It may be The Battle of Long Island to England and the rest of America—including Queens—but from Bath Beach, where the Brits landed 20,000 troops, to East New York, where they executed the nifty turn that outflanked the rebels, it's known as the Battle of Brooklyn—if it's known at all. This weekend "Brookland" (as it was known) offers a series of events that promise to show how "the Kinges Countie" became anything but—including a reenactment of the battle itself, redcoats and all, in Green-Wood Cemetery.
See the nearly insuperable barriers to British Advance (artist's rendition at left, yes, that's supposedly in Brooklyn somewhere) known as the "wooded Hills of Guana," the name being an early form of "Gowanus," not to be confused with the wooded hills of Guano, which are elsewhere. A hint as to the location of the famed hills of Guana: if you live in a place in Brooklyn or Queens with a "hill" or "slope" in the name, you live there.
The battle is one of the stranger ones in world history: Washington, facing a larger, better-trained army backed by the largest and most powerful navy in the world, decides to fight them on an island. He occupies the heights, which are pierced by three roads, and fortifies two of them—probably presuming that no one would go all the way to Queens to get to Manhattan. Guess which road the British take. Later Robert Moses would follow the lead of the Evil Empire and tried to put the Interboro Parkway on part of the British route. Washington was surrounded and nearly got his entire army destroyed, but in the end, except for the Robert Moses interlude, it all turned out pretty well.
Reservations may be needed for these events: Friday—a walk in Prospect Park (where much of the fighting took place) leaves from Grand Army Plaza at 6 p.m.; Saturday—the Old Stone House, which is where American soldiers fought the British, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there will be a commemoration at 1 p.m. in Prospect Park at the Maryland Memorial; Sunday—the reenactment at Green-Wood from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For further details see The Brooklyn Paper and here are photos from last year.