NGEF’s Archivist, Ryan Trainor had the pleasure of visiting Brooklyn, New York with members of the Maryland Society, Sons of the American Revolution last month in commemoration of the 239th anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle which occurred there. It is regarded by military historians as one of the most resounding battles of the Revolutionary War, and is considered significant to the history of the militia. The trip was led by MG Jim Adkins (Ret.), the former Adjutant General of Maryland.
The Battle of Brooklyn occurred on August 27th, 1776, along the swamps, woods, and farmland which existed where the city stands today. In the days leading up to the battle, British troops embarked from Staten Island and launched a massive offensive against Long Island, which ultimately involved some 32,000 British troops and Hessian forces. Some historians describe it as the largest amphibious assault in American military history until D-Day, in 1944. Washington was uncertain where the British would strike his lines, and was forced to split his forces between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Early on the morning of the 27th, the British advanced along an undefended pass and flanked the outer American defenses on Guan Heights.
A battalion of Maryland troops from the 1st Maryland Infantry, numbering approximately 270 men (raised originally from militia companies), was selected to serve as a rear-guard for Washington’s army escaping towards Manhattan. By 11:00 a.m., the English army, augmented by Hessian forces, virtually surrounded this contingent of Marylanders. In order to buy time for Washington’s escape, the Marylanders launched two assaults on a force of 2,000 Scottish Highlanders and British Grenadiers stationed in and near the “Old Stone House,” a Dutch Farmhouse known as the Vechte-Cortelyou House. 256 Marylanders were killed or wounded in the swamps surrounding Gowanus Creek. Watching from afar, Washington exclaimed, “Good God, what brave fellows I must this day lose!”
The rearguard action, which also included a contingent of Delaware militia, is credited with saving Washington’s army so that it could continue the war effort, ultimately securing independence.
May 20, 2020
In January and February of 1918, a flu virus quietly spread through sleepy Haskell County, Kansas, with a human population of 1,720 dispersed over nearly 600 acres. By the time the Spanish Flu burnt itself out globally, over 21,000,000 people would be dead. As the virus worked its way through Haskell County, young American [...]
July 12, 2019
Always Ready, Always There: My Story of Hope September 11, 2001 was a defining moment for many of us, but even more so for CW4 Clifford Bauman. CW4 Bauman was on his way to the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the building, and Bauman sprang [...]
December 6, 2018
Bill’s Maudlin Humor: WWII as seen through the cartoons of Bill Mauldin By: Lauren Wong December 7, 1941 was the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor; it was also the day the U.S. entered WWII. When the Army shipped out, they brought nine Divisions of National Guardsmen with them. The 45th ID was one of [...]
November 20, 2018
A Heartfelt Reunion at the End of World War I Jonathan W. White In the digital age it is common for cell phone videos to capture the moment when a deployed soldier or sailor reunites with his or her family. Often these [...]
November 29, 2017
Remember to Write: 150 Years of Letters Home Writing home has always been a part of the National Guard’s history tracing back to the colonial militias. Letters and packages from love ones are a crucial factor in maintaining high spirits and morale. They provide a brief escape to normalcy during times of conflict [...]
July 28, 2017
On July 26, 2017, NGEF hosted a panel review of Major MJ Hegar’s Shoot Like a Girl. NGEF hosted approximately 25 guests from around the local area for a round-table discussion of Major Hegar’s fascinating autobiography, Shoot Like a Girl. The title refers to the oft quoted rubric that women shoot better than men because [...]
February 28, 2017
AGAUS visits the National Capital Foodbank during Conference Weekend. This year, as in years past, the Adjutant General Association of the United States (AGAUS) held their conference at the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, DC. The National Guard Memorial is also home to NGEF and we were delighted to escort the AGAUS Spouses around the [...]
December 12, 2016
The day James Earl Ray assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., rioting broke out in several historically black neighborhoods in D.C. People were devastated, frustrated, and filled with confusion and rage. All of these emotions erupted into chaos for three days in April 1968. President Johnson deployed over 13,000 Federal troops, including 1,750 [...]
November 16, 2016
Innovations in National Guard Officership in WWI At the onset of World War I, military officership was formed around ideas of education, class, and noblesse oblige. Officers in both the National Guard and Regular Army were usually selected through personal or political connections and trained through apprenticeship. Increasing the size of the officer corps by [...]
October 18, 2016
This year, NGEF was proud to sponsor the first NGAUS D-Day Battlefield Tour! 15 participants were led by BG (ret) Theodore Shuey on an unforgettable adventure to learn about the sacrifice and victories of Allied forces in Normandy. Archivist Ryan Trainor attended the trip as a representative of NGEF. The tour explored the Dog Green [...]