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This stop along the Revolutionary War Heritage Trail can be found inside Green-Wood Cemetery and marks a spot where Americans enjoyed some brief success over the British during the Battle of Brooklyn, the first major battle of the American Revolution. Despite this temporary success, Washington's rebel force of about ten thousand men were pushed out of the city by 20,000 British troops under the command of William Howe. Although Washington was forced to abandon the city, the British failed to capture the rebel army or its commander. Each year, Green-Wood Cemetery hosts reenactments and other historical celebrations of the battle and life during the American Revolution, complete with trolley tours, parades, demonstrations, and display of historical artifacts.


  • This 2013 photo by Bill Coughlin shows the historical marker located at Battle Hill, inside Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery
  • Learn more about New York during the American Revolution with Barnet Schecter's popular book, The Battle for New York

At 220 feet, Battle Hill is the highest natural point in Kings County. On August 27, 1776, 300 outnumbered Americans captured this hill and temporarily resisted the British, whose object was to seize Brooklyn Heights, key to the defenses of New York City. The high ground allowed the patriots to inflict more casualties here among the British than any other place during the Battle of Brooklyn. The American rebels lacked the men or materiel to hold the high ground, and Washington was forced to retreat north as the British took control of New York by the end of August.

The failure to hold the largest city and most important port in the American colonies may have been a decisive blow to the morale of the American rebels after their successful siege of British troops in Boston, but the British commander's decision to move slowly and occupy the city rather than pursue Washington's army allowed the rebels to retreat into New Jersey and Pennsylvania where they would continue to train and recruit.  

Gallagher, John. The Battle of Brooklyn 1776. Castle Books, 1999.