This Saturday, August 27 marks the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, also sometimes called the Battle of Long Island because where the fighting took place, in what is now Prospect Park, Park Slope, and Green-Wood Cemetery, wasn’t yet part of Brooklyn. It was the first battle in which regular Patriot troops under the command of General George Washington, as opposed to local militias, faced British troops.
It proved to be the largest battle of the Revolution, and went very badly for the Patriots. Several well fought rear-guard actions allowed most of Washington’s army to escape to Brooklyn Heights, where they camped. The British General Howe did not pursue and attack them, hoping that his brother, Admiral Howe, whose fleet as anchored off Staten Island, would sail into the East River and cut off Washington’s escape route. Weather proved to be on the Patriot side, as heavy rain kept Admiral Howe from moving his ships and General Howe from advancing his troops. Following a council of war, Washington decided to evacuate his troops to Manhattan. This was done on the night of August 29-30.
On this Saturday, August 27, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Brooklyn Bridge Park and The Old Stone House, site of an especially valiant rear guard stand by a Maryland regiment, are partners in sponsoring an event, “The Great Escape”, commemorating the successful evacuation of the Continental Army, which saved the Revolution from being crushed in its early days. Hosts for the event are Glover’s Marblehead Regiment, from Massachusetts, whose sailors manned the boats that carried the troops, and the Village Community Boathouse. The event is free; it may be cancelled in the event of extreme weather conditions. It will be held on the beach near the Main Street entrance to the park, in DUMBO.
For other events coming up at Brooklyn Bridge Park, see here.