ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
November 16, 1776
British Troops Capture Fort Washington
During the American Revolution
On this day in 1776 British troops captured Fort Washington which was located near the north end of Manhattan
Island. Fort Washington (and Fort Lee on the opposite side of the Hudson River) were built to prevent the British
from traveling up the river.
The fort was defended by about 2,900 Continental Army troops and militia commanded by Colonel Robert Magaw. At
first Magaw refused to surrender, however eventually the Americans were overwhelmed.
Shortly before the collapse of that fort, Washington had escaped to Fort Lee, but four days later that fort was
abandoned also. What remained of Washington's army was forced to retreat to Pennsylvania.