Sunday, December 26, 2010

On This Date

On December 26, 1776, the US Army won the Battle of Trenton after the daring crossing of the Delaware River in bad weather the night before (see the famous painting below). Two of Washington's detachments failed to make the crossing, but he led the 2,400 soldiers who did make it across on a 9-mile march south to Trenton, where they surprised the mostly sleeping Hessian soldiers. Nearly two-thirds of the (mostly sleeping) 1,400 Hessians were captured, with hardly any losses on the American side. In  numbers, the battle was small, but its importance for the US Army was almost immeasurable. Moral and public support had both been flagging after a series of losses. The victory at Trenton provided a much needed boost to Washington's efforts at recruitment and retention of soldiers.

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