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The American Revolution and its ultimate victory was hinged on a pivotal time in history, Christmas 1776, and it was all due to George Washington…
This Christmas, remember this lesson from history when Patriot George Washington gave the greatest Christmas present to the United States. The gift of hope. The gift of victory. The gift of America.
The Continental Army and the American Revolution was all but over in December 1776 and on the American side, despair and hopelessness were the order of the day.. The United States of America was finished.
It appeared that New York and New Jersey would be firmly back under King George’s “protection” within just a few months. They had already humiliated the Continentals out of New York, inflicting heavy damage on Washington’s army. The Continental Army was disintegrating. Unpaid, ill-equipped, cold, and hungry, soldiers in the Continental Army were deserting or walking away as soon as their enlistments expired.
There was no reason for the British to mess up their Christmas in 1776. Everything was going their way.
In those days, it was customary that armies rest and refit in the winter months in preparation for the campaign seasons of spring and summer. And the British were all about custom and tradition.
The situation was worse than grim for the Americans and the cause was all but over. Except for one man, that is – a man who refused to give up. George Washington.
In spite of countless setbacks and up against incredible odds, Washington never threw in the towel. He never gave up.
In a display of desperation and determination, on Christmas night 1776, General George Washington led the rag-tag Continental Army across the Delaware River to attack the outpost at Trenton, New Jersey.
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.
Washington’s force, separated into two columns, and reached the outskirts of Trenton. Trenton’s 1,400 defenders were groggy from the previous evening’s festivities and underestimated the Patriot threat after months of decisive British victories throughout New York. Washington’s men quickly overwhelmed their defenses, and surrounded the town. Several hundred escaped, and nearly 1,000 were captured at the cost of only four American lives.
It was a brilliant victory for George Washington – and a tremendous morale boost for the Americans. Within a few days, Washington followed up his victory with another at Princeton, and then quartered his troops at Morristown. The British were forced to redeploy in a way that gave up most of New Jersey and limited their reach in New York. It was a masterful campaign that stabilized the American Revolution and made victory possible.
The lesson learned…
Unconventional warfare, thinking outside the box, and a surprise attack when the enemy was most vulnerable – all made the difference in the ultimate victory. One battle, although itself not extremely significant, made all the difference for the eventual outcome. It boosted moral. It gave hope to those on the fence… You see, one person can make a difference. It could even be you…