Phase 6: British Invasion of New York and the Battle of Harlem Heights
The Revolutionary War in New York in 1776
British troops land at Kip's Bay, Manhattan
* * * * *
'Neath the blue morn, the sunny morn,
He dies upon the tree;
And he mourns that he can lose
But one life for Liberty;
And in the blue morn, the sunny morn,
His spirit-wings are free.
But his last words, his message-words,
...Two stanzas from Nathan Hale by Francis Miles Finch
They burn, lest friendly eye
Should read how proud and calm
A patriot could die,
With his last words, his dying words,
A soldier's battle-cry.
* * * * *
Phase 6 covers the British invasion and capture of the city of New York which then occupied Manhattan in the south and the subsequent Battle of Harlem Heights where the Americans stopped the British and for the first time showed they can win a battle. The cache container is hidden near McGowans Pass in the North Woods of Central Park where Washington marched back into New York triumphantly seven years later at the end of the war.
About the 1776 cache series:This series of caches take you through the political intrigues and armed battles in the city of New York during the Revolutionary War in 1776. Each cache Phase consists of a tour of the local area’s Revolutionary sites. You will gather clues that will provide the coordinates for the cache container for that Phase. Containers will vary from ammo cans, plastic containers and magnetic micros limited by the locale – woods, parks and urban street. The larger containers will have memorabilia such as replicas of revolutionary coins, paper money, musket balls, Declaration of Independence on parchment, etc. as well as more traditional cache treasure. Please take one memento only and leave the rest for other cachers. Leave something if you take something but don't stuff the smaller containers.
Click on the bookmark on the upper right side for a list of all 1776 cache phases. Each stands on it’s own. You do not have to follow any particular order although doing so gives a better prospective of the action. Cachers logging finds in all 8 phases will have their names added to the Cacher's Honor Roll in the Phase 8 cache web page. Campaign maps in the photo section provide orientation for each Phase and for the whole City. However, these are not needed to do the cache.
The caches follow much of this companion tour guide and book. For those traveling on foot, it provides public transportation methods for getting around. However, they are not required to find the cache.THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution by Barnet Schecter.
Start your Phase 6 tour at Kip's Bay Landing. Phase 6 campaign route is about a 6 mile drive and a walk in Central Park where the cache container is hidden.
A. Kip's Bay Landing N40 44.423 W73 58.348
The American defenders at Kip's Bay overwhelmed by the 70 heavy guns firing for an hour from more than a dozen war ships and by the force of over 4000 British and Hessions, soon retreated in a panic. Washington raced south 6 miles by horseback from his headquarters in the Morris House (160th St), and attempted to rally his troops to no avail. Mortified, almost despairing, at this exhibition of cowardice in the face of the enemy, Washington’s feelings mastered his judgment, and casting his chapeau to the ground, and drawing his sword, he spurred toward the enemy, and sought death rather than life. One of his aides caught his bridle-rein and drew him from danger, when reason resumed its power. The British marched and encamped almost to the center of the island. The Americans cut off to the north retreated to Bloomingdale Road at today's 106th Street and Broadway. Washington sent an order to Putnam in New York in the south to evacuate immediately to Bloomingdale as well.
Kip's Bay Landing quiz- What is here?
1. Ferry Service
4. Washington's chapeau
ENTER A answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
B. Murray Hill Mansion plaque N40 44.937 W73 58.796
Fortunately for Putnam and his troops, British General Howe went to the mansion of Robert Murray for refreshments and rest. (Notice every direction is down hill from here – hence the Murray Hill name of the area). With smiles and pleasant conversation, and a profusion of cake and wine, Murray's wife and good Whig lady who Howe thought to be a Loyalist to the crown and her two pretty daughters detained the gallant Britons almost two hours; quite long enough for the bulk of Putnam’s division of four thousand men to escape to Bloomingdale road with the loss of only a few soldiers. However, the British did manage after the tea break to move into lower Manhattan where a great fire of unproven origins destoyed a third of the city and the British occupied it until the end of the War in 1783.
