Two hundred and forty-four years ago this week, “Gentleman of Honour, Family, and Fortune” made a Thermopylae-like stand that saved Washington’s army during the Battle of Brooklyn. Their attack that earned them the nickname “The Bayonets of The Revolution” may have also saved the month-old United States.
In August 1776, America had just declared its independence one month prior. After successfully driving the British out of Boston, General George Washington had marched his army to New York, hoping to prevent the British from capturing the city. During the invasion of New York, British General William Howe landed more than 20,000 troops on Long Island. He sent a third of his Redcoats and Hessians to attack the American defenses head-on, engaging them while 10,000 men looped around and attacked the Patriots from behind in what would become known as the Battle of Brooklyn.