Revolutionary War reenactors do not sugarcoat what happened in the Battle of Brooklyn.
“The British attacked the Americans,” said reenactor Michael Callahan. “The British won.”
But they also are not shy about gloating over the fact that the tactics the Americans picked up during the battle helped them eventually win the war. And they are also happy to give credit where credit is due — to the hundreds of black and Hispanic soldiers who played a crucial role in that victory.
So as part of this year’s annual Battle of Brooklyn festivities at Green-Wood Cemetery in Greenwood Heights, a local group of reenactors will lead a discussion on soldiers of color in the War of Independence.
“It is important for people to know that they were there and the huge contribution that they made,” said Callahan. “And they served side-by-side with the white soldiers. Segregations did not happen until the Civil War, ironically.”
The old-war obsessed compatriots plan to spend an entire weekend reliving both the glory and the horrors of the Battle of Brooklyn, which took place in 1776 and was one of the biggest battles of the Revolutionary War, setting the tone for the rest of the eight-year struggle.
There will be tactical reenactments of the battle on both Saturday, Aug. 23 and Sunday, Aug. 24 — the Saturday reenanctment will take place at in Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo and the Sunday reenactment will be staged at Green-Wood.
Both shows will include musket and cannon demonstrations and a chance to learn about tactical battle positioning.
The Green-Wood event will also offer history buffs the chance to a meet the actors playing George Washington and Benjamin Franklin,
And then, of course, there will be the battle. But you already know how that ends.
Battle of Brooklyn reenactments at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pebble Beach (Main Street and Plymouth Street in Dumbo, www.brooklynbridgepark.org). Aug. 23 at 10 am. Free; and Green-Wood Cemetery [500 25th St. at Fifth Avenue in Greenwood Heights, (718) 210–3080, www.green-wood.com]. Aug. 24 at 10 am. Free.