Murray Hill Mansion plaque quiz- What is the first name inscribed on the plaque located on the median strip in the middle of Park Avenue, on the south side of 37th Street?
ENTER B answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
C. Nathan Hale N40 45.905 W73 57.842
ENTER 2 AS THE ANSWER FOR THIS STAGE C. DUE TO CONSTRUCTION, THE SIGN IS NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.
His execution as a spy came a week after the Kips Bay landing. A plaque is located on the northwest corner on the wall of a Banana Republic store marks the location. At the time it was a British artillery park, near the Dove Tavern. More recently, the Sign of the Dove restaurant occupied the site, until it was replaced by The Chatham, an apartment building with a Banana Republic store on the ground level. At his hanging, he was professed to have declared: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”
Nathan Hale quiz–What is the first word on the yellow caution sign beneath the Nathan Hale plaque?
ENTER C answer (1, 2 or 3) = _____2___
D. Bloomingdale Road N40 48.135 W73 58.083
As the British secured their positions to the south, the Americans escaped to the heights of Harlem where the Bloomingdale Road now called Broadway is located. (starting around 106th street and proceeding north from there). The Nicholas Jones house, where the Battle of Harlem Heights began and ended, stood at this intersection, on the site of the apartment buildings on West End Avenue directly across from Straus Park between 106th and 107th Streets. A Parks Department sign at the 107th Street end of the triangular park gives its history.
Bloomingdale road quiz- What is the first Park Rule listed on the green sign on the fence beneath the brown Straus Park sign?
1. Littering or Dumping of Debris
2. Use of Illegal Drugs or Alcohol
3. Geocaching Not Allowed
ENTER D answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
E. Columbia University plaque N40 48.533 W73 57.783
As you proceed up Broadway, you are traveling the length of the battlefield. This large plaque commemorating the Battle of Harlem Heights is mounted on the side of Columbia University's engineering school. The bas-relief sculpture shows two figures--presumably Andrew Leitch and Thomas Knowlton—leading the charge against the British. One has already fallen and the other is soon to follow. On the Barnard College campus directly across Broadway, between 118th and 120th Streets, the most intense fighting of the day took place on what was then a buckwheat field. The Americans for the first time defended their positions honorably and drove the British back to 106th Street. This battle, though a minor engagement, showed the American troops they could win in battle after the loss on Long Island (Brooklyn-Phases 3, 4 and 5) and the embarrassment of Kip's Bay.
Columbia University plaque quiz- What is the last word in the sentence at the bottom of the plaque?
ENTER E answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
F. Riverside Church Triangle N40 48.719 W73 57.804
On the grassy triangle across the street from the church entrance, three commemorative plaques (a fourth is missing) lay inconspicuously in the grass. One of them records this as the ground where the Battle of Harlem Heights took place. Some historians see Harlem Heights as a turning point in the American efforts to create an effective army.
Riverside Church Triangle quiz- In what war does the plaque on the right honor the sacrifices given?
1. Civil War
2. War of 1812
3. Korean War
ENTER F answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
Cache Container Coordinates:
Enter the number for each of your six answers and add them up:
A______ + B _______ + C ____2___ + D_______ + E_______ + F_______
= Total ________
The coordinates for the cache are determined by your total. Not all possible totals are listed. There is only one correct coordinate. Watch for people-many could be around.
If your total is 10, the cache coordinates are: N40 48.763 W73 57.839
If your total is 11, the cache coordinates are: N40 48.825 W73 57.871
If your total is 12, the cache coordinates are: N40 48.721 w73 57.850
If your total is 13, the cache coordinates are: N40 48.846 W73 57.811
If your total is 14, the cache coordinates are: N40 48.756 W73 57.862
Congratulations on finding the cache for Phase 6.
We continue in The Bronx with Phase 7 for The Battle of Pelham Bay. It is from The Bronx that the British will come around Harlem Heights in a flanking movement similar to The Battle of Brooklyn and drive the rest of the American army out of New York in the Fall of Fort Washington covered in Phase 8 when we return to Manhattan.