New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site

Vails Gate
NY

Reconstructed Temple of Virtue,
the chapel at the cantonment


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Preserves 120 acres of the original 1,600-acre encampment for some 7,500 American troops, 1782 - 83, as the war was winding down. The site includes a recreated camp, chapel, museum, and living history demonstrations. Includes Visitor Center, which it shares with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
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The Continental soldier often had to provide his own eating utensils, but on occasion they came as standard issue. Maryland troops, for example, were provided a wooden trencher (plate), and bowl, as well as wooden and pewter spoons. Each man would have his knife, of course; and for quaffing his rum, cider, beer, or whiskey, a horn cup, which was extremely light compared with pewter or ceramic. Officers, as might be expected, had more refined utensils. George Washington’s mess kit, for example, was a very elaborate affair housed in a handsome fourteen-compartment wood chest lined with green wool.

Michael Stephenson
Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (2007)