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Marylander Mass Grave, Brooklyn     Battle of Brooklyn (...Long Island, ...Bushwick)    

Marylander Mass Grave, Brooklyn


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What: Marylander Mass Grave, Brooklyn

Other names:
1st Maryland Mass Grave [Note: The MD troops became Continentals in January 1777]


Locations of Interest

40.67212, -73.98999, Marylander Mass Grave, Brooklyn, location of burial ditches in old Wildhack Coalyard,as drawn by Wildhack's son in 1956, purported location based on bone fragments found. The cracks in the vacant lot would have served as well.

Maps: [map notes]

  • 40.67260, -73.98355, Vechte-Cortelyou House ("Old Stone House"), original location.
  • ACME Mapper.
  • Google
  • National Map
  • Elevation 39 feet. (GPSv)
  • Confidence: 5
  • 40.65822, -73.96978, Maryland Monument, Prospect Park, Kings County NY
  • ACME Mapper.
  • Google
  • National Map
  • Elevation 129 feet. (GPSv)
  • Confidence: 5
Note: Elevations showing (GPSv) are via GPSvisualizer GPSVisualizer from coordinates, interpolated from a digital elevation model. All others based on map with 1 foot contour lines from the Balloon Mapping site.

Google Custom Map of all the above locations created with GPSVisualizer. Mouse-over for names & elevation.

  • Mouse-over for names. Works on map and on location list.
  • Driving directions available.
  • Other map backgrounds suggested (u.r.h. corner): terrain, hybrid.
  • All elevations per 1-ft contour map except those marked (GPSv) are from GPSVisualizer.
  • If background is incomplete, click "reload/refresh".
  • Map data

Google Earth Map of all above plus those for Battle of Brooklyn locations

  • Driving directions available. Requires a simple workaround in GE.
  • All locations plotted, including those close to others.
  • Drag the little man onto the map for street view. There is a bit of a learning curve but it is well worth the effort.
  • All elevations per except those marked (1-ft) are per 1-foot contour map.
  • Map data



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Vechte-Cortelyou House ("Old Stone House"}

Vechte-Cortelyou House ("Old Stone House")

  • archiveVechte-Cortelyou House ("Old Stone House") from Maud Esther Dillard, archiveOld Dutch Houses of Brooklyn, 1945
    Its original was a large and handsome dwelling, two storeys and a garret high, with a steep roof that probably had stepped gables. It was built of stone with its ends above the eaves of brick, and on the gable that fronted on the road was the date 1699 in foot-long iron figures. It stood facing the south on the east side of the old Gowanus Road about 100 feet southwest of the present 5th Avenue and 3rd Street.
    Many years after the engagement a tablet to commemorate the event was placed in the sidewalk of 5th Avenue. It has since been incorporated in the north gable of the reconstructed house. It reads:
    Here on the 27th of August, 1776, Two hundred and fifty out
    of four hundred brave Maryland soldiers, under the command
    of Lord Stirling, were killed in combat with British troops
    under Cornwallis.

    [Describes the replica as having been built in 1934. Note that the tablet is described as "in the sidewalk" and somehow later "incorporated in the N gable" of the replica. Also, note that the text of the "tablet" is almost identical to that described below by "Clerk"(?) in 1863(?).]

  • archive"The Battle at the Old Stone House at Gowanus", from Walter Barrett Clerk, archiveWhen Brooklyn Was Young, 1863. Published 1916. [All searches for "Walter Barrett Clerk" yield "Walter Barrett, Clerk", a pseudonym of Joseph Alfred Scoville, 1815-1864. The wording in this article had noticeable errors for having been written in 1863; that same wording would not have been inaccurate in 1916 when it was published. This suggests that the text may have been "updated" or edited at the time of publication. ]
    The Stone House at Gowanus no longer stands. Tenements have been built over the lands that formerly spread around it; and on the wall of one of them, located on the north-west corner of Fifth Avenue and Third Street, is a bronze tablet, depicting the scene of that eventful battle, when scores of Maryland's sons fell. "The site," one reads beneath the battle-scene, "of the Old CORTELYOU House on the Battlefield of Long Island.
    Here on the 27th of August, 1776, two hundred and fifty out
    of four hundred brave Maryland soldiers under the command
    of Lord Stirling were killed in combat with the British
    under Lord Cornwallis.

