PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

History Detectives!

Dear Families,

We are trench deep into our Revolutionary War Unit!  Yesterday we worked like real history detectives piecing together the battle plans of the British and Americans during the biggest battle of the Revolutionary war.  Did you know it all happened in Brooklyn? Take a look at some videos showcasing the kids amazing ability to use various primary source documents to develop a story of the that day in history.

What really happened at the Battle of Long Island?

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The Battle of Long Island is also known as the Battle of Brooklyn and the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. It was fought on August 27, 1776 and was the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War to take place after the United States declared its independence on July 4, 1776. It was a victory for the British Army.   After the British won the battle it gave them an advantage because it had control of the harbors in NYC.  In terms of troop deployment and fighting, it was the largest battle of the entire war.

General George Washington brought the the army to defend the city of New York.  Most of his troop were sent to southern end of Manhattan Island. His army established defenses there and waited for the British to attack.

In July, the British under the command of General William Howe landed a few miles across the harbor from Manhattan on Staten Island.  They also put many war ships along the water between Bay Ridge and Staten Island.  

George Washington’s troops were a total force of 32,000 troops. Washington had most of the troops in Manhattan because he thought the British would attack there first.  They were wrong.

On August 22, the British landed on the shores of Gravesend Bay across the Narrows from Staten Island and more than a dozen miles south from the established East River crossings to Manhattan. After five days of waiting, the British attacked American defenses on the Guan Heigh

Unknown to the Americans, however, Howe had brought his main army around their rear and attacked their flank soon after. The Americans panicked, resulting in twenty percent losses through casualties and captures, although a stand by 400 Maryland troops prevented a larger portion of the army from being lost. The remainder of the army retreated to the main defenses on Brooklyn Heights. The British dug in for a siege but, on the night of August 29–30, Washington evacuated the entire army to Manhattan without the loss of supplies or a single life. Washington and the Continental Army were driven out of New York entirely after several more defeats and forced to retreat through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania.