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Washington has a very risky plan - to strike Trenton in the middle of Christmas night. Will his plan work? Or will the Continental Army be defeated, once and for all?

Crossing the Delaware

Washington and his troops first had to cross the Delaware River in order to start their attack. However, this proved to be harder than they expected.

Rowing Across

John Cadwalader

John Cadwalader was supposed to lead troops and follow Washington across the Delaware River, providing much-needed artillery and supplies.

What happened?

The Battles of First and Second Trenton

Washington's risky gamble paid off, despite initial difficulties - the Continental troops had surprised the Hessians and British at Trenton. But would they win the battle?

The Battle of Trenton

The Second Battle of Trenton

Map: The Battle of Trenton

This digital map helps show the movement of troops in the Battle of Trenton

The Battle of Trenton

Map: The Battle of Second Trenton

This digital map helps show the movement of troops in the Battle of Second Trenton

Explore the Map

Why was crossing the Delaware River considered to be so risky?

Primary Source: George Washington to James Ewing

This letter shows Washington's plans for Trenton. In this letter, he asks Ewing to send a spy over to the Hessian and British sides to see what they were up to.

Planning the Operation

Primary Source: Field Bedstead

This field bedstead was purchased a year prior to Trenton and was used by Washington throughout the war. 

Explore the Painting

Primary Source: General Orders

These orders were issued the day after the Battle of Trenton, congratulating soldiers on a successful fight and encouraging them to extend their enlistment.

Read the Orders

Watch The Winter Patriots

Learn the Battles of Princeton and Trenton with this 30 minute film!

The Winter Patriots Home

Click the link to go back to The Winter Patriots Resources

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