“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bay Ridge in Brooklyn in Kings County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Battle of Brooklyn

Revolutionary War Heritage Trail

The Battle of Brooklyn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, May 16, 2010
1. The Battle of Brooklyn Marker
Inscription.  On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed to the world that thirteen British colonies had joined together to create a new nation: the United States of America. Here in Brooklyn, only two months later, the survival of that new nation would be challenged on the field of battle. There had been clashes with the British before, but the Battle of Brooklyn was the debut of the Continental Army and its untested commander-in-chief, Gen. George Washington.

Following a series of setbacks in New England, the British decided to concentrate their forces in and around New York City. Their plan was to put down the rebellion by separating New England from the mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies. Anticipating the British move, the Americans prepared to fight for New York by fortifying Brooklyn Heights and other key locations around the city.

Despite several attempts by the British to negotiate an end to the rebellion, the Americans had no intention of retreating on the question of independence and war was imminent. On August 22, the British began to disembark troops and supplies in Brooklyn.

On August 27 George Washington’s
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young army of 9,000 faced an attack by over 20,000 well-armed and experienced British and Hessian troops. Outnumbered and outmaneuvered, the American resistance was overpowered. Although the Battle of Brooklyn, also known as the Battle of Long Island, was an undeniable upset for the Americans, it galvanized the new nation’s sense of patriotism, providing both the army and civilian population with the resolve to continue the struggle for independence. Faced with defeat Washington and his troops retreated from Brooklyn.

The tactical and strategic importance of the Battle of Brooklyn to the history of this nation has been overlooked. The battle appears as a historical footnote, perhaps because the Americans lost, perhaps because many of the battle sites were overtaken by urban development.

The Revolutionary War Heritage Trail will finally give the Battle of Brooklyn the recognition it deserves. Eighteen Heritage Trail locations have been selected to mark troop movements, skirmishes, and other actions of the summer of 1776, a time when Kings County consisted of farms, dense forest, oyster ponds and tidewater marshes. Travel back to the days when the “redcoats” came to Brooklyn and American Independence was almost lost before it had begun. Take the Trail and bring the past back to life.

This project was made possible thanks to the combined efforts and financial
Markers at the Narrows image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, May 16, 2010
2. Markers at the Narrows
Two markers are found at this location. The Battle of Brooklyn marker is seen here on the right.
support of Brooklyn College and the City University of New York, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and a local not-for-profit organization, Brooklyn Heritage, Inc., in conjunction with Heritage, New York, a division of the New York State Office of Parks, recreation and Historic Preservation and the cooperation of numerous individuals and local historical organizations.
Erected by State of New York.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1882.
Location. 40° 36.664′ N, 74° 2.209′ W. Marker is in Brooklyn, New York, in Kings County. It is in Bay Ridge. Marker is on Belt Pkwy, on the right when traveling west. Marker is near the rest area parking lot on the waterfront park under the Veranzano Narrows Bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brooklyn NY 11209, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Denyse’s Ferry – Gravesend Bay (here, next to this marker); Inspiratio per exemplum – Inspiration through example (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Dover Patrol (about 700 feet away); John Paul Jones (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Resistance to British Arms in NY
Brooklyn Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, May 16, 2010
3. Brooklyn Markers
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Spanish 24-Pounder (approx. ¼ mile away); 13-inch Seacoast Mortar, Pattern 1861 (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brooklyn.
More about this marker. The right side of the marker contains a map of Brooklyn indicating the different Heritage Trail sites relating to the Battle of Brooklyn. Below this is a picture of flag with a caption of “The Grand Union Flag, also known as the Continental Flag, is the first widely used flag of the United States. It combined the British Union Jack with 13 stripes to signify colonial unity. Although never officially sanctioned by the Continental Congress, the Grand Union was flown from late 1775 until mid 1777.”
Also see . . .
1. The Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776 at Long Island, New York. The American Revolutionary War website. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.) 

2. Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
3. The Battle of Long Island 1776. A British perspective of the battle from (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Narrows Waterfront. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, May 16, 2010
4. Narrows Waterfront.
Prior to the Battle of Brooklyn, the British army crossed over to this point on August 22, 1776 from Staten Island, seen in the background of this photo taken from near the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 31, 2023. It was originally submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,012 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Apr. 15, 2024