Battle of Brooklyn Raged at Greenwood Cemetery This Weekend

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Greenwood Cemetery Commemorates the Battle of Brooklyn. Patriot soldiers fire on the British forces approaching. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY – During the Revolutionary War, the patriots of Brooklyn fought a pitched battle with superior British forces on what is now Green-Wood Cemetery.

Patriot soldiers fire on the British forces approaching. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

The mostly civilian warriors lost the battle, suffered more than 1,000 casualties and were forced into retreat, but their bravery allowed George Washington to withdraw his troops to Manhattan saving the war effort.

Patriot soldiers fire on the British forces approaching. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

Green-Wood Cemetery celebrated the 243rd anniversary of that legendary battle on Sunday by staging their yearly Revolutionary War re-enactment of the Battle of Brooklyn, with re-enactors dressed in clothing of the day including red uniforms for the British Red Coats and the period clothing of the patriots.

Spectators watch the Battle of Brooklyn. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

There were musket and cannon fire, and commanders on horseback. A thrill for the hundreds at Green-Wood Cemetery watching the spectacle.

Spectators watch the Battle of Brooklyn. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

It was August 22, 1776 that General William Howe’s large army landed on Long Island, hoping to capture New York City and gain control of the Hudson River, a victory that would divide the rebellious colonies in half. On August 27, the Red Coats marched against the Patriot position at Brooklyn Heights, overcoming the Americans at Gowanus Pass and then outflanking the entire Continental Army.

British soldiers claim victory during the Battle of Brooklyn. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

Howe, however, failed to follow the advice of his subordinates and storm the redoubts at Brooklyn Heights, and on August 29 General Washington ordered a brilliant retreat to Manhattan by boat, thus saving the Continental Army from capture.

At the Battle of Brooklyn, the Americans suffered more than 1,000 casualties to the British loss of only 400 men. On September 15, the British captured New York City – but Washington had preserved most of his forces to fight another day.

British soldiers fire on patriot soldiers. (Photo by Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

“It is an honor to once again, pay tribute to the strength and sacrifice of the gallant soldiers who fought and died on these grounds 243 years ago,” said “Richard J.Moyland, president of Green-Wood Cemetery.

Michael Werner and Michael Grilo stand ready to defend the crown as Red Coats fighting for the British in the Revolutionary war re-enactment. (Todd Maisel/Bklyner)

The day’s events included a trolley tour of the cemetery’s notable Revolutionary War sites. In addition, crowds were treated to a parade of soldiers of the day, led by the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Greenwood Cemetery Commemorates the Battle of Brooklyn. Thousands of residents watched the Revolutionary war re-enactment of the Battle of Brooklyn on its 243rd anniversary this morning, featuring parades and an actual re-enactment of the battle between the British and the Continental army.

The ceremony led to Green-Wood’s Battle Hill, the highest natural point in Brooklyn.

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Todd Maisel
Todd Maisel is an award-winning photographer with more than 35-years, specializing in breaking news. He currently serves as vice president of the New York Press Photographers. He was honored by the National Press Photographers Association and the Uniform Firefighters Association for saving the life of a firefighter he found in debris after the collapse of the World Trade Center, assisting in the rescue of an injured photographer, and for extensive coverage of the attack. Maisel is a graduate of NYU School of Journalism.
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