On October 6, 1777, Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton landed 2,100 British troops near Stony Point and marched north to attach the Continental garrisons at Forts Clinton and Montgomery. When it reached Doodletown, the advance guard of 900 men under Lieutenant Colonel Mungo Campbell proceeded around Bear Mountain to attack Fort Montgomery while the main force, under Major General John Vaughn, continued toward Fort Clinton.
When New York Governor George Clinton, who commanded the forts, received word of the enemy's approach, he sent 50 Continental troops under Lieutenant Colonel Jacobus Bruyn and 50 militiamen under Colonel James McClaughry to Doodletown. After running into the British column, the Americans retreated until they reached a stone wall here by Hessian Lake where they held the British at bay for a short time before retreating to the fort under the cover of its cannons. After a desperate defense, the American forts were captured.