Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia. George Washington lost ninety percent of his army and was driven across the Delaware River. Panic and despair spread through the states. Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolutiondie. Even as the British and Germans spread their troops across New Jersey, the people of the colony began to rise against them. George Washington saw his opportunity and seized it. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a counterattack by Lord Cornwallis's besttroops, then were almost trapped by the British force. Under cover of night, Washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. The British were badly shaken. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined. Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficultchoices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. At the same time, they developed an American ethic of warfare that John Adams called the policy of humanity," and showed that moral victories could have powerful material effects. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning, in a pivotal moment for American history."
What people are saying - Write a review
THE PLAN OF THE CAMPAIGN
THE FALL OF NEW YORK
THE BATTLE AT PRINCETON
Other editions - View all
Ameri American army American Revolution American troops artillery Assunpink Creek attack Battalion Battle of Princeton Battles of Trenton began boats brigade British and Hessian British army Brunswick Cadwalader Captain Charles Charles Willson Peale Colonel Rall command Congress Connecticut Continental army Cornwallis County Crossing the Delaware December Delaware River Diary Donop Dragoons Dwyer enemy Ewald Ferry fighting fire Foot Forage force Friedrich garrison George Washington German grenadiers guns Henry Henry Knox Hessian Highland Howe's Ibid Jagers James Johann Johann Ewald Joseph Journal killed leaders Lieutenant light infantry London Long Island Lossberg major Memoirs miles military militia Monmouth Beach Nathanael Greene night ordered painting Papers Pennsylvania Philadelphia PMHB rebels Regiment remembered reported retreat Revolutionary Richard Road Rodney Royal Samuel Sergeant Smith soldiers Stryker Thomas town Trenton and Princeton Virginia vols Washington Crossing Whigs Wiederholdt Wilkinson William wounded wrote York