American Revolution

This essay American Revolution has a total of 866 words and 5 pages.

American Revolution

The signing of Declaration of Independence brought an end to the minor skirmishes of the American rebellion. Britain launched large-scale offensives against the Continental army commanded by George Washington, defeating the rebel forces in nearly every battle. A few spectacular American victories kept the rebellion alive. Two of these were the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. (America’s History, 169)

After the capture of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island in November 1776, the British general Sir William Howe forced the Americans to retreat through New Jersey and across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. (World Book, 280)

Washington’s discouraged forces were near collapse. New Jersey militiamen had failed to come help and the winter was taking its toll on the army. Howe missed an opportunity to destroy the Continental Army. As it was customary in the eighteenth century to halt military campaigns during the winter, he decided to wait until spring to attack and allowed his troops to rest in Trenton, Princeton, and other towns. (World Book, 280)

Washington saw an opportunity to attack the British. Although he had few troops, he decided to attack the Hessian troops at Trenton. The Hessians were German mercenaries who had long fought for the British army. On December 25, 1776 Washington ordered the troops to cross the Delaware just after dark, but an ice storm arose. Washington\'s aide, Colonel John Fitzgerald wrote as the troops started across: " It is fearfully cold and raw and a snowstorm is setting in. The wind northeast and beats into the faces of the men. It will be a terrible night for those who have no shoes. Some of them have tied only rags about their feet: others are barefoot, but I have not heard a man complain." (Discovering American History, ?)

Colonel Glover\'s soldiers from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who were primarily sailors, carried the soldiers across the river. They managed to get about 2400 men, their horses and 18 cannons across the icy river. The two other units, one to cross to the south of Trenton, and one farther south at Bristol, were unable to cross, due to the storm and ice. These southern crossings were to prevent the escape of the Hessians and to prevent reinforcements from supporting Trenton. Fortunately all British reinforcements were tied up with colonial militias. (Decisive battles of the American revolution, ?)

Delayed by the storm, Washington\'s troops did not get across

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