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striking the tents and marching out of camp is so imposing as to be well worth an effort of the visitor to be present on that occasion. On the previous evening the camp is brilliantly illuminated; and, enlivened with music, dancing, and crowds of strangers, it presents quite an interesting and pleas ant scene.
Near the north-east extremity of the ground, at the projecting point formed by an abrupt bend of the river, is a monument of white marble, consisting of a base and a short column, on the former of which is the simple inscription, “Kosciusko — erected by the corps of Cadets, 1828.” It cost $5,000. Another monument, on a gentle hillock at the north-west extremity of the plain, was erected to the memory of Col. E. D. Wood, a pupil of the institution, who fell leading a charge at the sortie of Fort Erie, on the 17th of September, 1814. On the river bank, near the parade-ground, upon a lower level, is Kosciusko's garden, whither he was accustomed to retire for study or reflection. Near this spot is a clear boiling spring, enclosed in a marble reservoir, with durable and ornamental steps leading down from the plain above, with seats upon a projection of the rock for visitors.
There is a splendid hotel on the brow of the hill, which is approached by a good carriage-road from the landing; or the pedestrian may reach it by the foot-path, much shorter and more difficult. The view from the observatory of this hotel is very fine, especially on the north, looking towards Newburg. The dim outlines of the Shawangunk Mountains may be distinctly seen in fine weather.
Near the steamboat landing is the rock from wbich a chain was stretched across the river during the Revolution. It was broken by the British vessels in their passage up the river, after the capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery ; and some
links of it, near three feet long, made of bar iron two inches square, are still preserved as a revolutionary relic.
At this time West Point was not fortified. In April, 1778, General Gates proceeded up the river, accompanied by several eminent engineers, to erect such impediments as should effectually prevent the ascent, above the Highlands, of the enemy's ships. The new fortifications were zealously pros ecuted, under the direction of Kosciusko, the Polish chieftain, at whose suggestion the works at West Point were commenced. The principal work was Fort Clinton, which stood upon the plateau on which the Military Academy bas since been built. This fort, in turn, was protected by several redoubts higher up the cliff, the most important of which was Fort Putnam, 598 feet above the river. These covered each other, and the main garrison and ammunition stores were under bomb-proof casements. The works were partly hewn in rock, and impregnable. Fort Putnam and most of the others are now in ruins; but the important situation suggests how easily and effectually the post could be again armed, should occasion require. The ascent to the
site of Fort Putnam is tedious and difficult; but the visitor will be repaid
proper here to state, that the traveller who merely passes up through this region, - unquestionably the grandest and most picturesque upon this continent, - either by steamboat or by railroad, without stopping, knows nothing at all about the beauty of the Highlands of Hudson River. He who possesses a vivid fancy might imagine what a wonderful view would open before him from the side or summit of Anthony's Nose, or old Cro' Nest, or Bull Hill; but it would be naught else but imagination. He must see for himself, from reality, or he loses a picture which he would never forget. He must ramble over this almost barren region, and do it at his leisure, or he will have no adequate conception of the enchanting prospect which will at every step meet his eyes.
COLD SPRING, two miles above Garrison's, fifty-four miles from New York, is a romantic place, and owes much of its prosperity to the iron foundery established here by Gouverneur Kemble. The works are situated about a mile west of the village, upon a small stream which tumbles rapidly down the mountains, affording considerable water power. It is the largest establishment of its kind in the country, employing nearly five hundred hands constantly.
Undercliff, the country-seat of General George P. Morris, is near the village of Cold Spring. It is situated upon an elevated plateau, rising from the eastern shore of the river; and the selection of such a commanding and beautiful position at once decides the taste of its intellectual proprietor. In the rear of the villa, cultivation has placed her fruit and forest-trees with a profuse hand, and fertilized the fields with a variety of vegetable products. The extent of the grounds is abruptly terminated by the base of a rocky mountain, that rises nearly perpendicular to its summit, and affords in winter a secure shelter from the bleak blasts of the north. In front, a circle of greensward is refreshed by a fountain in the centre, gushing from a Grecian vase, and encircled by ornamental shrubbery; from thence a gravelled walk winds down a gentle declivity to a second plateau, and again descends to the entrance of the carriage road, which leads upwards along the left slope of the hill, through a noble forest, the growth of many years, until, suddenly emerging from its sombre shades, the visitor beholds the mansion before him in the bright blaze of day. A few openings in the wood afford an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the water, sparkling with reflected light; and the immediate transition from shadow to sunshine is peculiarly pleasing.
