This historic week for Brooklyn and the U.S. is being marked daily by New York Street Artist General Howe at the sites where the actual “Battle of Brooklyn” took place exactly 234 years earlier. Brooklyn Street Art is pleased to bring you daily updates on the plundering of boundaries between Street Art, performance art, and historical land-marking along with live social media updates by Kianga Ellis. All week we will travel around Brooklyn tracing the troop movements as General Howe stages small-scale battle scenes to connect us with history and possibly examine the childhood pastime of playing “war”.
“American Forces Dig In While Quietly Circled”
Today we followed the General to Park Slope to stage some skirmishes on the hill as a sense of doom settled in. It wasn’t just the gray rainy miasma that cloaked Brooklyn today, or the giant leafy pumpkin plants that hovered over the mini-troops, but it was General Howe’s descriptions of how the Patriots nervously tried to fortify positions while the British began to appear in new locations all the time, as they began to make their path toward the elevated hills of “The Heights” to look down upon the land.
Not only that but Washington wrote in a letter today to Putnam (his man in command) that he was pretty ticked off about the way some of the trigger-happy fools in the Patriots crew had the bad habit of shooting willy-nilly in an undisciplined way all over the place, sometimes just for the hell of it. If you read The Battle for New York The city at the heart of the American Revolution by Barnet Schecter, you’ll find that George hated horsing around with guns because he thought it was wasteful of valuable bullets and distracting for everybody, “as we know not the hour of the enemy’s approach to our lines but have every reason to apprehend that it will happen sudden & violent, whenever attempted; we shall have our men so scattered & (more then probable) without ammunition, that the consequences must prove fatal to us.”
General Howe talks about what happened on August 24th:
The Action: Plagued by second thoughts about General Howe’s strategy, Washington reshuffles the command in Brooklyn putting the popular Israel Putnam in command. However, “Old Put” is ill equipped both experientially and temperamentally for the task. Among the American forces digging in for whatever is to come are the Maryland 400 comprised of six companies of soldiers from Maryland. This group of 400 will be the last soldiers to hold the line during the Battle of Brooklyn, providing cover while the rest of the Americans retreat.
The Landscape: Park Slope
This six-day event is shared live with the public complete with historical quotes, the General’s musings, and twitpics by Kianga Ellis on
Twitter (www.twitter.com/kiangaellis) (subject hashtag “#RevWar” if you like)
See our interview with General Howe, “WAR ON APATHY” on The Huffington Post
Link to other days in the Battle of Brooklyn – just click the date.
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