Battle of TrentonDecember 26, 1776


During the last months of 1776, George Washington and the Continental Army had very low morale. They had been driven out of New York by the British and were on their way through New Jersey to Philadelphia. The army was quickly disappearing as enlistments were expiring, and Washington needed to act fast. Once they had settled on the opposite side of the Delaware River from New Jersey, John Honeyman, a spy for the Americans, informed Washington of the Hessian position in Trenton, New Jersey. On the evening of December 25, Washington decided to move his troops across the Delaware River,along with Edward Hand and the first Pennsylvania Regiment, with the hope of surprising the Hessians with an attack that evening. However the condition of the river delayed the attack, and Washington and his troops did not arrive until morning. They began to march early the morning of December 26 and split into two groups before reaching the Hessian camp. At 8 in the morning, the Americans reached the Hessian outpost and proceeded to attack. Before he was shot, Lieutenant Andreas von Wiederholdt shouted, "Der Fiend!" This exclamation warned the rest of the Hessians that the Americans were there.Major General Nathanael Greene and General John Sullivan order the troops to fire, blocked off all escape routes, and began to surround the Hessian camp. Despite their efforts to fight back, the Hessians soon realized they were becoming outnumbered and surrendered. Twenty-two Hessians were killed in battle, eighty-three wounded, and eight-hundred and ninety-six were captured. Only two Americans were killed and five injured. This victory greatly increased the troops' morale, soldiers reenlisted, and Washington was able to carry out plans to attack Princeton on January 3rd.

Maps of the Battle of Trenton

George Washington
George Washington was born on February 22nd, 1732 in Virginia. He worked on his father's plantation as a teenager and received an elementary school education. In 1753, Washington was appointed major of the Virginia militia by Governor Dinwiddie, but was denied an opportunity to serve as a regular British officer because of where and which family he was born unto. He married widow Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759, and they raised her two children from her previous marriage.
After the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Washington appeared at the Second Continental Congress in a military uniform, hoping to be chosen to lead America's army during the Revolutionary War. In 1775, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Washington organized and trained the army, spending much of his own money to pay for the army's expenses. While he did not win many of the battles he fought, Washington never surrendered. Some of his significant wins include the Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Yorktown.
Once the war was won by the Americans, Washington was appointed the first President of the United States (1789-1797). After his term he returned to his home on Mount Vernon, where he died on December 14, 1799.
Johann Rall
Johann Rall was born around the year of 1726 in Stralsund, Germany. He was first mentioned in 1740 as a new cadet in the same regiment as his father belonged to. In 1772, he became commander of the regiment. Rall fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and the French and Indian War.During the Revolutionary War, he fought for the British in the Battle of Brooklyn, the Battle of White Plains, the Battle of Long Island, and the Battle of Trenton. Rall was in charge of 1,200 Hessian men involved in the Battle of Trenton. He was deceived by John Honeyman and allowed for the Hessian troops to let their guard down right before Washington's attack on December 26, 1776. Rall died after the attack because of injuries he received during the battle.

"The Crossing"
(An excerpt from the movie "The Crossing" depicting the Battle of Trenton)