Greenwood Cemetery last weekend hosted a memorial for the 237th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. While it was a defeat for the nascent Continental Army who were vastly outnumbered, the Battle of Brooklyn (or Long Island) was the first major battle since declaring independence from Great Britain.
After defeating the Brits in Boston, General Washington surmised that the Brits would then attempt to take over New York Harbor for the purpose of housing it’s sizable navy. Assuming the initial attack would be on Manhattan, Washington moved most forces there. The British chose to arrive instead via Gravesend Bay to outflank the Continental Army.
Unknown to the Americans, however, [General] Howe had brought his main army around their rear and attacked their flank soon after. The Americans panicked, although a stand by 400 Maryland troops prevented most of the army from being captured. The remainder of the army fled 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 material or a single life. Source: Wikipedia
Memorial Ceremony and Parade
A re-enactment took place between an organized British regiment and a handful of scrappy Americans. The re-enactment group was called Second Battalion New York. They were very friendly and stuck around to answer questions even after being killed.
Post-battle, there was a parade and memorial ceremony. During this early period of Independence, there wasn’t one officially agreed upon flag. As many as 100 flags were flown during the battles. Some represented states and towns. Others were designed with the hope of becoming the official flag.
As part of the parade, spectators were allowed to hoist flags, which were mounted along the parade route. There was a wide array of images like badger, a dozen variations of stars and stripes, flags of French regiments, trees etc. A memorial ceremony was held at the top. The Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley also gave a great speech on the sacrifice of the Maryland 400.
As I was exiting I spotted a few period foods. Pictured are sugar cones as they would’ve been sold. Also I sampled a piece of cake made from flour, sugar, lemon rind and oddly caraway seeds. During this time it was believed that caraway aided digestion and was a common addition to sweets. The baker was a very nice man named Niel V. DeMarino of Sugar Loaf Baking Company who specializes in period cooking.