Friday, December 23, 2011

December 25: Trenton, New Jersey

On Christmas Night, 1776, Continental forces under General George Washington captured the Hessians garrisoned at Trenton, New Jersey. In his book Washington's Crossing, Brandeis Historian David Hackett Fischer disputes the legend that the Hessians under Col. Johann Gottlieb Rall were drunk.

Instead, Fischer explains, a popular uprising of militia in four New Jersey counties left Rall's regiment "in a continuous state of alarm." Fischer writes of the Hessians, "The men were ill and exhausted, deprived of sleep." David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 201.

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