J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Crucial Days After Trenton

The Battle of Trenton on 26 Dec 1776 was just the beginning of the Continental Army’s strike back against the British in central New Jersey after a very rough campaign season.

Revolutionary New Jersey, the Crossroads of the American Revolution, explains:
After ferrying their Hessian prisoners across the Delaware to Pennsylvania on December 26, Washington’s troops returned to New Jersey to engage the British at Trenton once again on January 2, 1777. Fighting along the Assunpink Creek ended at dusk. During the night, Washington led his troops along a back route to Princeton, where he attacked General Cornwallis’ rear guard on the morning of January 3, 1777.

While the second Battle of Trenton (also known as the Battle of the Assunpink) had no military outcome, it enabled another American victory, at Princeton. In the ten days succeeding Christmas, Washington had engaged the enemy in three battles and by winning two had restored belief in the possibility of ultimate victory.
The Ten Crucial Days organization offers videos, maps, and other information about those events. Its tours cover the Washington’s Crossing sites on both sides of the Delaware, the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, and the Princeton Battlefield.

The small local publisher Knox Press, linked to Ten Crucial Days, offers David Price’s book Rescuing the Revolution: Unsung Patriot Heroes and the Ten Crucial Days of America’s War for Independence.

(Above is Boston’s own slice of Washington’s crossing, “The Passage of the Delaware” by Thomas Sully at the Museum of Fine Arts.)

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