Submitted by: Linda Reno
On August 27, 1776 the first battle of the Revolutionary War occurred in Brooklyn, New York. The American Army was outmaneuvered and vastly outnumbered by the British and the revolution could very well have ended on that day, had it not been for the bravery and sacrifice of about 400 Maryland soldiers who enabled the Americans to escape. 256 of these brave men lie buried in a mass grave under the streets of Brooklyn. Approximately 135 more were wounded, taken prisoner or ultimately drowned in Gowanus Creek trying to make their own escape. Only nine Marylanders left the field that day to fight on.
The Maryland 400 included soldiers primarily from Charles County, Prince George’s County, Caroline County, Anne Arundel County, and Baltimore. There were also men from St. Mary’s County, but they have never received recognition. They were not a part of the Maryland 400, per se, but did participate in the escape.
The good people of Brooklyn are doing their best to keep the memory of the Maryland 400 alive. This past Saturday, I attended the opening ceremonies of Battle Week. To my knowledge, I was the only Marylander present. I was given the honor of reading some of the names of the soldiers and a proclamation from Mayor O’Malley of Baltimore.
For additional information, you may wish to access the following hyperlink that describes the activities of the Brooklyn folks each year to commemorate our men. It also will provide you with more information about the Maryland 400.
Also listed below is the hyperlink for the Old Stone House where the Marylanders lost their lives. It is now a museum and you may be interested to know that the Maryland flag is flown at the front of the house.
The list of men that had been provided to the Brooklyn folks was incomplete and inaccurate. I provided them with an update for reading at this year’s ceremony, but much work still remains to be done. There were still names missing, names that should not have been included, wrong company designations, incomplete names, etc. I have undertaken the task of attempting to correctly identify these men and to tell their story. They deserve that and more.
In the meantime, the Green-Wood Cemetery has an on-going effort to “Save the Vista” from the Green-Wood Cemetery’s Battle Hill Monument of Minerva saluting the Statue of Liberty in the harbor. Their petition reads: “This undoubtedly is the most unique historic VISTA in our nation, because it captures in time and place that fateful day when the future of our young nation hung in the balance.” This petition requires original signatures, therefore, email will not accomplish the task. Since rootsweb does not allow attachments, I cannot provide it here, but if you will email me at:, I will send it to you. Please have as many people as you can sign the petition and send it to the address provided on the form. I would also appreciate it if you would send me an electronic copy prior to mailing.
If you are a descendant, direct or collateral, of one of the Maryland 400 or even think you might be, please contact me. Within the next few days, I will prepare an article on these men that will appear on my web page,
Last Update Wednesday, 14-Jan-2009 13:19:48 EST