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Battle of Brooklyn

By UrbanAnthropod, August 29, 2010 7:22 pm

The Battle

August 27 marks the anniversary of the first major battle fought between the British and the newly independent United States of America — The Battle of Brooklyn (aka Battle of Long Island). The battle at Lexington and Concord initiated the war for independence that resulted in the occupation of Boston by British troops. Following the successful siege of Boston, Washington moved his troops to New York in anticipation of an attack.

On August 22, the British landed on Long Island and marched towards the East River. The Continental Army engaged the British and Hessian troops in Brooklyn. The unskilled and undisciplined Continentals didn’t stand a chance against the most powerful army in the world and their mercenaries. Washington eventually called a retreat. Because of a last stand by 250 Maryland soldiers, the Continental Army was saved from complete capture and decimation as Washington fled through Manhattan. New York was lost to the British and the defeated Continental Army was forced into New Jersey.

The Re-enactment

A battle re-enactment to commemorate the battle was performed in the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn today.

Battle of Brooklyn 2010 from jamescastle on Vimeo.

Following the battle, we were invited to grab a flag on Battle Avenue and march up to the top of Battle Hill for a commemorative ceremony. During the ceremony, the Declaration of Independence was read to us as Washington is said to have done before the battle. We recited the pledge of allegiance. It’s something that I haven’t done in a long time. And at the risk of sounding corny, the context of the events made me appreciate the pledge as something completely different than the indoctrination I had learned to associate it with.

It was a blisteringly hot day. I can only imagine what it would have been like 234 years ago on the field with munitions firing. I felt bad enough for the re-enactors who were wearing heavy wool products. It’s unknown where Washington stood during the battle, but as the highest point in Brooklyn, Battle Hill seems to be an appropriate place for commemorating the Battle of Long Island. The ceremony atop Battle Hill provided a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.

Geo

The R train from Atlantic Terminal stops at 25th and 4th, a block away from the cemetery.

Related posts:

  1. Getting Medieval
  2. Clear and Bright at Green-Wood Cemetery
  3. Getting lost across the Hudson- Fort Lee
  4. Tartan Day Parade
  5. Return to Green-Wood

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