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Sun Jul 16, 2017, 01:30 PM

Battle of Brooklyn grave site at heart of new conflict over development plans

On 27 August 1776, a month and a half after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, troops from the Continental Army fought the British at the Battle of Brooklyn.

The Americans’ defeat in what is also known as the Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the Revolutionary War, would likely have been far worse were it not for a detachment of soldiers from Maryland who prevented encirclement and allowed the US forces to retreat. Most of the Marylanders – known as the Maryland 400, although they were fewer – were killed.

Now, a new battle is being fought over a vacant lot in Gowanus that some believe sits over a mass grave containing the remains of those Maryland soldiers. If it does, preservationists say, the site should be accorded the kind of reverence shown in Lexington, Concord and elsewhere, and preserved from redevelopment.


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