After crossing the Delaware on Christmas day, General George Washington’s Continental Army reaches the outskirts of Trenton, New Jersey, and descends upon the unsuspecting Hessian force guarding the city. Trenton’s 1,400 Hessian defenders were still groggy from the previous evening’s Christmas festivities and had underestimated the Patriot threat after months of decisive British victories throughout New York. The troops of the Continental Army quickly overwhelmed the German defenses, and by 9:30 a.m.Trenton was completely surrounded.
Although several hundred Hessians escaped, nearly 1,000 were captured at the cost of only four American lives.
This victory greatly bolstered the sagging morale of the Continental Army and proved to the American public that their army was indeed capable of victory and worthy of support.
The Battle of Trenton, Hessian Colonel Rall is mortally wounded, Dec. 26, 1776
Paintings by Don Troiani