- Slides: 11
Battle of Trenton
Facts • Date: 25 th December 1776 • Place: Trenton, New Jersey on the Delaware River • Combatants: Americans against Hessians and British troops • Generals: General George Washington against Colonel Rahl.
Questions • Who were the Hessians? • Where did this battle happen at? • Why was this battle important?
Battle Plan • Washington’s plan was to cross the Delaware at three points • They would cross the river above Trenton and attack the Hessian garrison in the town. • Hessian: German soldiers loyal to King George III
Questions • If the Hessians worked for the British, what term could we use for those kind of forces? • If Washington’s forces attempted to come toward the Hessians when they weren’t expecting them, how could we define that kind of attack? • Was it successful?
• Washington had some 2, 400 men. • Started to cross the Delaware at 11 pm, did not reach the east bank until around 3 am. • Soldiers were badly clothed and many did not have shoes
Questions • What would have happened if the British and Hessians were ready for the Colonial Army trying to cross the river? • Would Washington have been in trouble? • Why do you think that the Colonists were so poorly dressed and equipped?
Battle • On the night before the attack Rahl was at dinner when he was brought information that the Americans were approaching. He ignored the message which was found in his pocket after his death. • Surprise Attack • lasted only 90 minutes • The Americans occupied the houses and shot down the German gunners and foot soldiers • Rahl’s troops retreated to an orchard in the South East of the town where they surrendered.
Questions • Why do you think Rahl ignored the warning of Washington’s attack? • Why was it important that the Americans occupied the houses, and attacked the Hessians from them? • How important was this victory? • Why was it important?
Outcome • Americans: suffered 4 wounded casualties. It is said that in addition 2 American soldiers froze to death. • Hessians: 20 killed and around 100 wounded. 1, 000 were captured. • proved American forces could defeat regulars • increased the re-enlistments
Questions • What does “re-enlistment” mean? • How would this have affected the negotiations between the Colonists and the French? • Would this have brought more people into the Continental Army?