Trenton and Princeton 1776-77: Washington crosses the Delaware (Campaign)
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Following the battle of White River and the fall of Forts Washington and Lee during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), George Washington withdrew his army, crossing the Delaware River to regroup. However, with morale at a critical low and the terms of enlistment of many of his troops set to expire, Washington decided on one more strike before the winter weather made military operations impossible. Re-crossing the Delaware on Christmas night, 1776, Washington's army surprised the Hessian garrison at Trenton and managed to kill, wound or capture 1,000 of the enemy for the loss of only four men. Then, avoiding a major engagement with the British Army under General Cornwallis that had been sent to track him down, Washington attacked and defeated another small British force at Princeton. Having inflicted two costly and embarrassing defeats on the British forces, Washington withdrew his army into winter quarters at Morristown.
Using a combination of modern photographs and period artwork, this book tells the story of the legendary campaign that restored the morale of American forces, caused the British to abandon large parts of New Jersey, and established General George Washington's reputation as a daring military strategist.
British and Hessian troops under Lieutenant-General Charles Earl Cornwallis crossed the Hudson River several miles north of the fort at Lower Cloister Landing, New Jersey, and under cover of a cold rain and damp mist climbed the Palisades, a range of steep bluffs along the Hudson. American patrols had been stationed along the Palisades but the Lower Cloister Landing, at the foot of the Palisades, was considered an unlikely crossing point. The British and Hessian troops climbed a narrow four-foot
sleep in their clothes so that they might be able to respond at a moment's notice. Rail wrote to Donop on December 22 noting sarcastically that Maj. Gen. Grant "has also written me and what makes me pleased is that he knows the strength of the enemy thirty miles off, better than we do here. He writes me the enemy are naked, hungry and very weak ..." Donop's anticipation that the Grenadier Battalion von Kohler and heavy artillery would soon bolster his forces were dashed by Grant on December 17,
on December 31 he needed to act. The day before, Washington's agents had intercepted a letter from a Philadelphia merchant suggesting that the British were waiting only for the Delaware to freeze over before marching to Philadelphia. Included in Washington's gathering was a British spy, probably an aide to one of the American officers. After several hours of inconclusive discussion Washington dismissed the group. The British spy hurried off to report to his patrons. That evening Washington
Mercer's column marched along a road adjacent to the Stony Brook unseen by Mawhood's column moving from Princeton to Trenton. Both the road and Mercer's column were sheltered from view by the British. Mercer's men climbed the steep bank on the right and surprised the British as they advanced toward the William Clarke Farm. (Author's collection) 80 and a small unit of Continentals, totaling approximately 120 men, to climb the slope on his right, while the remainder of his infantry and artillery
wounding or capturing over 1,000 men for the loss of only four. He then managed to hold off the inevitable British response at Assunpink Creek on January 2, 1777, successfully defending his position before marching on Princeton to the rear and inflicting a further defeat upon a smaller British force. This brief campaign established Washington's reputation as a military commander, restored the flagging morale of the American forces and gave new life to the rebellion. Full color battle scenes _