“Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.” —Psalm 56:2,3
The Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777
s Christmas approached, the cause of American independence seemed as bleak as the winter that descended on New Jersey and Pennsylvania. George Washington’s army lay frozen in their camps, riddled with disease and disintegrating by desertions. They had been driven from New York after serial defeats and heavy losses, with little or no prospects for improving their position near the Delaware River. Congress began planning to flee Philadelphia as soon as the weather cleared and the coming of the expected British campaign to take the American capitol. Patriotic morale was on its death bed when the General called his officers together to announce a secret winter attack.
On the night of December 25, Washington and 2,400 men stealthily cross the Delaware River in preparation for a morning attack on the Hessian garrison in Trenton
During the night of December 25-26 Washington’s army rowed across the Delaware River to New Jersey and charged into Trenton, surprising the Hessian garrison there. The mercenaries were routed and the British army commander, Lord Cornwallis, discomfited, though safe behind his New York defenses. Smashing a major British outpost in a surprise attack, at the most unlikely moment, cheered Americans as no other event could have done.
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776