The Battle Of Trenton : A Critical Battle

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The Battle of Trenton was a critical battle that took place on 26 December 1776, during the early years of the American Revolutionary War. The battle took place in the township of Trenton, New Jersey between the Continental Army, personally led by Commander-in-Chief, General (GEN) George Washington, and the British contracted Hessian Army, led by Colonel (COL) Johann Rahl. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2013) states that the Battle of Trenton served as the first major American victory in the Revolutionary war. Prior to the Battle of Trenton, American forces had endured nearly constant defeat as the British pushed them from New York and into Pennsylvania. The Continental Congress pleaded for a victory to save the cause. The…show more content…
First and foremost, Washington chose to strike during the heart of winter at a time when most British forces were disengaged from the war effort due to harsh conditions and a perceived sense of inevitable victory. Additionally, the patriots utilized the element of surprise, by initiating the assault on Christmas night under the cover of darkness and during the middle of a fierce winter snow storm. Washington had purposely released information to British and Hessian forces through double agent operations, which solidified their beliefs that the Continental Army was incapable of launching a strike. The Hessian commander had even received notification from a British spy imbedded within the Continental Army, that an attack was imminent. The Hessian dismissed the importance of the spy’s written report and neglected to read it. Also, it was unknown at the time, but later suspected that the Hessian Army was in a state of inebriation, as a result of Christmas festivities. All of these factors in addition to a lack of consideration by the Hessians for intelligence information set the stage for an American victory. Following being driven out of New York City to the west bank of the Delaware River by British forces during the summer of 1776, American forces were suffering from the effects of physical and psychological defeat. The American army was on the cusp of falling apart all together. In addition to this
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