If you’re a history buff, have appreciation for our nation’s history or particularly, the men who bled and died for it, please take a minute to read this and voice your support. You don’t have to live in New York to make your voice heard. My history, your history, the nation’s history were all likely affected by The Fishkill Supply Depot. It was a very important Revolutionary War hub where they kept supplies for the troops, made ammo, had a hospital, a prison (where notorious Tory spy Claudius Smith was temporarily held before his hanging) and even old George himself addressed the troops here. Lafayette recooped from a serious fever at Fishkill and Washington came to visit him every day while he was under the care of the physician there. (Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin, 2010. Page 350. Print.)
The Fishkill Supply Depot site is now being threatened by commercial developers who want to tear what little is left of it up and build a colonial themed strip mall on top of it. (The majority of it was destroyed already by the building of a mall many years ago- and now they want more shopping!)
There are unidentified Revolutionary War soldiers still buried on the grounds…. and they’re not even sure of how many there are. I’m working with The Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot group (who are spearheading the preservation fight) as a volunteer to help identify who might potentially be buried there but if you could, lending your support would help put pressure on them to not develop the site and allow for more time for testing, archaeological digging and more. These men fought for our nation and it seems so wrong to dishonor them this way.
As I pour through and re-examine hundreds and hundreds of muster rolls for the group, the volume of hand written names of the sick and injured men that have passed through the Depot (often for weeks and even months at a time), has definitely stuck with me. How many of them wouldn’t have survived without the Depot’s doctor/surgeon? How many died here and how many of their families didn’t even get notification, only to wonder what happened to their dad, brother or son? No themed strip mall can honor their service & sacrifice.
Seems so backwards to tear up what remains left of the depot only to build a fake “colonial” experience on top of it. Even building a proposed “welcome center/museum” in its place to “honor” it, is a far disservice to what took place on those grounds and what importance it played.
Here is a link to send a short email to the Town of Fishkill’s board. If you feel so inclined, drop them a line and tell them history matters more than a stupid strip mall or “welcome center”.
Thanks! *fingers crossed*