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Commemorate the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn this month

Battle of Brooklyn reenactors flank Green-Wood Cemetery at a past commemoration.
Green-Wood Cemetery

The annual family-friendly day of demonstrations, music and reenactments memorializing the Battle of Brooklyn returns this year with an in-person event.

Co-hosted by Green-Wood Cemetery and the Old Stone House, the outdoor event on the grounds of the historic cemetery will include a range of free activities on Saturday, Aug. 28 meant to bring to life the dramatic events of 1776.

Background of the Battle

The Battle of Brooklyn (also called the Battle of Long Island) was fought on August 27, 1776, and is considered one of America’s greatest losses during our war for independence. The carnage all happened one summer night: The British, who had amassed a large number of troops on Staten Island, stealthily attacked George Washington and his Continental Army at their camp in Brooklyn. Washington was greatly outnumbered and realized the only way to save his army was to flee to Manhattan.

An 1860 lithograph of the Battle of Brooklyn by James Smillie.New York Public Library

While the rest of the troops escaped Brooklyn Heights across the river, Washington sent 400 boys from Baltimore, known as the Maryland 400, on a suicide mission: to distract the British and buy the rest of the troops time. And so a great battle was fought near the present day site of the Old Stone House. (The one standing in Park Slope today is a 1933 re-creation of the original.)

All 400 boys — the entire 1st Maryland Regiment — were killed, but the Continental Army was able to escape, and later won the war.

This year’s events

While all events this year will take place at Green-Wood between 11 am and 3 pm, capacity will be reduced and visitors will need to select a specific time slot in order to attend. Some of the activities include the display of period weaponry and replica battle flags, a sing-a-long, a chance to chat with Continental soldier reenactors and a walk up Battle Hill.

To reserve a time slot, visit the Green-Wood Cemetery event page online.

This story first appeared on Brownstoner.

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