Christmas 1776

In late Autumn of 1776, George Washington was facing a “Crisis of Command”. After a series of stinging defeats, his beloved Continental Army was in a state of near disintegration. His men hadn’t been paid in months, desertions were so common that only the threat of summary execution was keeping some units together. Furthermore he had to deal with subordinate commanders whom were publicly challenging his authority and ability to lead the Continentals to victory. Yes it was a dark time for the American Revolution and a lesser man would have seen the futility of it all and thrown in the towel.
But George Washington wasn’t a lesser man and he realized that what his men needed was a decisive and overwhelming victory on the field of honor. . . . And Providence provided him the opportunity for [that] victory in the form of a morning after a Christmas Party that the Hessians, at the time considered to be the greatest soldiers in the world, would never forget!
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Merry Christmas, 1776
Trenton, New Jersey, 26 December 1776. General Washington here matched surprise and endurance against the superior numbers and training of the British, and the Continental Army won its first victory in long months of painful striving. Trenton eliminated 1,000 Hessians and drove the British from their salient in New Jersey. It saved the flagging American cause and put new heart into Washington’s men. Alexander Hamilton’s Company of New York Artillery (now D Battery, 5th Field Artillery) opened the fight at dawn, blasting the bewildered Hessians as they tried to form ranks in the streets.


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