Washington Crossing the Delaware - Battle of Trenton

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Prior to the battle of Trenton the American morale was very low. The Continental Army had been pushed from New York by the British and Hessian troops, and forced to retreat across New Jersey. Ninety percent of the Continental Army that had been at Long Island was gone. Men had deserted, feeling that the cause for independence was lost. Many of the remaining soldiers were up for re-enlistment, and there was a fear the whole army would disperse. In an attempt to save the army and end the year on a positive note, George Washington devised a plan to cross the Delaware River on Christmas night and surround the Hessian garrison.

The Battle of Trenton took place on December 26, 1776. This battle is best known for General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton, New Jersey. The river crossing was icy and dangerous. Two groups of soldiers were unable to make it across the river. Only Washington and his 2,400 men were able to cross the river for the assault. After a 9 mile march south to Trenton, the colonial soldiers met the Hessian soldiers and pushed them back into the city. After a brief battle, almost two thirds of the 1,500 Hessian soldiers garrisoned at Trenton were captured. This was done with very few American losses. Even though it was a small battle, the success of this battle boosted the Continental Army's morale. It proved that the Continental Army could defeat the British and Hessian regular troops. It revitalized the spirit of independence, and inspired re-enlistment by many of the Continental soldiers. Check out these videos to learn more about the Battle of Trenton.

























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