Fort Montgomery was built to prevent British ships from sailing up the Hudson River. The centerpiece of the fort's river defenses was its Grand Battery of six 32-pounder cannons. One of the largest cannons of the Revolutionary War, a 32-pounder was a formidable piece of artillery with a range of well over a mile. The term 32-pounder refers to the weight of the gun's cannonball. Each cannon weighed more than 6,000 lbs. Enemy ships sailing up the river would be exposed to these giant guns before they could return fire.
The cannons sat on a platform of 2.5- to 3-inch thick planks. The large mound just in front of this sign is all that remains of the battery's defensive wall. The wall was made by stacking bundles of sticks, called fascines, and filling the space between them with dirt. The guns fired through open spaces in the wall, called embrasures. The embrasures were covered with a thick layer of mortar to prevent the fascines from igniting when the cannons were fired.
"In the afternoon, a [British] tender sloop made sail, and ran up within full view and long-shot of our battery, sounding the river carefully as she beat up. We gave her a thirty-two pounder which hit her; she put about, and fell down [the river]?."
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?General George Clinton, Fort Montgomery, 23rd July 1776