Know Everything about the battle of Brooklyn

Battle of Brooklyn

The Battle of Brooklyn was a significant part of the American Revolution which lasted for eight years, four months, and two weeks from April 19, 1775, to September 3, 1783. The Battle of Brooklyn is also referred to as the Battle of Long Island. The Battle of Brooklyn happened on August 27, 1776. The Battle of Brooklyn happened right after the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July. On March 17, the Continental Army, under the leadership of George Washington, defeated the British and captured Boston. The British evacuated Boston and reached Nova Scotia, and waited for the right moment to attack and acquire New York City And this is how battle of Brooklyn started.

The Continental Army:

Battle of Brooklyn

In the battle of Brooklyn,Washington moved his troops to the Port of New York with speculation that Port New York would be the next target for the British. The Port of New York was strategically important for the British Army to receive ease and reinforcements and ammunition supplies from the Royal Navy. Washington ordered his second-in-hand Charles Lee to strengthen the defenses in the city of New York during early February. William Alexander was given the responsibility to build the city’s defenses.

Once Washington reached New York City, the defense structures were incomplete. Therefore, he carried out various strategies to defend. Washington had only around 19,000 troops, and there existed many internalized issues among them due to varying backgrounds. Also, war ammunition was misused by the soldiers. 

New fortifications were constructed, namely Fort Putnam in the north, Fort Greene to the southwest, and Fort Box in the farther southwest. These three new forts were near the eastern bank of the Eastern River. Fort Defiance was an additional fort built farther southwest to Fort Box. The other structures in New York City like Fort George, Governors Island, Whitehall Dock were heavily ammunized with artillery, cannons, and troops.

Commanded Henry Knox provided around 500 soldiers for the operation of artillery and cannons. General Washington established Fort Washington near the Northern end of Manhattan, near the Hudson River. Fort Lee was appointed opposite to Fort Washington to avoid any British activity in the Hudson River. 

The British Army:

By the end of June 1776 battle of Brooklyn , some British troops left Nova Scotia and arrived at the Staten Islands. By July 2nd, forty-five British ships were stationed at Lower New York Bay within a week. Another one-hundred and thirty British ships arrived at Staten Island under the leadership of Richard Howe, brother of the British Commander, General William Howe. On the Fourth of July, the Americans declared independence. Two British ships entered the Hudson River to reach the Harbor a week later.

The ships got past the defenses along Hudson River, Fort Defiance, Fort Washington, and the Governor’s Island. On 13th July, a negotiation letter was sent to George Washington on behalf of William Howe but was rejected by the Americans, stating the wrong address of Washington. Further conversation with an adjutant, Colonel Patterson, also didn’t end smoothly. 

Battle of Brooklyn,On August 1, 1776, an additional forty-five ships arrived at Staten Island with Henry Clinton, Charles Cornwallis, and 3,000 other troops. The over troops camped on Staten Island was over 30,000, and the British ships were more than 400 in number, with over seventy-three warships loaded with artillery. The British troops were reinforced by 3,000 additional troops and 8,000 Hessian troops by mid-August.

The initial idea of the British was to attack Long Island, and they were preparing to attack Long Island. General Washington was skeptical about the exact place where the British would attack. Therefore, he split his troops in half, with one half at Long Island and the other half at Manhattan. 

The Battle of Long Island:

At Long Island, around 10,000 soldiers were stationed strategically to handle the incoming British soldiers. The terrain of Long Island included a high ground with only four prominent ridges of passage, namely Flatbush Road, Bedford Road, Gowanus Road, Jamaica pass and the American Continental Army soldiers were stationed only at all three prominent ridges through the heights, except the Jamaica pass which didn’t have any protection.

The British General Clinton came to know about the infamous Jamaica pass, and he planned to utilize it. The plan was to distract the frontline with a few British forces and Hessian forces and escort the rest of the British soldiers through the Jamaica pass with the aid of a few loyalists. The Jamaica Pass was guarded by only five men of the American militia. 

By August 22, around 15,000 British forces landed at Long Island and camped at a nearby lowland at Flatbush.In Battle of Brooklyn The Americans thought the British were just 8,000 to 9,000 in number. Therefore, Washington sent only a few reinforcements, totaling the Continental army close to 6,000. The American General Israel Putnam replaced General Sullivan as the Commander in charge.

The British were reinforced by an additional 5,000 Hessian forces increasing their total to 20,000. The British planned three streams of attack with the first group of British troops focusing on Gowanus road, the second group of Hessian forces focusing the Flatbrush road, and the rest of the majority of British soldiers with General Howe passing through the Jamaica pass. Initially, 7,000 British soldiers attacked the Gowanus road and quickly acquired the high ground against Grant’s men. With help from Stirling, an additional 1,000 men joined at the Gowanus road and helped the Continental army.

Subsequently in battle of Brooklyn, the Hessian soldiers attacked the Americans at Flatbush road under the leadership of General Sullivan. The rest of the British soldiers had quickly passed the Jamaica pass and were well behind the American line-up. Once General Howe had reached the correct position, their artillery alerted the British forces on their arrival. General Howe attacked the Bedford Road, which only had a minimal number of soldiers. The Americans at Flatbush and Gowanus were also warned on the appearance of the British via the Jamaica pass. As General Howe and his forces advanced, they joined with the Hessian forces and outnumbered the American defenders. The surviving American soldiers retreated and left the region.

Further, General Howe, however, halted the attack, and decided to start a siege, which his soldiers opposed. The main reason was to reduce the casualties in battle of Brooklyn. General Washington and his soldiers were surrounded, and the British began to create trenches. Even though the situation was complicated, General Washington was still planning to attack with additional forces from Manhattan. Later, on the advise of General Mifflin, Washington ordered for the retreat to Manhattan. There were no casualties, and the evacuation greatly saved the Continental army. Battle of Brooklyn was one on the most significant war in the history.

By Emma Bargende

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