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On the 16th of September 1776 men in America stood fast in a line stretching across the northern end of Manhattan. King George's forces, moving north, met them around present day West Broadway and 106th Street, close to where, two hundred years later, I attended school.

The American lines held in early fighting, but gradually began to fall back, while their cousins from Britain advanced, irritating the heck out of them by playing the “Call to Ground”, a signal during foxhunts that the quarry had been trapped in its hole. The call was well known to the Virginians, and must have set Washington's teeth on edge.

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