On Christmas night 1776, General George Washington led the rag-tag Continental Army across the Delaware River to attack the Hessian outpost at Trenton, New Jersey. Two Continental Army soldiers froze to death on the long trek to Trenton after crossing the icy Delaware. Three of Washington’s detached units never made it across the Delaware. When word reached him that the muskets were unlikely to fire due to the inclement weather, he told his officers to “use the bayonet.” He was absolutely “resolved to take Trenton.” Nothing would stand in his way!
The morning of December 26, 1776, as the Hessians were rising for a new day, they were startled by an attack by Washington’s forces on the town. Two Americans were wounded in the attack, including future President James Monroe. The Hessians suffered numerous casualties and most of the Hessian garrison was forced to surrender. Johann Raul, the Hessian commander, was mortally wounded before surrendering.
It was a brilliant victory for George Washington – and a tremendous morale boost for the Americans. Within a few days, Washington followed up his victory with another at Princeton, and then quartered his troops at Morristown. The British were forced to redeploy in a way that gave up most of New Jersey and limited their reach in New York. It was a masterful campaign that stabilized the American Revolution and made victory possible.
And it was all due to George Washington. So, this Christmas, remember Washington and the greatest Christmas present he ever gave the United States. The gift of hope. The gift of victory. The gift of America.
Posted on Thursday, December 25, 2008 by Samuel