The first major battle to take place during the Revolutionary War after the United States declared independence took place in Brooklyn on August 27, 1776. During the Battle of Brooklyn, fighting took place across the borough, including throughout present-day Prospect Park, Fulton Ferry Landing, and Green-Wood Cemetery. To commemorate the 245th anniversary of the historic struggle, Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a family-friendly event this month with Revolutionary War reenactors, music, demonstrations, and other activities.
Battle of Brooklyn
What do Jean-Michel Basquiat, F.A.O Schwarz, Horace Greeley, Samuel Morse, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Boss Tweed, Peter Cooper, Leonard Bernstein, and Susan Smith McKinney-Steward have in common? All these notable New Yorkers are spending eternity in Brooklyn, specifically Greenwood Cemetery, the stunning 478-acre “rural cemetery” that’s home to 560,000 “permanent residents” (and about as many truly spectacular mausoleums.) Since the best secrets are the ones you take to the grave, come dig up the dirt on Green-Wood, and read on for 10 things you didn’t know about Brooklyn’s most sensational cemetery.
Battle of Long Island, 1858 by Alonzo Chappel
242 years ago on August 27th, less than two months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the largest battle of the Revolutionary War played out across Brooklyn. What was first known as the Battle of Long Island (Brooklyn was still just a small town at the time of the attack) was later dubbed the Battle of Brooklyn. On this summer day in 1776, The British took their troops from Staten Island to stealthily attack George Washington and his Continental Army at their Brooklyn camp. Greatly outnumbered in size and skill, Washington sent many of his soldiers on an escape route through Brooklyn Heights and across the foggy East River to Manhattan. To distract the British and buy the rest of the troops time, Washington also sent the entire 1st Maryland Regiment, known as the Maryland 400, on a suicide mission. All 400 soldiers from the regiment were killed in battle with the British, but the Continental Army made its escape and went on to win the war.
Not surprising since these harrowing events played out across a good portion of the borough, there are monuments, a museum, and plaques to commemorate it. And then there are popular Brooklyn locales—from Prospect Park to Green-Wood Cemetery—that you might not realize were former battlefields. After the jump, 6sqft rounds up the modern-day locations once crucial to the Battle of Brooklyn, with some tips on how to commemorate the event this weekend.