Skip to comments.George Washington's Christmas 1776 (234 years ago, Tonight!)
Posted on 12/25/2010 8:01:51 PM PST by TheCause
The American Revolution was over. The United States of America was finished. The Continental Army was all but finished in December 1776 as the British and their Hessian (German) mercenary allies settled in for a long winter rest. 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.
No matter, thought the British. They saw little need to move directly against Washington's army and risk further casualties. 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. A few were even switching sides! In fact, at the civilian level, hundreds of American families were reaffirming their allegiance to King George III.
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. There was no reason for the British to mess up their Christmas in 1776. Everything was going their way.
On the American side, despair and hopelessness were the order of the day. The situation was worse than grim. The American cause was all but over. Except for one man, that is - a man who refused to give up. George Washington was the "Rocky" of the American Revolution. In spite of countless setbacks and up against incredible odds, Washington never threw in the towel. He never gave up. And his legendary perserverance was on full display in Chrstmas 1776.
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On Christmas night 1776, General George Washington led the rag-tag Continental Army across the Delaware River to attack the Hessian outpost at Trenton, New Jersey. Two Continental Army soldiers froze to death on the long trek to Trenton after crossing the icy Delaware. Three of Washington's detached units never made it across the Delaware. When word reached him that the muskets were unlikely to fire due to the inclement weather, he told his officers to "use the bayonet." He was absolutely "resolved to take Trenton." Nothing would stand in his way!
The morning of December 26, 1776, as the Hessians were rising for a new day, they were startled by an attack by Washington's forces on the town. Two Americans were wounded in the attack, including future President James Monroe. The Hessians suffered numerous casualties and most of the Hessian garrison was forced to surrender. Johann Raul, the Hessian commander, was mortally wounded before surrendering.
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.
And it was all due to George Washington. So, this Christmas, remember Washington and the greatest Christmas present he ever gave the United States. The gift of hope. The gift of victory. The gift of America.
IF Washington was Rocky, then here is George fighing the enemy!
Here he is kickin’ arse on Christmas day!
Long LIVE GEORGE WASHINGTON!
Not available on DVD, but the mini series Washington with Barry Bostwick was excellent. See
A clarion call from the past that addresses the present crop of dreck roaming the halls of the DC Capitol.
Trenton and Washington’s Crossing is about 45 minutes west of where I live. Go there often.
I wonder what today’s NY Times would say about Washington’s 1776 sneak attack if they were reporting on it live.
I can just see Geraldo scratching out the battle plans in the snow.
Though without a doubt our greatest president, the left tries to trash him.
I saw a pathetic attempt to trash him on the Biography channel.
They said he lied, was devious in his war strategy, married for money, and on and on. Absolutely pathetic.
Something from this painting for Freepers to know— it documents the ice pack that was on the river at the time— it was beginning to ice over.The Delaware river has not had ice floes in it since this time of Washington. In the global warming crowd they neglect to note that at the time of the Revolution the future US was in a mini ice age.
Valley Forge was terribly cold for winter quarters, and the story of soldiers freezing to death was quite terrible and real.
Two recommended books on George Washington:
Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer.
Washington - A life by Ron Chernow.
The first covers pivotal parts of the war years. The second is a complete biography.
Love it! My husband got me that print for Christmas, can’t wait to hang it.
"WASHINGTON INVADES NEW JERSEY IN ILLEGAL WAR....WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND GAYS MOST AFFECTED."
I just heard today that there is a reenactment of the crossing every year. People can apply to be in the boat.
The Crossing was surprisingly well done movie. The attack on Trenton was probably the most emotional scene. I have to admit Jeff Daniels did a good job portraying Washington.
wow, what a man!
"An Englishman is the unfittest person on earth to argue another Englishman into slavery." Edmund Burke 22 March, 1775.
The Delaware river has not had ice floes in it since this time of Washington.
If I remember my art history, the painting was done in Germany as a study of floating ice. The American flag was not designed or used at that time, but who cares! It is a great painting!
That re-enactment was last night, then, wasn’t it? And in a blizzard this time around.
Yes, we met some tourists in Princeton who were heading over. The blizzard hadn’t really struck yet last night. It’s here now, though.
I care not if he pursued the widow Custis for her extensive fortune. Her acceptance gave George the private fortune which enabled him to pursue his military and political career.
Just finished PICTORAL LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. I recommend it. Turn off the TV and read.
Oh... New Jersey...
Ping. I think you posted this earlier but your not on this thread.
Thank you so much for posting this. We need to be reminded often of the sacrifices that were made for us. Humbly thanking God for men like these.
And I am so glad that the post stayed up, as I was not able to get in too much FR time over the Christmas holidays.
I really enjoyed the Bostwick series, as well, but I remember being very much put off by the implication portrayed therein that he was carrying on with a woman other than Martha.
I suppose you have witnessed the re-enactment of the Crossing of the Delaware. I would love to see it.
No I regret I haven’t. However years ago when I used to go out to Washington’s Crossing, Pa. my wife and I always took in the displays of the muskets and other weaponry. There were authentic Brown Bess’s and other types of muskets as well as pistols and sabers. Then about 14 years ago these displays were first shunted off to a far corner of the museum and then soon they were gone completley, under the guise of ‘’renovation’’. They haven’t returned since. However to NJ’s credit The Trenton Barracks were renovated some years ago. New Jersey, northern New Jersey particularly abounds in Revolutionary as well as Pre-Revolutionary history.
Well, I think the issue was whether Washington was “carrying on” with Sally Fairfax, who was a married woman at the time. Washington’s friendship with Fairfax predated his courtship of Martha. Without a doubt, Washington and Fairfax were good friends, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Were they more than good friends? Who knows. But Fairfax and her family returned to England, and that was the end of that. I thought the TV series presented the friendship well. It was the promoters of the series that tried to make a scandal of it for the purpose of ratings.
No one would seriously suggest that Washington was not faithful to Martha once the courtship began.