    [Note that "Clerk" (or more likely, Scoville, or possibly an editor as late as 1916) describes the marker as being a bronze tablet with an image of the battle mounted on the wall of a house at the NW corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street. "Clerk" is almost certainly in error about the house having been gone by 1863. A archivecirca 1870 photograph of it is available (see "Photograph of original house", below). All other sources said that it was covered over in 1897. Note the similarity of "Clerk's" 1863(?) description of the tablet with that by Dillard in 1945, and of the photograph of the plaque in Pettit's 2012 guide, following.]

  • OSH Pettit, Marilyn H., "The Battle of Brooklyn, August 27-29,1776, A Walking Guide to Sites and Monuments", 2012.
    P.20, u.l.h. corner: "An 1897 bronze plaque on Fifth Avenue commemorated the Old Stone House after it disappeared from sight at the turn of the 20th century. The Plaque is currently in the custody of the Brooklyn Historical Society (Brooklyn Eagle Online)."

    To go directly to the image after loading the guide, use "Find" for "site 19". Click "Next" twice. "Zoom" in to 200% enlargement.

    [Note: this appears to be very similar to the plaque described by "Clerk"(?), above, in 1863(?) and that of Dillard in 1945..]

  • GBooks Fraser, Georgia, The Stone House of Gowanus: Scene of the Battle of Long Island, New York: Witter and Kintner, 1909 - 149 pages
    Chapter Six: Maryland Troops; The Battle of Long Island, p.95-107. Read online.


    This same plaque is shown and described in this book from 1909 in the text here.

  • Wiki Wikipedia, "Old Stone House (Brooklyn, New York)"
    The Old Stone House is a replica, using some unearthed original materials, of a Dutch stone farmhouse originally built adjacent to the current site [327 ft., bearing 295.9 from original site] by the Dutch immigrant Claes Arentson Vechte in 1699. It is also known as the Vechte-Cortelyou House. The Vechte family farmed the lands around the house, harvested oysters in the Gowanus Creek and ferried their produce down the creek to the Gowanus Bay and thence to lower Manhattan.
    [Describes the original house as having been "destroyed" in 1897, as do most sources. Note that "Clerk"(?), above, in 1863(?) said that the house "no longer stands", almost certainly in error for 1863.]

  • Wiki Photograph of original house

  • Ggl Map Google Street View of house (replica) from 4th St. dead-end. If you click this view 1 click to the right, you will be looking in the direction (115.878) of the original site. If you click a second click to the right, in the distance, you will see a gray car crossing the street. This is the approximate distance (327 ft.) from the replica to the original site (it may appear closer due to the camera lens).

  • OSH Old Stone House museum and community resource, 336 Third Street, bet. 4th/5th Avenues.

  • Front view of Old Stone House (replica).

  • ACME Aerial view, Old Stone House (original location). 40.67260, -73.98355 (327 ft, bearing 115.878 from replica). The replica is the brown roof NW of the marker identified as "Old Stone House". This location is described, "about 100 feet southwest of the present 5th Avenue and 3rd Street" (plotted literally).

  • GoogleMaps Google Street View, from original house location, looking NW toward replica. Click icon in u.r.h. corner for full-screen (Esc to exit full-screen).

  • GPSvisualizer GPSVisualizer From "Wildhack burial ditches" to original location of house: 0.34 mi., 84.385.


Historical Markers and Monuments, Present and Missing


  • JR Battle of Brooklyn markers.

  • This is a separate webpage for the Battle of Brooklyn covering the full scope of the battle. Click "back" arrow to return here.


  • flickr American Legion Flag & Marker. [extant]
  • ALflag


    The following two markers identifying the burial site, among the least conspicuous and the hardest to find, are quite likely to be those nearest the actual burial site. The older (in poor condition in this 2012 photo), above eye level on the side of a building, is barely visible in the left side of the current Google street view.

    flickr Images from the "236th Anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn" (2012):

    Similar images not yet found for other years.



