Below you, between Stony Point and Verplanck's Point on the opposite shore, the Hudson River narrows to a width of three-quarters of a mile. All travelers, Continental Army troops, supplies, communications, both military and civil, passing between New England and the states to the south, had to cross the river at King's Ferry to avoid the British forces occupying New York City during the Revolutionary War.
In early June 1779, at Verplanck's Point, 70 North Carolina soldiers defended Fort Lafayette against British attack. That night, enemy artillerymen strained to haul several cannon to the summit of Stony Point. By dawn, they were bombarding the small American fort, which surrendered after only a few hours' resistance.
"We are masters of King's Ferry," wrote Sir George Collier, Commodore of the Royal Navy in North America, "and oblige the rebels to make a detour of ninety miles across the mountains ?. "
In September 1780, Major John Andre crossed at King's Ferry in a futile attempt to return to British lines after conspiring with Benedict Arnold. The ferry also played a role in the last major battle of the war when a combined force of American and French troops made the river crossing on the way to Yorktown, Virginia. On August 20-21, 1781, 2500 American soldiers were ferried across; 3500 French troops, under Comte De Rochambeau, completed their crossing on August 25.