4. Maryland 400 Burial Site(s)
The sacrifice of the Maryland 400 during the Battle of Brooklyn is one of the most famous stories of the American Revolution. Facing heavy losses within the Pennsylvania and Delaware lines near the Old Stone House, Lord Stirling commanded those forces to retreat. The Maryland line, numbering under 500 young soldiers, volunteered to stay behind and create a diversion to hold back the 2,000 British troops under General Cornwallis who were pursuing the retreating Patriots.
The Maryland brigade rallied six times. Though defeated, they rallied long enough to enable Washington’s escape. 256 of the soldiers were killed and 100 taken hostage, including Lord Stirling. George Washington, viewing the carnage from Cobble Hill, was recorded to have exclaimed, “Good God! What brave fellows I must this day lose.” Without the efforts of the Maryland 400, it is thought that the American Revolution would have been lost after this single battle.
During this era, fallen soldiers were usually buried near where they were killed. The final burial place of the Maryland soldiers is still not officially determined and there is much debate surrounding the location. There is a plaque located at 429 Third Avenue to mark this spot, but based on topographical maps, archival letters and other contemporary research, it is believed that the location is incorrect. Archeologists, including Alyssa Loorya of Chrysalis Archeological Consultants have been working in tandem hoping to definitively locate the burial site.