Battle of Brooklyn

I was doing so well at being timely with my posts, then the relative leisure of summer ended. Hélas! Well, on August 29 I walked over to Green-Wood Cemetery to watch the re-enactments for Battle of Brooklyn Day. The first major battle of the Revolutionary War, which is also known as the Battle of Long Island and the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, took place on August 27, 1776 and is permanently commemorated at Green-Wood with the Minerva monument on Battle Hill.

When I got to the cemetery, the cannon demonstration shown above was already underway and I watched from beneath the shade of a tree. Pictures cannot describe (except perhaps through the dry and brittle grass) how hot it was. I have no idea how the re-enactors, like the well-to-do lady above, were not passing out from their several layers of heavy clothing. I guess this is yet another profession I’m not cut out for. At least Green-Wood has lots of trees and there was free water.

There wasn’t exactly a whole recreation of the Battle of Brooklyn so much as a series of demonstrations. The closest to a battle was when there were British soldiers with a cannon facing George Washington’s troops who blasted their blank rifles. “George Washington” himself accidentally stood in front of the cannon and the British soldiers had to tell him to move…somehow I don’t think that’s how it went.

I believe the real Battle of Brooklyn ended with Washington retreating to Manhattan. I ended my battle by retreating to my air conditioned apartment. I obviously would have fared really well in the 18th century. Despite the weather, it was fun to go over to my favorite New York cemetery and see all the enthusiastic re-enactors in their handmade costumes. Also interesting to think about my borough as a battlefield, wars fought on the hills and maybe ancient cartridges left spent deep under the pavement.

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