Battle of Long Island (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Ground battle in the American Revolution. Result: General Washington’s army retreated across the East River to Manhattan.
George Washington moved his troops to Manhattan in March, 1776, convinced that the British would attack. Fortifications were constructed around Manhattan. On June 29, British ships moved toward Staten Island. On August 12, British reinforcements arrived, consisting of more than four hundred transport ships protected by thirty warships.
These ships, with a total of 10,000 sailors, brought 32,000 soldiers to Staten Island. After learning of this troop movement, General Washington, realizing that he must confront the British in Brooklyn at the western extreme of Long Island, sent 7,000 troops there, increasing the number of American troops there to 19,000. These troops fortified Brooklyn Heights, establishing an outer defensive position behind their fortifications, which had a weak spot at Jamaica Pass.
On August 27, one British contingent attacked the American troops while another body of troops swarmed in through the Jamaica Pass, completely overwhelming Washington’s forces. The Americans suffered 1,012 casualties, whereas the British incurred 392. Capitalizing on stormy weather that kept British warships at bay, Washington led a retreat to Manhattan.
Victorious in Brooklyn, the British held Long Island until 1783....
(The entire section is 274 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!