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The battles occurred over a span of nine days December 26, —January 3, and are notable as the first successes won by the Revolutionary general George Washington in the open field. The victories restored American morale and renewed confidence in Washington. The opening year of the American Revolution, which included the capture of Fort Ticonderogaan ill-fated invasion of Canadaand the prosecution of the Siege of Bostonwas partly favourable to the nascent Continental Army, but those events largely served as a prelude to the real struggle to come. For the campaign ofboth the British and the Americans had made extensive preparations. In London, the purely military problem, although assuming larger dimensions and more difficulties, still seemed to require a simple solution: namely, to strike hard where the rebellion was most active and capable of the longest resistance.


And when they arrived on the New Jersey shore, they still had to march ten more miles through the ice and snow to fight the Hessians. They were sturdy and had high side walls. Fortunately, the treacherous river crossing that enabled Washington to conduct a surprise attack on the Hessian garrison in Trenton was successful, but it did not go as the commander had planned.

The army that the British thought was all but defeated destroyed a major garrison and suffered very few casualties.

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Trenton, NJ December 26, In doing so, the Americans gain an advantage and are again victorious at the Battle of Princeton. Still, moving a large body of men and heavy artillery across an icy river took guts and stamina.

While leading his troops, Rall is mortally wounded. Some Hessians manage to escape, but most are captured. He was revered as an empathetic leader by those who served under him but disliked by his superiors, many of whom were younger and of more aristocratic backgrounds. By December, the troops were huddled along the western banks of the Delaware River, with the waterway and winter weather helping to keep the British at bay.

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The Americans also managed to capture critical supplies, including food and clothing, in the process. Before he dies, he formally surrenders to Washington. The Hessian garrison, under the command of Colonel Johann Rall, had been harassed by American militia for several weeks and the men are exhausted.

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Washington and his men proved they had both. Battle Facts. In these engagements, Washington proves he is capable of molding militias from different colonies into a national force. So, when von Donop ordered Rall to erect fortifications around Trenton, which was considered the most exposed of the three Delaware River sites, Rall simply ignored him. Washington miraculously got through the howling wind and driving sleet, but with a three-hour delay that threatened to expose his men to discovery by the enemy. But this ambitious strategy was foiled by the weather.

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The idea was for the three forces to take up different positions on the opposite shore, contain the Hessians, and prevent their retreat from Trenton. On the night of Christmas, December 25,Washington implemented at audacious plan that would improve the fortunes of the American forces. The Americans dominated the fight and prevailed again in Princeton a week later.

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Washington graciously complied. Thirty-six-year-old Colonel Carl von Donop was given the overall command of the Delaware River posts, and Rall was appointed commander of Trenton. American 5.

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When British General William Howe decided to shelter for the winter, he created a chain of 17 outposts across New Jersey, including three along the Delaware River in Burlington, Bordentown, and Trenton. These craft were typically used to move iron ore down river. Heavy artillery and horses were taken across on flat-bottomed ferries. Rall sent messages to von Donop and General James Grant, the British commander of New Jersey, asking for support but his requests were denied.

Trenton: Featured Resources. The success at Trenton encourages Washington to cross the Delaware for a second time a week later to lure British forces south from Trenton. A running fight through Trenton is a decidedly one-sided affair. The victory set the stage for another success at Princeton a week later and boosted the morale of the American troops. It was only yards at the point the army crossed. Before the Battle After asking his enlisted men to stay for one last effort, Washington devises a daring plan to stun the British, capture supplies, and reinvigorate American morale.

Rall, 50 years old at the time of the Trenton attack, was an accomplished soldier with 36 years of experience in the Hessian army. After asking his enlisted men to stay for one last effort, Washington devises a daring plan to stun the British, capture supplies, and reinvigorate American morale.

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Most of the American force was transported in strongly built Durham cargo vessels, which had a shallow draft and were 40 to 60 feet in length. So, it was up to Rall and his weary troops to bear the burden of an American assault.

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They felt Rall was crude and lacked respect for their authority. Afterwards, the Continental Army marches to Morristown to settle in for the winter. One, commanded by Major General Nathaniel Greene, attacks from the north, while a second, under Major General John Sullivan, attacks from the west to cut the line of retreat to the south.

New Jersey Dec 26, How it ended American victory. Emboldened, General George Washington recrossed and crossed the Delaware again over the next week, fighting a delaying action at the Battle of the Assunpink and winning another stunning victory at the Battle of Princeton. During the Battle. His force, in threadbare uniforms and many without shoes, was reduced to a few thousand and enlistments were set to expire.

The general daringly led his men across the icy Delaware River and on a ten-mile march into Trenton, New Jersey, where they surprised a garrison of 1, Hessians.

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Washington splits his force into two columns. Estimated Casualties. He had no option but to push on. Questions to Consider 1. In these battles, Washington demonstrated his ingenuity and resilience as a leader, won the loyalty of his soldiers, and revived the Continental Army. As Rall lay dying from his wounds after the battle, he asked Washington, who had come to receive his surrender, to treat his captured men with humanity. The objective is to ferry his army across the Delaware River on Christmas and strike the Hessian garrison at Trenton.

Initially devised as a three-pronged attack, the scheme is foiled by a nor'easter and the ice choked river, which cause two of Washington's columns to turn back. The odds of accomplishing such a crossing in a winter gale were not favorable. The logistics of crossing a roiling river at night with thousands of men, horses, ammunition, and 18 canons were complex.

Rev War Article. Rev War Video. American victory. American 2, Aftermath American. Only the main army, with Washington at its head, makes the arduous crossing nine miles to the north of Trenton. Although Washington engages the pickets on the outskirts of town, Rall is taken completely by surprise.

Full Revolutionary War Map. Rev War Battle.

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Despite his bravado, Rall was actually getting nervous about a possible attack on Trenton. Rev War Historical Map. Rev War Battle Map. Trenton: Search All Resources. Result: British Victory Est. Casualties: 2, American: 2, British: Result: British Victory American: 21 British: Casualties: American: British: Burlington County, NJ Dec 21 - 23, Result: American Victory Est.

Casualties: American: 5 British: Result: American Victory American: 75 British: Related Battles. December Behind schedule because of the storm, the Americans arrive on the outskirts of Trenton around daybreak.