Battle of Brooklyn

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Brooklyn, Features, History

Battle of Long Island, 1858 by Alonzo Chappel

241 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.

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