Sunday Tim’s brother Mike and family took us on the grand tour of West Point. Mike has been stationed at West Point for about 18 months. He will redeploy to Hawaii in January with a possible tour of duty in Iraq.
The tour started at Ft. Putnam some 500 feet above the Hudson River and overlooks the Academy.
Ft Putnam was used to defend any land attacks on West Point and the other fortifications during the Revolutionary war.
The Hudson River was blocked to prevent ships from sailing up to Albany via a set of chains stretched from Constitution Island to West Point. This was the narrowest part of the Hudson. It was important that the British not gain control of Albany. Also Washington’s headquarters was about 12 miles upstream. Another little known fact is the family that lived on Constitution Island gave the island to West Point . Also the lady wrote the song "Jesus Loves Me" She is buried in the West Point cemetary.
This is part of the actual chain used to barricade the Hudson.
We visited the West Point Museum. The museum contains the largest collection of military history and military warfare. West Point is the oldest Military Service School.
No tour of West Point would be complete without seeing the Academy up close. First stop was the Parade Field. The seats are reserved and a muster is held every Monday plus on special occasions. The public is allowed to view the parade and is allowed in 10 minutes prior to the start to fill any vacant reserved seats.
A view of the dorms from the Parade Field.
This is a closer view of the center of the dorms. Classrooms, etc. are behind the dorms. The Academy has about 4,400 cadets. Our tax dollars at work.
Behind these modern dorms was the original dorm built prior to 1851 and is known as the 1st Division Barracks. Most of the original building was torn down. A portion remains and is mostly a museum of the different cadets that lived in the dorm at different periods in time up through the Viet Nam War. Mike is one of just a handful of people that has his office in this building.
This is the portion that was saved and is mostly a museum.
This is the replica of the room occupied by Gen John J Pershing.
This is a description of the room and time period.
The area around the 1st Division Barracks is where the cadets march discipline Honors.
A statue of General Eisenhower overlooks the Parade Field from the viewpoint of the dorms. He is facing the field with his back to the library. It is said that he did not like the library, but was fond of the troops.
Eisenhower Statue with library in the background.
This was the view that the statue has of the Parade Field. Note the reviewing stands and the seat backs spell out Army Beat Navy. (Sorry Rick)
It is a tradition that when at West Point when you salute an officer you reply “Beat Navy”. (sorry again Rick)
That was our grand tour, condensed version, of West Point. It is always good to have “natives” to take you on tour. They know the little known facts.
Thank You, Mike and MaryJo for a great tour!