Crossing the delaware

In December of 1776, it seemed unlikely that the patriots would win the Revolutionary War. The British had won a major victory at Fort Washington, and the Continental troops had retreated, tired and exhausted, to Pennsylvania. One more major British attack could have won the entire war for Britain. Washington wrote to his nephew that "the game is pretty near up." Suddenly, the British made a decision which gave the patriots hope. General William, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in North America, ordered his troops to move to a string of winter quarters extending from New York City to Trenton. General Washington made a bold move. He decided to take his 2,400 starving, exhausted, and now freezing troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Day. Once across, they would be able to attack Trenton, which was protected by professional German soldiers, called Hessians, who were paid by Britain to fight on their side. After the grueling crossing, the Continental troops were able to kill or wound over 100 Hessians and take almost 1,000 prisoners, with only four Americans killed or wounded. The patriots went on to win battles near Trenton and in Princeton. General Washington's personal example and encouragement helped lead the Continental Army through a difficult experience and on to victory.