Little known site linked to Revolutionary War
This little known burial site is located on a corner triangular plot at Nelson and Columbia Streets. Red Hook Lane, an old Indian trail, passed nearby to where this burial ground sits. Noted Author Gabrial Furman in his book "Town Of Brooklyn" writes of British troops pursuing Americans down this lane and two of them, a Major Grant and his aid, were shot and killed by an American sniper hiding in a tree alongside the lane. The sniper was subsequently killed also, and it is recorded that all three are interred in this grave site. A one story building was constructed in 1932 on adjacent property leaving the burial site untouched.
Red Hook has strong revolutionary ties, with the Battle Of Brooklyn being fought here on August 27/29 1776. Fort Defiance, also located here, caused the British lead man-o-war HMS Roebuck to halt its attempt to enter the East River where they could have cut off the withdrawing American Army led by George Washington. They used Red Hook Lane during this withdrawal. A combination of these events allowed the successful escape of the American Army, and saved them from certain defeat. It could be said as a result of these events, America was truly born right here in Red Hook. But for some reason, this story never has been told. The children of Red Hook have never been made aware of the important part their neighborhood played in the birth of our Country. I have been working, trying to bring an awareness of these facts to others since my retirement over 14 years ago so that Red Hook may receive the recognition it so rightly deserves. Another source for information about Red Hook and the Revolutionary War is the Harbor Defense Museum, Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn.
Because NYC building records have disappeared from the Department of Building, a builder could now build on this sacred, historic ground unimpeded by any restrictive preservation rules or laws. (May, 2005)