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Battle of Trenton

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The subject of this paper is going to be the Battle of Trenton and the affect it had on the American Revolution. This battle took place on Christmas day in 1776. It was a battle between future president General George Washington and Colonel Rall. This battle proved to be significant for many reasons. Reasons we are going to cover such as weather, moral and strategy. These are the three biggest things I was able to get out of the Battle of Trenton. By the end of this paper you should be able to see what made me think these are the most significant things that had an affect of the American Revolution.

The weather played a huge role in the battle. It started with General George Washington crossing the Delaware river in the blistering cold. Most of his men did not even have shoes on their feet. Still these brave men pushed on to do battle. It was the middle of the winter and they were hit with heavy snow and sleet. This did not stop the American troops from advancing. It is what initially showed me the never quit attitude that the troops have. When seeing 1400 men brave these type of elements to fight such a small yet significant battle it screams moral boost to me.

General George Washington knew that most of his men’s enlistments were up soon after the battle of Trenton. Their morale after the defeat was very low and nearly ninety-percent of the troops, who fought the battle of Long Island, left the army and went back. Soldiers felt that they were fighting for a losing cause, and General Washington faced a tough task of holding up the troops for the battles ahead. The enlistment terms of most of the soldiers were about to expire at the end of the year. So Washington planned an attack on Trenton to try and revive confidence in his men. This would prove to be a fruitful plan. After the attack on Trenton the tides of the war had changed. Enlistments increased and the troops had a new belief in what they were fighting for.

The brilliant strategy that General George Washington came up with was nearly flawless. It was a three stage attack. The army split up in two as per plan with Greene moving towards the north and Sullivan towards the south of Trenton. Washington moved from the north along with Greene and his troops, and they attacked the Hessian outpost, forcing the Hessian men to retreat to the higher grounds of North Trenton where they were joined by main Hessian army. From the south of Trenton, Sullivan reached the Assunpink Creek and waited for the Greene’s unit to reach north while driving out the Hessian outpost. After a while, Sullivan attacked at the south, forcing many Hessian soldiers and to run away and swim across the creek.

Both Greene and Sullivan’s column pushed into Trenton. Artillery and cannons from across the Delaware River were used to aid in the attack. The surprise attack took a substantial toll on Hessian army. The American army took total control of the battle. All three Hessian regiments were isolated and were not able to coordinate a counter attack. American soldiers took cover in houses and from there, fired freely on the Hessian army. During the battle, Colonel Rall was fatally wounded. The Hessian troops leader wounded they had no choice but to surrender. George Washington’s plan to attack on Christmas and brave the elements proved that the American army is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. It showed that we are not scared to fight for what we believe in and love.

On the other hand Colonel Rall took no preparations to get ready for an attack that he knew was coming, despite being advised by his officers. Colonel Rall was told by a spy that the Americans were coming and still he ignored it. The only thing he did after setting up base camp on December 14th was ask for more troops. That request was denied because General Grant did not think the American army would attack. It was believed that the army was in disarray. They forgot about the most important think the American Spirit. Its not something you can prepare for or even measure because it is different in each and every person.

In conclusion the Battle of Trenton changed the course of the war because it boosted the moral of the troops in a way that showed that we are here and we are going to fight for what we believe in. No one could of predicted such a small battle could have such a big affect on the enlistments and the entire outcome of the war. If Colonel Rall would of listened to his officers maybe the outcome of this battle would have been different. Maybe the outcome of the whole war would have been different who knows. All I know is that I am thankful that one mans arrogance and cockiness led to the America we all know today. I think this battle set the pace for everything we know today from planning out strategy . To not under estimating our enemy.



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