Celebrate Battle Week! Brooklyn's bloody start to the American Revolution.

Experience a week of events and activities honoring the opening chapter in America's drive for independence, as the annual Battle Week celebration begins, celebrating Brooklyn's role in the battle for America's independence.

Celebrate Battle Week! Brooklyn's bloody start to the American Revolution.

Brooklyn Heights
Cobble Hill
Gowanus
Park Slope

Experience a week of events and activities honoring the opening chapter in America's drive for independence, as the annual Battle Week celebration begins on August 17 to August 24, celebrating Brooklyn's role in the battle for America's independence.

The Old Stone House, built in 1699 and reconstructed in 1933, was central to the Battle of Brooklyn. It was the first battle in the history of the United States––a war that pitted family members and neighbors against one another to painfully separate from their Mother Country, King and countrymen. One of the wonderful resources on their website is a selection of audio tours narrated by Brooklyn's John Turturro located at theoldstonehouse.org/battle-of-brooklyn/tour/. Today's recreation of that house sits in Washington Park/JJ Byrne Playground on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.

In August of 1776, the American Revolution erupted in Brooklyn. The first, and largest, conflict of the Revolution, the Battle of Brooklyn engulfed areas that are now familiar to all Brooklynites, including sites now occupied by The Old Stone House and Prospect Park. Late in the morning of August 27th, 1776, the American General Lord Stirling, realizing the direness of the American position, led a regiment of 400 Maryland soldiers, against the 2,000 British forces commanded by General Cornwallis at the Old Stone House. The Marylanders fell, regrouped, and attacked again, but eventually their losses became too great to continue…ue and Stirling finally surrendered.

General George Washington watched the battle from Ponkiesberg (Cobble Hill), site of today's Trader Joe at the corner of Atlantic and Court Street. The flag atop the store is at the same height as the original hill. The British would level the hill after the battle so the Americans could never use it again. As Washington watched the Marylanders attack the British, he was quoted as saying "What brave men I must this day lose."


George Washington Plaque on the outside wall of Trader Joes in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. ©Mark D Phillips

The Battle of Brooklyn, was the largest battle of the Revolutionary War. In fact, it was the largest naval landing until D-Day in 1944 during World War II. The neighborhood of Red Hook was central to the start of the battle. British Admiral Howe decided to sail an armada of seven ships through the harbor to the East River to finish Washington and his troops. While sailing past Red Hook Point, the ships came under fire from Fort Defiance, built under Washington's orders in April 1776. The intense fire from the fort caused the ships to turn back, saving the day for the Americans. Many today believe the fort was located in Valentino Park. To learn more about the area, visit our Red Hook neighborhood section.

Despite the outcome in Brooklyn, General George Washington’s troops stayed strong throughout the long years of the war and the British failed to capture Washington or defeat the American army. Washington led his army in a daring escape from Brooklyn at Fulton Ferry landing, retreating through Manhattan to eventual victory in 1783 when the British finally surrendered and sailed from New York in defeat. The United States of America was born in the wilds of Brooklyn.

On the 238th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, Green-Wood cemetery hosts a day of free commemoration ceremonies, trolley tours, and 18th-century living. The day will present parades, cannon fire, horse rides, re-enactments and historic cooking. Living history events and activities will offer kids a real feel for life during the American Revolution. This is a great event for kids and families! For more info, visit our Green-Wood Happenings listing.

The week long events include:
 
Sunday, August 17 - Sunday, August 24
A Display of 85 Revolutionary War Flags
Green-Wood Cemetery
5th Avenue at 25th Street, Brooklyn

Sunday, August 17, 8 am
Battle of Brooklyn 10-mile race and relay in Prospect Park
 jackrabbitsports.com

Sunday, August 17, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Evergreens Cemetery Walking Tour
theevergreenscemetery.com

Tuesday, August 19, 6 pm & Saturday, August 23, 4 pm
Battle of Brooklyn Neighborhood Walk
 $12 per person/$10 OSH members; includes light refreshments
theoldstonehouse.org
 
Wednesday, August 20, 6 pm -  7 pm
Gowanus Dredgers Estuary Tour
gowanuscanal.org

Thursday, August 21 & Friday, August 22, 8 pm
Anna Strong's Laundry, a multidisciplinary performance with live original contemporary music
Old Stone House & Washington Park
718-768-3195 | concretetimbre.com
 
Saturday, August 23, 10 am sharp
Prison Ships Martyrs Memorial Ceremony.
Coordinated by the Society of Old Brooklynites
Fort Greene Park,  Brooklyn
718-499-7600

Saturday, August 23 1pm - 5pm
General Nathaniel Woodhull Exhibit
Onderdonk House
Ridgewood, Queens
718-456-1776 | onderdonkhouse.org

Saturday, August 23, 1 pm - 4pm
Scavenger Battle!
Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92
718-907-5932 | bldg92.org

Saturday, August 23, 6 pm - 9 pm
Revolutionary Fare
A tasting of Colonial-inspired dishes by top Brooklyn restaurants, includes  gin punch, roast pig and more. Pie making contest.  Old timey music!
Tickets:  $45 in advance/$50 at the door
Old Stone House & Washington Park
theoldstonehouse.org

Sunday, August 24, 10 am - 2 pm
Battle of Brooklyn Commemoration
The Green-Wood Cemetery
Re-enactors, military skirmish, Lord Percy's original map of the battle, memorial ceremony atop Battle Hill   
5th Avenue at 25th Street,
718-210-3080 |  green-wood.com

Sunday, August 24, 4 pm
Double Entendre Old & New
An exploration of double reed music from the 17th century through the present day.
Tickets: $20
Old Stone House & Washington Park
doubleentendre.org