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The Battle Of Trenton Essay

1257 words - 6 pages

In the late summer of 1776 during the revolutionary war, the continental army was driven out of the colony of New York. They had suffered several defeats in the New York area, and had been forced to Pennsylvania. They decide to set up winter camp in Valley Forge. The conditions are very poor, with tight living space and little food. It will only get worse as the weather becomes colder. Men die become sick from the bitter cold, and the illnesses are passed around the camp. The British army also begins to find towns to establish winter camps.
On December 14, the Hessians arrived at Trenton to set up their winter quarters. Trenton was a small town, with only about 100 houses. The little ...view middle of the document...

When it was time for a drill, they were immediately at their posts with full gear on, ready for battle. Washington knew this, and was very cautious when he drew up his battle plan.
The battle plan was this; General John Cadwalader would launch a diversionary attack at Bordentown, New Jersey, to block off reinforcements that would come from the south. General James Ewing would take 700 men across the Delaware River and seize the bridge over Assunpink Creek. This would prevent the enemy troops from fleeing. General Greene and General Sullivan would split the remainder of the men and attack the North and south sides of the town. General Washington would observe the battle and give commands from a distance.
On December 25, 1776 the Continental Army begins its crossing of the Delaware River toward Trenton. While the Americans are oaring their way to the opposite shore, the Hessian soldiers enjoy a Christmas Feast. The Germans stuff themselves with food and drink themselves to sleep in a happy daze; completely unaware of the large number of American troops heading their way. The Hessians regiment totaled 1,500 men, and the Americans totaled at 2,400 men. The Hessians were outnumbered two to one, and they were all slaking off in pubs and feasts. There was severe weather that night, so the Generals decided not to send any patrols out. This was a huge mistake, and may have been the reason the Americans caught them so unprepared.
General Rahl was also feasting that night. At one point, a young boy came to him with a note from a British spy. Without so much as reading it, he tucked it away in his shirt pocket and continued eating. Little did he know that that letter contained information on the American attack. Rahl could not read English however, so it can be speculated what would have happened if he had read the letter. Perhaps he would have gotten it translated, and set up a defense against the oncoming Americans; or maybe he would have dismissed it and the battle would have the same outcome.
After crossing the Delaware, the Americans began their march toward Trenton. It is 4:00 am, December 25 1776. Many of the marching colonists don’t have warm clothes or even shoes. The trail is spotted with the blood of their torn feet. Two men died from the march alone. Others passed out from the immense amount of blood loss they suffered. They stopped hiking two miles outside of Trenton and regrouped. Then, they marched on Trenton.
“By 8 o’clock the next morning, the [American] men had marched nine miles through sleet and snow to the objective-Trenton, New Jersey [.]” (108, Americans) There was an outpost stationed one mile out from Trenton. When the Hessian commander of the outpost,...

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