Quantcast

10 Ways to Remember the 241st Anniversary of Battle of Brooklyn

 Revolutionary War re-enactors will flood Green-Wood cemetery on Sunday, Aug. 27 to replicate the historic Battle of Brooklyn.
Revolutionary War re-enactors will flood Green-Wood cemetery on Sunday, Aug. 27 to replicate the historic Battle of Brooklyn.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

GREENWOOD HEIGHTS — Revolutionary War buffs can join re-enactors by the glow of campfire as they cook, swap stories and steel themselves on the eve of the 241st anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. 

The night before the historic skirmish — the largest conflict in the Revolutionary War that swept through the borough culminating Aug. 27, 1776 — costumed soldiers will transport visitors back to the colonial era.

Historians consider the battle an "embarrassing defeat," for Gen. George Washington, but his retreat to Manhattan allowed the Americans to eventually win the war.

"It will very much be a time machine that Saturday night,” said Green-Wood Cemetery historian Jeff Richman. "Much of this will be in the dark by the light of campfire and will give people a taste of the time."

Troops will cook over an open fire, serenade onlookers with songs and share tales of the war that was only weeks old at the time, explained Richman.

"It is the first battle after the Declaration of Independence — it wasn’t enough to declare, you had to fight and make that a reality," said Richman. "So that was what these soldiers were heading into. It was the first time the revolution went toe-to-toe with the greatest army in the world."

Visitors can peruse the tents of foot soldiers and explore the soon-to-be battle field of the sprawling cemetery, which come morning will be crawling with re-enactors bearing rifles, manning cannons and on horseback. 

Brooklyn duo Charming Diaster will set the mood with festive music along with a series of dance performances.

There will also be a colonial fest at Fort Greene Park where folks can play traditional games and try their hand at recipes of the day, plenty of historic tours and even a canoeing battle on the Gowanus Canal.

Here's our guide to Battle of Brooklyn events across the borough:

THURSDAY, AUG. 17

Lecture: "Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution"
Where: Old Stone House, 336 Third St., Park Slope
When: 7:30 p.m.

Historian Ward Regan will discuss the life and writings of Thomas Paine during the end of the 18th century. Starting with Common Sense and The Crisis Papers, the talk focuses on Paine's role in the American Revolution and how he helped create an “American” political ideology. Tickets cost $15.

SATURDAY, AUG. 19

► Colonial Day at Ft. Greene Park
Where: Ft. Green Park, Washington Park St., Fort Greene
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Come out for a day of colonial activities. Cooking demonstrations will include bread making, spit cooking and Dutch oven cooking. After you've had your fill of traditional nosh, take it easy on a wagon ride, visit a Revolutionary War Colonel's tent or write a letter with a feather quill and ink. 

► Battle of Brooklyn Ruck March
Where: John Paul Jones Park, 101 Street Shore Parkway, Fort Hamilton
When: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grab your walking shoes and join the NYC Veterans Alliance for a 17.76-mile march through several neighborhoods, parks and historic sites in Brooklyn. Bring a rucksack packed with essentials for the long journey including plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen. If you're a member of the alliance, or decide to join, a free beer awaits at the end of the historic trek. Register in advance here

SUNDAY, AUG. 20

► Maryland 400 Remembrance Ceremony
Where: Old Stone House, 336 Third St., Park Slope
When: Noon to 2 p.m.

The names of the Maryland 400 soldiers — who died fending off British troops long enough to allow Gen. George Washington and his troops to retreat to Manhattan — will be read aloud. Music and a color guard will also commemorate their sacrifice. 

► Battle of Brooklyn Monuments Tour
Where: Lefferts Historic House, 452 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
When: 11 a.m. to noon

As part of Prospect Park's 150th anniversary celebration, take a guided hour of the green's Revolutionary War monuments by the Prospect Park Alliance. Tickets cost $10. 

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23

► Gowanus Dredgers Battle Paddle
Where: Gowanus Canal, 165 2nd St. Dock, Gowanus
When: 6 p.m. 

Paddle for independence along the historic Gowanus Canal. Don a red life vest if you support the British or a blue vest to join the American Revolution. 

FRIDAY, AUG. 25

Battle of Brooklyn Neighborhood Walk
Where: Meet at the northwest corner of Prospect Park's Grand Amy Plaza Entrance, Park Slope
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Hunter College archeology professor William J. Parry leads this tour that will zig zag across historic sites in Park Slope and Prospect Park. Tickets cost $12 per person or $10 for Old Stone House members.

SATURDAY, AUG. 26

109th Annual Tribute to the Prison Ship Martyrs
Where: Ft. Green Park, Washington Park St., Fort Greene
When: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m..

Join the Society of Old Brooklynites for its annual ceremony in remembering the American Revolution's Prison Ship Martyrs — the more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died in captivity aboard sixteen British ships during the Revolutionary War — in front of the park's towering Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.

Battle of Brooklyn: Tales and Tunes
Where: Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St., Greenwood Heights
When: 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Join Revolutionary War re-enactors sharing stories by the glow of a campfire as they prepare for battle. The evening will also include dances and musical performances true to the period.

SUNDAY, AUG. 27

► Battle of Brooklyn Commemoration at Green-Wood Cemetery
Where: Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St., Greenwood Heights
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The 10 a.m. trolley tour is sold out, but visitors can still see re-enactors firing rifles and cannons along with 18th century cooking demonstrations. Visitors will be invited to carry replicas of Revolutionary War flags to Battle Hill during a parade. The grand finale is the Battle of Brooklyn Commemoration Ceremony atop Battle Hill, which has stunning views of Manhattan.

READ MORE:

► Before Battle of Brooklyn, Invasion Started in Staten Island

► Cobble Hill Trader Joe's Was Site of Despair for Washington in 1776

► Crown Heights Back Alley Nearly Lost to History Recalls Colonial Retreat

► Legend of Murray Hill Tea Party Persists 240 Years After Battle of Brooklyn

► NY Historical Society Examines 'Embarrassing Defeat' at Battle of Brooklyn