The Battle of Trenton

The __The Battle of Trenton__ could and may just be one of the most important battles in the __American Revolution__ . The battle was led by a man named__George Washington__ . Washington was a great fighter and motivator. Washington wanted to do something to boost his men and get new men to enlist. The Battle of Trenton was not just a fight for the win battle, but a battle to get followers and respect. Washington’s decision to strike against positions in __New Jersey__
was motivated by two factors:
  • A desire to instill confidence in his soldiers with a surprise attack and victory
  • The fear of his army's continuing evaporation by large-scale enlistment expirations scheduled for the end of the year.

On the evening of December 25, American forces began to cross the
__Deleware__ in what was intended to be a three-pronged offensive. Weather conditions however, did not make the pass easy. The heavily loaded boats had to avoid ice floes in the river and a heavy snow storm turned to sleet. One segment of the offensive never departed from Pennsylvania and another succeeded in transporting its soldiers across the river, but not its __artilliary__, those men returned to camp and did not participate in the battle.

Washington crossing Deleware

=Washington had hoped to strike under the cover of darkness, but since he had encountered problems in the crossing they delayed the attack until about 8 a.m. on the 26th. The American advance had been spotted earlier by a Tory, who delivered a written warning . However, the intent on celebrating
__Christmas__ had made the note less important. __Continental forces__ under Nathaniel Greenie and John Sullivan opened fire on the town and slowly surrounded it. A sleepy Johann Rall mounted his horse and tried to rally his soldiers, but was shot and died later from his wounds. Within 90 minutes it was clear to the __Hessians__ that they were outnumbered and escape routes had been cut off, they __surrendered__
and had lost.
A picture of the Hessians surrendering
A picture of the Hessians surrendering

The surprise victory at Trenton was important to the American cause for several reasons:
For the first time, Washington’s forces had defeated a regular army in the field. American losses were light; only two soldiers died and those apparently from exposure, not from enemy fire. The Hessians had more than 100 casualties and 900 of their soldiers were captured. Several hundred Hessians escaped and presumably became American farmers and tradesmen. Washington gained six cannon, 40 horses and a vast array of supplies that were quickly transported to Pennsylvania. Washington's command was strengthened. A growing number of __delegates__to Congress had come to doubt his abilities, but those people were quieted when news of the victory arrived in Baltimore.The victory boosted and increased the men’s morale. New enlistments were gained and many of the current soldiers reenlisted. The war of Trenton then led to the attack of Princeton in January.
Map of the battle
Map of the battle


1) What time of day did Washington and his troops want to be at Trenton for the “Surprise” attack?

2) About how many Hessian soldiers were killed during the battle?

3)What were some of the main after effects of the Battle of Trenton?