George Washington at the Battles of Brooklyn and Long Island
After defeating the British at the seige of Boston, George Washington shifted the American army to New York where he expected the British to next attack. As it turned out, Washington was correct in his assumption of British intentions with the British landing some 32,000 men on Staten Island in July of 1776. Finally, towards the end of August the British forces attacked, trapping the bulk of the American forces led by Washington at Brooklyn Heights. On the night of August 29-30th, however, in a thick fog Washington was able to evacuate his army across the river to Manhattan. Unfortunately, this was only a temporary reprieve as the American army was then defeated in several battles with the result that Washington was forced to lead what was left of the American army in retreat across New Jersey. These series of battles were collectively the largest battle of the entire Revolutionary War and the first time that the American army had fought the British after the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It also was Washington’s greatest defeat during the Revolutionary War. Blame for the defeat was partially Washington’s, but can also be attributed to the lack of training of the American army and the superiority of the better trained and equipped British army led by British General William Howe.