It’s Memorial Day weekend, a good time to look back on a small yet crucial battle that took place just west of the Columbia University campus. On September 16, 1776, fighting broke out between the Continental Army and British troops at 106th Street and Broadway. The battle pushed northward, with most of the fighting happening around 120th Street. This plaque, at 117th and Broadway, commemorates it.
Not everyone agrees that the U.S. won. But the battle did force the British to retreat from upper Manhattan, and this invigorated the Continental Army’s morale after decisive defeats in Brooklyn and at Kip’s Bay.