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While a drama of rare intensity on its surface, the Battle of Brooklyn also holds a larger significance: the King's men did not invade Brooklyn to face other kings' men; they were sent to fight a population. Rules of engagement were uncertain and passions for and against the rebellion ran high. When the smoke cleared at Brooklyn, in 1776, the modern age of "democratic warfare" had begun.
One can sympathize with the plight of George Washington, who, while charged with the task of defeating the finest army of the Old World, had to mold citizen-soldiers from throughout the thirteen colonies -- "patriots" -- into a viable military force. "If any man turns his back today, I will shoot him through," was one message he conveyed to his troops. At Brooklyn, the young American army did not quite meet its commander's expectations. Still, it remained in the field. And the evacuation conducted after the battle was a masterpiece of efficiency, ensuring that the New World's armed forces would fight another day. The Battle of Brooklyn was a victory for the British Empire. But contained within the triumph was a demonstration of the type of American resolve and courage that would eventually result in independence for the United States.
|Introduction: "Democratic Warfare"||1|
|Chapter I||"A kind of key to the whole continent"||13|
|Chapter II||"Kindness and real abundance is everywhere"||25|
|Chapter III||"By lies they lured them, by liquor they tempted them"||37|
|Chapter IV||"A multitude of people ... under very little discipline, order or government"||49|
|Chapter V||"I thought all London was afloat"||61|
|Chapter VI||"As we can now bring all our guns to bear ..."||73|
|Chapter VII||"Be cool, but determined; do not fire at a distance"||87|
|Chapter VIII||"Across these hills ... the nearest way to Gowanus"||97|
|Chapter IX||"If I see any man turn his back today, I will shoot him through"||109|
|Chapter X||"Our men fought with more than Roman valor"||123|
|Chapter XI||"How many were lost upon the Island is yet uncertain"||135|
|Chapter XII||"This retreat should hold a high place among military transactions"||145|
|Chapter XIII||After "The Fox"||155|
|Chapter XIV||"The next Augustan Age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic"||167|
|Appendix A||American Order of Battle||177|
|Appendix B||British Order of Battle||181|
Posted August 21, 2000
I knew the battle was there in Brooklyn, but John Gallagher revealed it to me with a clear well researched approach. I have plans to go over to Brooklyn and check the 'ground'. One can do this this because he has given detailed geographical clues.The book gives an excellent preview to the battle and also a good epilogue.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.