The history lesson from the South Deck continues on the North Deck with the other 8 signs (and a much better view which you can see here). Numbers 9,11,12,13,and 16 illustrate the loss of the Battle of Brooklyn and retreat of Washington's Army to Manhattan. 14 gives a short description of the skirmishing in Manhattan after the retreat, and 15 is an overview of the Prison Martyrs Monument in Ft. Greene Park. 10 is missing, and has been since at least 2005 when I was first up there.
Format is the same as the south deck - the first photo is the overhead view of the deck showing the placement of the signs. The location of the numbers on the map after that correspond to the relevant sign - red for the Colonists, black for the British, and the arrows are the troop movements. If you're wondering where 14 is, it's on East 33rd describes the British landing in Kips Bay in Manhattan. The signs with the text written out follow (for some reason the formatting works best in Internet Explorer). You can click on the signs for a larger picture.
Each sign consists of text, an illustration, and an image of the area you're seeing. When you're up there, these images provide some interesting glimpses back into history - you can contrast the city as it existed in 1976 when the signs were installed, with what you see before you today. The most obvious of these occur on signs 12 and 13 where the twin towers stand tall in the skyline.
View Williamsburgh Savings Bank Signs - North Deck in a larger map
"On August 27th General Washington observed the fighting at Gowanus from the "cork-screw" fort at Cobble Hill, one of the series of fortifications comprising the American "inner line." Overcome with emotion he exclaimed 'Good God! What brave fellows I must this day lose!'"
"Following the Battle of Gowanus, the Americans retreated to their inner line, a series of fortifications stretching from Wallabout Bay on the North to Gowanus Creek in the South. The "inner line" had been started under the supervision of Lord Stirling earlier in 1776 when it became clear that the British would try to take New York."
12. WASHINGTON CALLS A COUNCIL OF WAR.
"On the evening of August 29th Washington summoned American leaders to the home of Phillip Livingston for a "council of war to decide what should be done. The American outer line had fallen, many troops had been lost in the Battle at Gowanus, the Americans now had 10,000 raw soldiers to face 20,000 well trained British and Hessians, and a total of 1200 guns under Admiral Howe was standing ready to cut off Washington's only route of escape. At the council of war it was decided to withdraw from Long Island immediately."
"All through the foggy night of August 29th, Washington's units silently withdrew from positions along their inner line. Quietly they made their way to the East River where waiting boats and barges ferried them across to New York. If they had known of it, the British could have destroyed Washington's army during this silent retreat. Instead, soon after dawn the next morning the Americans were gone. Washington's brilliant retreat from the western tip of Long Island enabled the American army to fight on - and five years later to prevail."
14. SEQUEL: THE BRITISH ESTABLISH HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK.
Meanwhile, the American forces regrouped in New York to defend Manhattan briefly. On September 15th, 1776 they skirmished with the British who landed at Kips Bay and nearly captured Washington. At the battle of Harlem Heights on September 16th Washington temporarily drove the British back, but by November all of Manhattan was in British hands. During the rest of the Revolution the British had their principle headquarters in New York.
The Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Ft. Greene Park stands over the remains of 11,500 Americans who died of sickness and starvation on British Prison ships anchored in Wallabout Bay during the seven years New York was British headquarters. the monument stands on the site of Ft. Putnam, a primary fortification on the Americans' inner line during the Revolution. During the war of 1812 the Fort was rebuilt and renamed Ft. Greene.
Here on August 28th and 29th the British mounted cannon and built a small fort 800 yards from Fort Putnam near the corner of Vanderbilt and Lafayette avenue. The existence of this fort and the potential threat from it was a major factor in Washington's decision to call a Council of War the afternoon of August 29th.