FORT GREENE – Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr. (District 36, Bed-Stuy, Northern Crown Heights) joined local veterans and first responders Wednesday morning in Fort Greene to honor the service of Brooklyn heroes, past and present, and declare July 11 Brooklyn Patriots’ Day.
— Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (@BrooklynChamber) July 11, 2018
Fort Greene played an important role in the Battle of Brooklyn—the first major battle of the Revolutionary War after America declared independence from England—in which 1,500 men died while fighting. Fort Green Park was the site of a fort set up in 1776 by American Major General Nathanael Greene and eventually abandoned during the Battle of Brooklyn when the Continental Army, led by General George Washington, retreated to Manhattan.
The British captured thousands of American soldiers during the battle and held them on prison ships anchored in Wallabout Bay on the East River. More than 11,000 men died aboard the British prison ships and their bodies were buried by the shore. Their remains were relocated to a tomb near the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1808.
The site of the fort was renamed for General Greene and rebuilt for the War of 1812. In 1873, the remains of the prisoners were moved to Fort Greene Park where they were laid to rest in a newly created vault. In 1905, McKim, Mead and White designed a new entrance to the crypt and the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument was dedicated in 1908.
In Massachusetts, Patriots’ Day is observed on the third Monday of April each year to commemorate the American Revolution Battles of Arlington, Lexington, and Concord which were fought near Boston in 1775.