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their purpose. Their LEADER, who, like an eagle driven from the nest, still hovers about its young, what are his thoughts? his noble heart forebodes success; he anticipates victory; and while he feels the glow of heroism, his fortitude is prepared to brave even defeat itself.
In consequence of the delay occasioned by the difficulty of breaking the ice, it was four o'clock in the morning before Washington could land his troops, with their artillery, on the Jersey shore. He then formed his men into two divisions : one of which he ordered to proceed by the lower road, and he led the other by the upper road, to Trenton. Though it was now eight o'clock, the enemy did not discover the approach of the Americans, till they were attacked by General Washington's division, and in three minutes afterwards the lower part of the town was assailed by the other detachment. Col. Ralle, who commanded the Hessians, made every effort that could be expected from a brave veteran ; he was mortally wounded, and his troops were completely surrounded, and to the number of one thousand men, laid down their arms.
This victory may be considered as one of the most fortunate events that befel the Americans during the war. The capture of those
foreign mercenaries, who had done them so much mischief, removed all the fears they were in for their favourite city. Religious individuals attributed this success to the interposition of Divine Providence, that had suffered America to be reduced to the extreme of distress, in order to teach them not to place their reliance on their own strength, but to look to an Omnipotent Power for protection.
Washington repassed the Delaware, and his return to Philadelphia with such a considerable number of prisoners, was both pleasing and unexpected. To surprize a body of veterans, and defeat them in their own quarters, was an atchievement that excited the liveliest emotions of admiration in the breasts of the Americans. They were now emulous to second the efforts of a general, who had so nobly effected their defence: men of energy and influence were dispatched in all
directions to rouse the militia, and about four· teen hundred of the American troops, whose
engagement was nearly expired, agreed to serve six weeks longer for a gratuity of ten dollars to each. .
When the Hessian prisoners were secured, Washington again crossed the Delaware, and took possession of Trenton. Several de.
tachments of the British assembled at Princes ton, when they were joined by the army from Brunswick, commanded by Lord Cornwallis. This general now marched to Trenton, and attacked the Americans on the 2d of January, 1777, at four o'clock in the afternoon. The van-guard of the Americans was compelled to retreat, but the pursuing enemy was checked by some field-pieceswhich were posted on the opposite bank of Sanpink Creek. Thus two armies, on which the success or failure of the American revolution depended, were crowded into the village of Trenton, and only separated by a creek, in many places fordable. The British army discontinued their operations, and lay on their arms in readiness to make another attack next morning. Meanwhile Washington ordered the baggage to be silently removed, and having left fires and patroles in his camp to deceive the enemy, he led his army during the obscurity of the night, and by a circuitous route reached Princeton.
Washington had held a council of war with his officers, in which this movement had been determined on, as the most likely way to preserve the city of Philadelphia from being captured by the British army. H reached Princeton early in the morning, and would
have surrounded three regiments of British
On their approach to Princeton, the cen-
The British general was so much disconcerted at these unexpected maneuvres of Washington, that he evacuated Trenton, and retired with his whole force to Brunswick.
Thus, in the space of a month, all that part of Jersey which lies between Brunswick and Delaware, was overrun by the British troops, and recovered by the Americans. Washington stationed troops in all the important places which he had regained, and the campaign of 1776 closed, with few advantages to the British arms; except the acquisition of of New York.
During these hostile operations, both armies had suffered great hardships. Many of the American soldiers were destitute of shoes, and their naked feet were often wounded by the inequalities of the frozen ground, insomuch that their footsteps were marked with blood. Their clothing was too slight for the rigorous season ; there was scarcely a tent in the whole army, yet so enthusiastically were they attached to their general, that they underwent those hardships without repining.“ Washington merited this generous confidence ; his benignity to his troops, the cheerfulness with which he participated in their inconveniencies and dangers, and the heroism which he displayed in the heat of action, commanded their veneration. In the actions at Trenton and Princeton, he united the stratagem of Hannibal with the intrepidity of Cæsar; while his success animated the hopes,