  • HMdb Maryland Heroes . [extant]
  • Erected 1952 by New York State Education Department. flickr Useful image of marker. ... and Another bigger, closer

    • 40.67136 -73.99055 (useful) per AcmeMapper. 17 ft. elev. per GPSVisualizer. Google Google Street View of 191 Ninth St.. The small blue area on the building, above the green sign and behind the flag, is the marker. The SW end (9th Street view) of the vacant lot at 170 8th Street can be seen at the right of the screen.
    • Compare with " Google Custom Map showing most probable area of burial", above, to note that this is outside the probable area of burial as identified (but does not preclude possible burial here).
    • 40.67144 -73.99075 (useless), per Historical Marker Database. This is a sidewalk area near 3rd Avenue. Google Street View cannot find it there.
    • 40.67216 -73.98909 (useless) This site shows near center of 7th Street. [Former and original location of marker]. Google Street View cannot find it there, either.

    fny "New York State Historical Markers in New York City". Page down twice for pictures, description and former location.

    Some history of the building where the markers immediately above and following are located with a good modern picture showing this marker well above eye level, reportedly to prevent vandalism.


  • flickr Maryland Regiment Burial Site. [extant]
  • [Same location as above]

    Click on image for larger images or full-screen

    . Click on "older" to see several other related images.
    More information and images for this marker from As above, ignore their location information for this markier. Clicking on any image will provide much larger version.



  • Plaque in the Street on 3rd Avenue [non-extant]
  • 40.67230, -73.99021. Per Robert Furman, in 1897, a plaque was placed in the street on 3rd Avenue, directly in front of the Wildhack Coal Yard, covered over by a sidewalk in street expansion around 1915. It remained covered until the sidewalk was torn up in 2007.

    Burial place of ye
    Maryland Soldiers who
    Fell in ye Combat at ye
    Cortelyou House in ye
    Battle of Long Island on ye
    27th day of August, 1776.

    See circa 1905 newspaper photo on page 4 of Furman's article.


  • 1946 American Legion Plaque [non-extant]
  • Per Robert Furman, in 1946 the American Legion erected a plaque (reported stolen in 1975) attached to a "wall at the site" (same as above) [429 3rd Avenue]:

    Kings County American Legion
    Department of New York
    Here are buried 250 American
    Soldiers of the Maryland
    Battalion who fell in the
    Combat at the House
    During the Battle of Brooklyn
    On the 27th Day of August, 1776
    This plaque
    Erected and Dedicated by the posts of the
    Kings County American Legion
    Department of New York
    June 1946.

    See image (poor) on page 9 in Furman's article.



  • Plaque in the Street on 5th Avenue [non-extant]
  • From the article on the Vechte-Cortelyou House (above): [See for discussion of this and/or a very similar marker]

    Many years after the engagement a tablet to commemorate the event was placed in the sidewalk of 5th Avenue. It has since been incorporated in the north gable of the reconstructed house. It reads:

    Here on the 27th of August, 1776, Two hundred and fifty out
    of four hundred brave Maryland soldiers, under the command
    of Lord STIRLING, were killed in combat with British troops
    under CORNWALLIS.


  • HMdb Maryland Monument, Prospect Park [extant],
  • Kings County NY 40.65822, -73.96978.
    Click on images for much larger versions.
    Google Street view map
    NYLC Maryland's Four Hundred Monument - Prospect Park. Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
    GPSvisualizer GPSVisualizer *Distance of Maryland Monument in Prospect Park

    • from "Wildhack burial ditches": 1.431 mi., bearing 132.193.
    • from original location of the Vechte-Cortelyou House ("Old Stone House"): 1.228 mi., 144.003.

    Note text on monument:
    "In honor of Maryland's Four Hundred Who On This Battlefield August 27th 1776 Saved the American Army".
    It honors the Marylanders but neither where they died nor where they are buried, each well more than a mile to the northwest. It's location can be attributed to that of availability and lack of opposition rather than being that originally intended. The wording fits elsewhere.
    MD400 MD400 MD400



    Study of Changes in Soil Levels (Elevation) of Probable Burial Site

  • flickr Study of Changes in Soil Levels (Elevation) of Probable Burial Site. Click on image for larger view. Click back arrow to return to text.
    A preliminary conclusion is that the 24 foot elevation of the 170 8th Street site, next to the 9th Street Legion Hall has retained much of it's original "Marylander Hill" topography that it had in 1776.

    Unlike the area between 7th Street and 8th Street, the focus of earlier fruitless archeological searches, this site was never excavated for basements. ...

    Based on the 1956 Wildhack Coal Yard sketch, where local resident Henry Wildhack sketched his recollections of seeing 6 burial trenches in his father's coal yard, a preliminary assessment of how much space would be needed to bury 256 bodies in 6 rows was overlaid on the map.

