle making and cannon/artillery demonstrations. Tours of the Van Wyck Homestead, herb garden and regimental encampments were provided all day and interpretive walking tours to the burial ground at select times on both days.
On Saturday, visitors witnessed the unveiling of official National Park Service (NPS) display panels marking the Fishkill Supply Depot's inclusion in the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail, known commonly as the W3R. The trail marks the route that the Continental Army and allied French forces traveled from Rhode Island to Yorktown for the final victory over the British during the American Revolutionary War.
Research conducted by our two groups over the past few years has uncovered Fishkill's clear connection to the French forces that served in the Revolution: Fishkill's bake ovens and stores provided the French Army with food during its march toward Yorktown and French soldier Jean Bonnaire, a fusilier of the Saintonge Regiment of Infantry, died in the hospital in "Phisquil" on October 31, 1781.
Along with the Van Wyck Homestead Museum's status as a Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) site, the installation of the W3R panels further marks the national importance of the Fishkill Supply Depot and adds to the Town of Fishkill's rich cultural heritage.
America Spirit Magazine
Kudos to the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) for featuring the Fishkill Supply Depot in their May/June issue of American Spirit.
The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot want to express our deepest thanks for bringing attention to our struggle and in honoring the men of the supply depot who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives at Fishkill. Published by Hammock Inc., American Spirit is the award-winning magazine of NSDAR available at newsstands today but we highly recommend you subscribe. The cost is only 18 dollars per year! To purchase American Spirit by mail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions or to place your order by phone, call 1-866-327-6242 and tell them you're a friend of the Fishkill Supply Depot!
Special thanks go out to Jamie Roberts. Your guidance made this wonderful article a reality. Huzzah!
Enjoy this special poem written about the soldiers' burial ground and the legacy of the historic Fishkill Supply Depot.
It was early in the morning