Immediately opposite Cold Spring, rising almost perpendicular from the water, stands the old Cro' Nest, one of the most beautiful elevations in America. This mountain is the scene of Rodman Drake's exquisite poem of “The Culprit Fay;" and the description of the place is so natural and striking, that it will be quite in place here.
“ 'Tis the middle watch of a summer's night,
The earth is dark, but the heavens are bright;
Above Cold Spring we have Bull Hill, 1586 feet, Breakneck Hill, upon the extremity of which so many steamboat passengers have tried to imagine the profile of a human face, or Turk's face,” 1187 feet; and Beacon Hill, the last of the range of Highlands upon the eastern shore, 1685 feet high. On the western shore, Butter Hill, 1529 feet, closes the range. This latter elevation forms a more impressive sight to the traveller than the others, from its immense masses of towering rock, its sudden rise from the river, and its great height. The village of Cornwall lies directly at the foot of Butter Hill, on the north.
Fiskkill, sixty miles from New York, is a busy, thriving town. The station is at Fishkill Landing, the centre of the town being some miles back from the river. The manufacturing village of Matteawan lies about a mile from the Landing near the north of Matteawan Creek, which supplies its water-power. The situation of this village is romantic in the highest degree. The stream falls rapidly, affording constant power for several factories of the largest class. The village is completely hemmed in by steep and rugged hills, rendering the scene picturesque and pleasing.
A railroad from Providence, R. I., to Fishkill, by way of Hartford, Conn., has been projected, and partly built. As the Newburg branch of the Erie Railroad has its terminus directly opposite, this would make a direct line to Buffalo and the great West.
The stranger, who wishes to carry away a distinct impression of this section of the Hudson, will not fail to visit Beacon Hill, just back of the village, the last summit of the Highlands of any considerable altitude as the range dips off to the north-east; and, it may be added, the highest one upon the river. An hour's ride, partly through the fine arable lands of Dutchess, and partly through the thick overhanging foliage of the mountain road, brings you to the summit. A few occasional glimpses through the trees, with now and then a broader opening at some curve of the road, beautiful though they be, give you but a slight foretaste of the magnificent prospect reserved for you upon the summit. This summit a rounded peak of primitive granite, bare, or only tufted here and there with a few groups of small trees, with no habitations or traces of cultivation upon it-affords a view at once one of the grandest and most beautiful that can be found in America. Rising, as it does, rather abruptly from the plain, on the east bank, the spectator, gazing from its height upon the scene before him to the west and north, is placed, as it were, upon the boundary of a vast picture, which is continued by the Highlands in the south, the summits of Shawangunk range in the west, and the Catskill in the north, quite round the entire view. Within this circle the materials of the beautiful and the picturesque are arranged with all the grandeur, the softness, the beauty of detail, that the most fastidious connois seur of fine scenery can desire. Before you lies the Hudson, swollen into a lovely expanse or bay, meandering to the north until it is lost in the distance. sprinkled through its whole course with the white sails of the numberless vessels that float upon its surface. Sloping away from its banks rise the fine cultivated fields; the clustered villages, the elegant villas, and the neat cottages gleaming through the tufts of foliage that surrounds them. As the distance intervenes, these all gradually mingle into one indistinct and undulating carpet of green, colored with various tints by the ripe and ripening grain. It was early in the autumn when we climbed the summit of this mountain on foot. The foliage had been changed to many gaudy hues by the frost, and to us, used as we are to ascend every eminence in our wanderings.