10 Interesting Facts about the Battle of Long Island

One of these following facts about the Battle of Long Island should probably give you much information about this battle. The Battle of Long Island was a defeat for the Continental Army under General George Washington and the beginning of a successful campaign that gave the British control of the strategically important city of New York. In the American Revolutionary War, it was the first major battle to take place after the United States declared independence on July 4, 1776. In term of troop size, it was the largest battle of the entire war. For further information, to get you to know more about this battle, here are some facts about the Battle of Long Island you might be interested in.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 1: First Stage of War

In the first stage of the war, the British Army was trapped in the then-peninsular city of Boston and on March 17, they abandoned it setting sail to Halifax, Nova Scotia to await to await reinforcements.Washington then began to transfer regiments to New York City where he believed that the British would next attack because of its strategic importance.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 2: British Arrival

On June 28 Washington learned that the British fleet had set sail from Halifax on June 9 and were heading toward New York.On June 29, signals were sent from men stationed on States Island that the British fleet had appeared. Within a few hours 45 British ships dropped anchor in Lower New York Bay.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island - Battle of Long Island

Facts about the Battle of Long Island – Battle of Long Island

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 3: Invasion of Long Island

At 05:10, on August 22, an advance guard of 4,000 British troops, under the command of Clinton and Cornwallis, left Staten Island to land on Long Island. At 08:00, all 4,000 troops landed on the shore of Gravesend Bay, unopposed. Colonel Edward Hand’s Pennsylvanian riflemen had been stationed on the shore, but they did not oppose the landings and fell back, killing cattle and burning farmhouses on the way.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 4: American Plan

The American plan was that Putnam would direct the defenses from Brooklyn Heights while Sullivan and Stirling and their troops would be stationed on the Guan Heights.  The Guan were up to 150 feet high and blocked the most direct route to Brooklyn Heights.Washington believed by stationing men on the heights that heavy casualties could be inflicted on the British before the troops fell back to the main defenses at Brooklyn Heights.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island - Battle Pass

Facts about the Battle of Long Island – Battle Pass

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 5: Night March

At 21:00, the British moved out.No one knew of the plan. Clinton led a crack brigade of light infantry with fixed bayonets in front, followed by Cornwallis who had eight battalions and 14 artillery pieces. Cornwallis was, in turn, followed by Howe and Hugh Percy with six battalions, more artillery, and baggage.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 6: First Shot

About 23:00 on August 26, 1776, the first shots of the Battle of Long Island were fired near the Red Lion Inn (near present-day 39th St. and 4th Ave.). American pickets – part of Samuel John Atlee’s Pennsylvania regiment – fired upon two British soldiers who were foraging in a watermelon patch near the Red Lion. There’s another battle related to this, check out for facts about the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island - Dongan Oak Memorial Park

Facts about the Battle of Long Island – Dongan Oak Memorial Park

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 7: Battle Pass

The Hessians, in the center under the command of General von Heister, began to bombard the American lines stationed at Battle Pass under the command of General John Sullivan. The Hessian brigades, waiting for the pre-arranged signal from the British, who at that time were in the process of outflanking the American lines did not attack.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 8: Brooklyn Heights

At 09:00, George Washington arrived from Manhattan. He realized that he had been wrong about a feint on Long Island and he ordered more troops to Brooklyn from Manhattan.Washington’s location on the battlefield is not known for sure, because accounts differ, but most likely he was at Brooklyn Heights where he could view the battle.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island - U.S. Army

Facts about the Battle of Long Island – U.S. Army

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 9: Retreat to Manhattan

Washington and the army were surrounded on Brooklyn Heights with the East River to their backs.As the day went on, the British began to dig trenches, slowly coming closer and closer to the American defenses. By doing this, the British would not have to cross over open ground to assault the American defenses as they did in Boston the year before.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island 10: Aftermath and Casualties

At the time, it was by far the largest battle ever fought in North America. if the Royal Navy is included, over 40,000 men took part in the battle. Howe reported his losses as 59 killed, 268 wounded and 31 missing. The Hessian casualties were 5 killed and 26 wounded.The Americans suffered much heavier losses. About 300 had been killed and over 1,000 captured.

Facts about the Battle of Long Island - View from Battle Hill

Facts about the Battle of Long Island – View from Battle Hill

Hope you would find those Battle of Long Island facts really interesting, useful, and helpful for your additional reading.

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