The Battles of Trenton and Princeton Facts

The Battles of Trenton and Princeton Facts
The Battles of Trenton and Princeton were two American Revolutionary War battles that took place on December 26, 1776 and January 3, 1777 respectively. After suffering a series of losses in 1776 and being unable to pay most of its soldiers, George Washington's Continental Army was suffering from severe morale problems and needed a victory. As the Continental Army camped in Pennsylvania and the British Army held New York, New Jersey was a sort of "no man's land." Late in 1776, through his intelligence network, Washington learned that the town of Trenton, New Jersey was being held by Hessian mercenaries. On Christmas night, Washington led a force of about 2,500 across the Delaware River, which was later captured in the iconic painting, and converged on Trenton, capturing it and only losing two men. After the battle, Washington led his army back across the Delaware, but immediately planned another attack on New Jersey. On December 30, Washington crossed back over the Delaware into New Jersey with a much larger force and attacked the city of Princeton on January 3, where a force of about 1,200 British soldiers was stationed. The victories returned morale to the Continental Army, Continental Congress, and followers of the Patriot cause. Strategically speaking, after the American victories at Trenton, Princeton, and then Morristown, the British evacuated their forces from southern New Jersey.
Interesting The Battles of Trenton and Princeton Facts:
Fifth American president, James Monroe, was shot in the shoulder at Trenton.
Emanuel Leutze, the artists who painted Washington Crossing the Delaware, was a German-American.
Leutze's painting is largely thought to be a fictional portrayal, although Monroe was in the same boat as Washington.
The only two Americans killed in action at the Battle of Trenton were the result of frostbite.
Intelligence played a key role in both battles: Patriots posing as Loyalists funneled important information to Washington concerning the troop size and weapons of the British and Hessians.
Although most of the Hessians were mercenaries from the German speaking kingdoms of Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Hanau, thus the name, the term was used to refer to any German mercenary fighting in the British army.
After the war, over 4,000 Hessians settled in the United States, many in Pennsylvania where they were held as prisoners of war and where they were quickly assimilated into the German-American communities.
Many Hessians were forced into service by their princes, which explained why they were quicker to surrender than the British and less likely to try to escape their P.O.W. camps.
Before crossing back over the Delaware to engage the British at Princeton, Washington had to ask many of his troops to extend their service, which for many had ended at the end of the year.
After Washington left Trenton, he left a small detachment behind to burn fires, keep busy, and make the British think that the entire army was still there, which gave him enough time to cross the river to Pennsylvania and then come back to New Jersey and attack Princeton.
The Battle of Princeton began badly for the Americans, as they lost two cannons and had them turned on them.
After Washington arrived on the battlefield, he rallied his troops and overran the British lines, ensuring victory for the Continental Army.


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