August 26, 1776


IN THE FOUR DAYS THAT FOLLOWED THEIR AUDACIOUS DAYLIGHT LANDING at Gravesend Beach, English soldiers and their newly arrived Hessian counterparts drilled on the plains of Flatlands, British commanders sat in white tents and planned the attack, and locations were scouted by men on horseback, covering an area of twelve square miles. Comparatively speaking, by nightfall on the 26th, the Continental force looked confused, something that would prove to their disadvantage: George Washington shuffled commanders in Brooklyn for the third time in a matter of days, and half the Army stayed in Manhattan, waiting for a battle that never arrived.