New York's forgotten battlefields
FOX5NY (WNYW-TV) - With sky scrapers, people and seemingly endless traffic, it's hard to imagine that once upon a time, New York City was a battlefield during the Revolutionary War.
Thomas Trombone is a volunteer tour guide at the Harbor Defense Museum located at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
“The City of New York was just the tip of Manhattan Island" Thomas said. "The limits of the city was Wall Street, there was actually a wall built on Wall Street built from river to river
To say Thomas is knowledgeable on New York City's history would be an understatement..
In the late 1700s, Brooklyn was a battlefield.
One of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War was the Battle of Brooklyn.
According to Thomas, if George Washington was captured in the Battle of Brooklyn there would be no America.
"We lost but under the guidance of General George Washington we..well you know the rest" Thomas said. "It was the largest battle six years. No battle that took place in the 13 colonies was larger."
At one point Washington thought he had lost the city. Kips Bay was where British warships landed and forced the Continental Army to give up control of Lower Manhattan.
Finally, Morningside Heights became the scene of Washington’s first battlefield win of the war
"While he lost more than he won, 6 ft 3 Washington was a force the British regretted reckoning with" Thomas explained. "It's the man, not his military prowess, not being a military leader, it's the person, how he took care of his soldiers."
With its wide waterways, it's no wonder New York City was such a sought after prize. While parts of it were British for awhile, there's no denying it's all American now