Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Long Island
The Battle of Long Island also known as the Battle of Brooklyn took place on August 27, 1776. On August 22, Admiral Richard, Lord Howe, in supreme command of British forces in New York, ordered his troops to move against the Continental Army at dawn. The American outpost under Colonel Edward Hand sent word to Lieutenant General George Washington that the British were preparing to cross to Long Island from Staten Island. Under the overall command of Lieutenant General Sir William Howe, and the operational command of Major Generals Charles, Lord Cornwallis and Sir Henry Clinton, the British mustered a force of 4,000 men. The British commenced their landing in Gravesend Bay , where, after strengthening his forces for over seven weeks on Staten Island, Admiral Lord Howe moved 88 frigates. The British landed a total of 15,000 men in Brooklyn, out of a total of 32,000 men in the area.
No one knows the exact number of Americans soldiers who fought in the Battle of Long Island, but estimates are that there were at least 10,000, mostly New York militia reinforced from surrounding Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland. It is also estimated that 1,407 Americans were wounded, captured, or missing, and 312 were killed. A British report says that there were 89 American officers imprisoned, and 1,097 other Americans were kept as prisoners.
Out of 22,000 British and Germans (including 9,000 Hessian mercenaries) on Long Island, they sustained a total loss of 377. Five British officers and 56 men were killed, while 13 officers and 275 men were wounded or missing. Two Germans were killed, and three officers and 23 men were wounded, out of the Hessian forces under the Count von Dolop .
During the night of August 30, 1776, the Americans evacuated Long Island and crossed to Manhattan. Washington ordered a young patriot named Nathan Hale to go undercover as a Dutch schoolteacher to gather intelligence about the British, a mission that Hale was able to complete successfully. After doing so, however, Hale was caught and hanged.
It was not long after that the British crossed to Manhattan and routed American forces there as well. The British would occupy New York and the surrounding areas until 1784, when they left as per the provisions of the Treaty of Paris (1783).
- John Gallagher; "The Battle of Brooklyn 1776"; 1995; 2002 Castle Press edition, ISBN 0785816631.
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