After successfully ousting the British from Boston on March 17, 1776, General George Washington assembled the 10,000 strong Continental Army in New York to deny King George III’s Royal Navy access to the harbor. Throughout the spring and summer Washington’s commander’s prepared defenses in Manhattan, however in July the British task force landed in Staten Island and General Howe gathered over 30,000 troops for his offensive.
After making landfall on August 22, the redcoats strengthened their numbers with Long island loyalists. Still believing the city to be the prime target, Washington sent over 1500 troops as reinforcement to General Isaac Putnam’s command.
It was not a feint and on august 27 the first blow fell on the forts of Long Island, taking the rebels by surprise with overpowering force of arms.
The battle was a disaster for the Americans.
The bravery of the Maryland 400 forestalled defeat, but at day’s end Washington and his troops were trapped under Brooklyn Heights. One more push and the rebellion would be quashed with traitors hanging from every available tree in New York.
The attack never came that night.
The British had been taught a deadly lesson at Bunker Hill.
They dug ditches ever closer to the American lines.
In the morning the redcoats discovered that Washington and his soldiers had been evacuated by John Glover’s Marblehead regiment.
9000 troops had escaped the trap and the war wasn’t destined to end until General Conwallis’ surrender at Yorktown six years later.
Not a victory.
Most certainly a defeat.
More a draw with the British realizing that the world would turn upside down one day.
But not on August 27.