August 27 - 1776 - The Battle of Brooklyn
As the first battle of the American Revolution fought after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Battle of Brooklyn set the tone for the rest of the war. Remarkably, though, it actually featured the kind of direct engagement between two armies in pitched battle that George Washington avoided for most of the war. This kind of engagement meant the Continental Army was routed, and George Washington was forced to flee New York shortly after the battle. But once General Howe refused to chase Washington's troops, the Continental Army regrouped itself and fought in a new manner.