Fought in August 1776, the Battle of Brooklyn lives on 236 years later in the borough from which it takes its name, as history enthusiasts gather every year to commemorate the confrontation.
Taking place in various portions of the borough, including around Park Slope’s Old Stone House as well as on land that is now a part of Green-Wood Cemetery, this was the first battle of the Revolution after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
To kick off the commemoration, on August 18 at 10 a.m., the Maryland 400 Remembrance Ceremony will be held, beginning at the Michael Rawley Post. This ceremony is a memorial to the soldiers who gave their lives holding off British troops near the Old Stone House, allowing George Washington and his troops to escape to fight another day. For more information, call 718-768-3195 or visit www.theoldstonehouse.org.
At 2 p.m. there will be a performance of “The Battle of Brooklyn,” a play by Josh Waldman outdoors at the Old Stone House. Visit www.theoldstonehouse.org for more information.
Those interesting in seeing some of the battle locations can gather at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park at 3 p.m. on August 18 (and again at 6 p.m. on August 21) for a two-hour Battle of Brooklyn walking tour. The tour is $12 per person, $10 for OSH members, including refreshments. For reservations, call 718-768-3195 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, August 19, there will be a walking tour of Evergreens Cemetery at Bushwick Avenue and Conway Street beginning at 11 am, and finishing around 1 p.m. For more information, call 718-455-5300 or visit www.theevergreens.org.
On Wednesday, August 22 at 6 p.m., there will be a Gowanus Dredgers Estuary Tour. Board a canoe at Second Street between Bond Street and the Gowanus Canal and learn about the history of this escape route for American soldiers. Visit www.gowanuscanal.org for more information.
Test your knowledge of the “battle,” Thursday, August 23, at a pub-style trivia night at BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue. The event is $10 per person, including admission and a shuttle service to tasty bites from Ted & Honey. For more information, go to www.bldg92.org or call 718-907-5992.
As it does every year, the Society of Old Brooklynites will hold a ceremony at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, a memorial to American prisoners of war interned on British ships in Wallabout Bay.
This year’s event, on Saturday, August 25 at 10 a.m. at the base of the monument, marks the 104thcommemoration to the 11,500 prison ship martyrs entombed under it.
“It’s important that we bring civic awareness to the fact that this monument exists and the remains of the martyrs, and that we let future generations know about the sacrifices these patriots made,” said Ted General, the society’s second vice president.
Then, on August 25, from 2 to 5 p.m. re-enactors from Glover’s Marblehead Regiment will perform The Great Escape at Main Street /Brooklyn Bridge Park. For more information, call 718-768-3195 or visit www.brooklynbridgepark.org.
Battle Week will continue on August 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with The Battle of Brooklyn Commemoration at Green-Wood Cemetery.
Among the highlights are performances by the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, during the Battle of Brooklyn Parade and at the Commemorative Ceremony.
At 10 a.m., author Barnet Schecter and Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman will host a trolley tour at the cemetery. It’s $15 for members of The Green-Wood Historic Fund and $20 for non-members, reservations recommended. Call 718-210-3080 or order online via Eventbrite.
From 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee will march from the Main Gate to memorialize Washington’s Irish General Charles Higgins and John Gallagher, a historian and author of The Battle of Brooklyn.
At 12:30 p.m., join Revolutionary War re-enactors in Green-Wood’s Meadow at the Gothic Arch, free admission. Then, at 1:30 p.m., the Battle of Brooklyn parade will be held, free admission as well. Finally, at 2 p.m. the Battle of Brooklyn Commemorative Ceremony, sponsored by the Committee to Commemorate the Battle of Brooklyn, will take place on Battle Hill.
Finally, on Monday August 27 at 7 p.m., there will be “A Proteus Gowanus Initiative” public performance at Smith and Bergen Streets. Performance artist Paul Benney will work with musicians, re-enactors and dancers to create a ‘site-specific happening based upon the circular nature of the word “revolution.”’ For more information, call 718-243-1572 or visit http://proteusgowanus.org/.