The Battle of Trenton was one of the pivotal battles of the American Revolutionary War. This battle took place December 26, 1776, in Trenton, New Jersey. The army had recently been defeated many times in New York and were retreating to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. George Washington and Nathanael Greene led approximately 2400 troops against The British's nearly 1500 troops. The result was a victory for Washington, Greene, and the American troops.
The battle was estimated to have
started at approximately 8:00 a.m. the day after Christmas in 1776 when the Hessian's
shot onto Greene’s column about half a mile north of the town and thus the
battle had commenced. Greene strategically deployed four regiments to cover the
king and queen streets which were the main routes if you wanted in or out of
Trenton which would spell trouble for the Hessian's as they were already
outnumbered and now seemingly trapped. The apparent snow and wind at the time
made firing muskets difficult and therefore most of the fighting in this battle
was close quarters most likely done with fists, a bayonet, or in some cases swords.
The Hessians became outnumbered and
practically trapped in an attempt to counter attack, but the attempted attack failed and the
Knyphausen Regiment was out of the battle. Rahl ordered the two remaining
regiments to backtrack to the orchards. Then another counterattack was broken
up by artillery and musket fire in which caused the mortal wound of Rahl. Then without
their leader and one-third of their forces already subdued they surrendered.
Accounts say the fighting was over by 9:30 a.m., that same day meaning the battle was less than two hours in length although some accounts say that the
battle was closer to around 45-60 minutes.
The casualties that were accounted
for are 48 killed (40 British, 4 American), 74 wounded (66 British, 8
Americans), and 918 captured all British. This means from the original projections
of how many British forces were there around 4-500 of their men escaped capture
or death. This victory was a huge turning point in the American Revolution.
After some devastating happening in New York as well as the American army seemingly
approaching collapse this win turned the tides of war. The Battle of Trenton
had a significant impact on morale as well as helped insight a large increase
in the number of enlistments following this victory. Also, this was a relatively
large blow to the British as losing this many troops, muskets, and ammunition
is no minor occurrence when in war. There currently is a Washington Crossing
State Park in Titusville, New Jersey, which is home to a museum and a host to
military history reenactments of this and other battles of the time.