The Civil War sparked an expansion of industry in the manufacture of critical supplies such as woolen blankets and cannon carriages.
It was a heroic time. Frederick Douglass visited Newburgh in 1870 and give a memorable speech. In 1895 the New York state Women's Suffrage Convention met at Newburgh's Palatine Hotel (now destroyed); they bade farewell to outgoing leader, Susan B. Anthony, on her 80th birthday.
Veterans from the local Orange Blossom regiment returned and embraced a second chance at life. Local medal-of-honor winner Dennis Hickey entered municipal service.
Newburgh incorporated as a city in 1865. The city seal, still in use today, shows an image of Washington's Headquarters. With reorganization, the city charter divided the city into wards, each represented by an alderman on the city council.
Civic organizations thrived. Dozens of clubs and charities began a long history of public contribution and local pride. Hundreds of Victorian structures attest to the city's prosperity in this period.
The Panic of 1893 bankrupted some businesses, but Newburgh bounced back. The City's decision to build Downing Park at this time was partly in order to provide employment to local residents.