    Note: It may be noted that sketch of the area required by the 6 ditches is shown beginning at the north end of the 170 8th Street lot and extends NNW with the upper end being near and behind the "4&20 Blackbirds" location on 3rd Avenue. It is only stated that this is show the area required. It does say that it shows the actual location of the burials.

  • Unexcavated Surviving Remnant Of The 1776 Marylander Hill from the 7 July 2012 Balloon Aerial "Over My Dead Body" Expedition. Note 1-foot contour lines.



  • Maps:

    1. Google Custom Map & Google Earth Map including all identified locations including those for Battle of Brooklyn.

    2. JR
      1766 map Based on overlaying an Acme topo map (with locations of interest plotted) over another version of this map:
      From NYPL Digital Gallery, Plan of the city of New York in North America : surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767 / B. Ratzer, lieutt. in His Majestys 6... (Jany. 12, 1776) , Image ID: 434801,
      the snippet to the left suggests that the Old Stone House would have been located at the blue dot and the site identified as the probable burial site of the Marylanders would have been at the red dot. This is based primarily on the location of the Gowanus Canal in the modern map and the stream location in the old map. This initial effort should not be taken as positive proof of their location pending more definite evidence.

      This area appears at the lower edge of the above map, slightly right of center.

    3. This modern 2002 map by Jeffrey L. Ward is from Barnet Schecter, Archive The Battle for New York, also found here: "Brooklyn hunt for spirit of 1776 soldiers". It appears to agree with the above conclusions.

    4. ArchiveA large version of Ratzer's 1766 map from Brooklyn Genealogy Information Page , 2nd map, #5, supports the conclusions of the above maps.

    5. flickr
      Proteus Snippet from "A Plan of the Environs of Brooklyn Showing the Position of the Rebel Lines and Defenses on the 27th of August, 1776" by Loyalist Engineer George S. Sproule

      Click on this image to go to a flickr menu of various sizes of this map from "Proteus Gowanus". "Large 1024" is recommended. Note that the pointing finger [courtesy of the Balloon Mapping team] on the maps substantially agrees with purported location of the burial site marked with the red dot in 1, above. Other locations have been suggested. The Old Stone House can be seen (on the larger maps) east of the road near the southern tip of the lake.

      Also, here

      See full version of map here.
      The map seems to draw on Bernard Ratzer's 1766 topographical survey work, with Sproule giving more detail of hills. Sproule shows more detailed fortification works than the British Military Headquarters Map of 1782, making it possible that some fortifications shown, such as the double bank of earthworks at Degraw Street near Brouwers Mill and fortifications on Red Hook Lane near the Seabrings Red Hook mill ponds were planned, rather than actually built. ... Scan kindly provided by Bob Furman of the Brooklyn Preservation Council.

    6. This map accessed from Wikimedia follows page 62 in Stiles, A History of the City of Brooklyn Including the Old Town and Village of Brooklyn... (book link provided above) is based on Ratzer's 1766-67 survey and thereby agrees with the earlier maps. A 5 appears just below the lake (as it does on all the Ratzer-based maps). Regrettably, the map is completely unreadable in the above online book version. The page numbers referenced are to Stiles' 1867 book.
      NOTE: This is one of the better, small scale versions of the map.

    7. Wiki 1776 British map of the Battle of Brooklyn By British Royal Engineers under Major James Moncrief. details

    8. Whitman Whitman's Brooklyn,   Colton's 1849 map showing modern streets overlaid on 1776 map. in the vicinity of the Old Stone House and the Marylander burial sites. Bob Furman included the map in his 12-page article.

    9. Gutenberg Johnston, Henry P., Plan of the Battle of Long Island and of Brooklyn Defences, August 17th 1776

    10. Conclusions: The above may be considered to confirm the original location of the Old Stone House. Maps 1 and 5 show where the current purported Marylander burial site would have been located in 1776, but it does not confirm it in any way.


    Related Websites

  • Archive"History of the 1st Maryland Infantry of the Continental Line". 1st Maryland Continentals: American Revolution Living History Group.

  • "A Precious Hour in American History; The Maryland 400 at Long Island". Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.


    RevWar75 Action Listing

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Aug 1776: 8/27/1776 Long Island (Bushwick, or Brooklyn). American defeat. Ref. Boatner.


    Related Action/Location Listing on Global Gazetteer of the American Revolution (this website)

    Related sites:

    Battle of Brooklyn aka Long Island aka Bushwick


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