Not familiar with the story? History.com:
During the American Revolution, Patriot General George Washington crosses the Delaware River with 5,400 troops, hoping to surprise a Hessian force celebrating Christmas at their winter quarters in Trenton, New Jersey. The unconventional attack came after several months of substantial defeats for Washington’s army that had resulted in the loss of New York City and other strategic points in the region.
At about 11 p.m. on Christmas, Washington’s army commenced its crossing of the half-frozen river at three locations. The 2,400 soldiers led by Washington successfully braved the icy and freezing river and reached the New Jersey side of the Delaware just before dawn. The other two divisions, made up of some 3,000 men and crucial artillery, failed to reach the meeting point at the appointed time.
L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace! The revolutionary war strategy as I understand it largely consisted of “don’t lose for long enough, and eventually they’ll give up.” This was a needed victory when morale was particularly low.
I have been sick to one extent or another since last weekend and missed out on Christmas Eve dinner with my in-laws; I spent the evening home alone playing video games (and finishing stitching on one last present). It was a little lame.
But it beats the heck out of Christmas 2006, watching Jet Li movies in a bunk bed in transient billets in Afghanistan. I’m grateful to be home for yet another holiday with the family, even if I’m not feeling 100%, and I’m profoundly grateful to those who are on guard elsewhere in my place.
- Wikipedia: Washington’s crossing of the Delaware
- USHistory.org: Washington Crossing Historic Park
- NPR Weekend Edition story from 2003 (Audio)