General Washington moved his army out of his camp near Hackensack on 21 November, 1776. The evacuation of Fort Lee was prompted by word received from a patrol with General Nathaniel Greene's army that an army of British troops were making their way toward the fort. That British force was commanded by Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis, who had crossed the Hudson River during the night of 19/20 November. Cornwallis lost little time in marching his force of 4,000 British and Hessians toward Fort Lee. He hoped to cut off any escape route for the Americans, but in that he failed.

   Washington and his army of about 3,000 men headed southward through the Jerseys, leaving the British in control of New York. Some 3,200 men were left at Peekskill under the command of Brigadier General William Heath. He also left between 5,000 and 6,000 men at North Castle under the command of General Charles Lee. Lee, who felt that the Continental Congress should have named himself to the position of commander of the American Army instead of Washington, balked at taking orders from Washington. Despite the urgings of Washington for him to move his force to the New Jersey side of the river, Lee dallied in New York, and did not cross the Hudson to rejoin the main army until 02 December.

   On 21 November, General Washington wrote a letter to William Livingston, governor of the Jerseys, in which he noted:

"Sir: I have this Moment arrived at this Place with Genl. Beall's and Genl. Heard's Brigades from Maryland and Jerテy, and part of General Ewing's from Pennペlvania; Three other Regiments, left to guard the Paピes upon Hackenヂck River, and to テrve as covering Parties, are expected up this Evening. After the unfortunate Loピ of Fort Waドington, it was determined to evacuate Fort Lee, in a great Meaブre; as it was in a Manner uテleピ in obフructing the Paピage of the North River, without the aピiフance of Fort Waドington. The Ammunition and バme other Stores were accordingly removed; but, before we could effect our purpoテ, the Enemy landed yeフerday Morning, in very conナderable numbers, about Six Miles above the Fort; Their intent evidently was to form aline acroピ, from the place of their landing to Hackenヂck Bridge, and thereby hem in the whole Garriバn between the North and Hackenヂck Rivers. However, we were lucky enough to gain the Bridge before them; by which means we ヂved all our men, but were obliged to leave バme hundred Barrels of Flour, moフ of our Cannon, and a conナderable parcel of Tents and Baggage. Finding we were in the ヂme danger of being pent up between Hackenヂck and Paピaic Rivers, that we had been between the North and Hackenヂck; and alバ finding the Country, from its levelneピ and openeピ, unfit for making a フand; it was determined to draw the whole of our Force over this ナde of the River, where we can watch the operations of the Enemy, without danger of their ブrrounding us, or making a Lodgement in our Rear. But, as our numbers are フill very inadequate to that of the Enemy, I imagine I ドall be obliged to fall down toward Brunヘick, and form a juntion with the Troops, already in that Quarter, under the Command of Lord Stirling. As the term of the Inliフment of the flying Camp, belonging to Jerテy, Pennペlvania, and Maryland, is near expiring; it will occaナon バ great a diminution of my Army, that I ブbmit it to your judgement, whether it would not be proper for you to call together ブch a number of Militia, as, in Conjunction with the Troops I ドall have left, will テrve to cover the Country and フop the Progreピ of the Enemy, if they ドould フill attempt to penetrate. If the weather continues favorable, I am apprehenナve they will attempt to make amends for the Slowneピ of their Operations the begining of the Campaign."

   With Cornwallis at his heels, General Washington moved his army on to Newark, arriving there on the 23rd. On the 25th, Washington received news of resolves of the Congress that troops from Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, who were in the northern army under General Philip Schuyler, should rendezvous with Washington痴 main body. Seven regiments responded to those resolves; four joined General Lee痴 army and three joined Washington.

   Washington rested his men for five days, leaving on the 28th for Brunswick, and arriving there the next day. The van of Cornwallis army entered Brunswick just as the rear of Washington痴 army was leaving.

   One thousand and two hundred Patriots under Lord Stirling intercepted the American army on the 29th of November. Despite that increase, the army shrank in size the following day when the enlistment period of some two thousand men was up and they started leaving for their homes.

   As if the dwindling number of troops due to their enlistments ending was not enough, the Patriot cause was threatened by a proclamation issued by the Howes in New York City on the 30th of November.

By Richard Viツount Howe, of the Kingdom of Ireland, and William Howe, Eヒ; General of his Majeフy痴 Forces in America, the King痴 Commiピioners for reフoring Peace to his Majeフy痴 Colonies and Plantations in North America, &c. PROCLAMATION.
 
Whereas by our declarations of the 20th if June and 19th of September laフ, in purブance of his majeフy痴 moフ gracious intentions towards his ブbjects in the colonies or provinces of New Hampドire, Maピachuテtt痴-Bay, Rhode-Iネand, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennペlvania, the three Lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, all perバns パeedily returning to their juフ allegiance were promiテd a free and general pardon, and were invited to accept, not only the bleピings of peace, but a テcure enjoyment of their liberties abd properties, upon the true principles of the conフitution:
 
And whereas, notwithフanding the ヂid declarations, and the example of many who have availed themテlves of the aピurances therein made, テveral bodies of armed men, in open contempt of his majeフy痴 proffered clemency, do フill continue their oppoナtion to the eフabliドment of legal government and peace; and divers other ill diパoテd perバns, purブing their own ambitious purpoテs in the exerciテ of a lawleピ influence and power, are uナng freド endeavors, by various arts and miビepreテntations, to alienate the confidence and affection of his majeフy痴 ブbjects; to defeat every plan of reconciliation, and to prolong the unnatural war between Great Britain and her colonies:
 
Now, in order to the more effectual accompliドment of his majeフy痴 moフ gracious intentions, and the パeedy reフoration of the public tranquility; and duly conナdering the limiting the time within which ブch pardon as aforeヂid ドall be granted, and of パecifying the terms upon which only the ヂme ドall and may be obtained, We do, in his majeフy痴 name, and by virtue of the powers committed to us, hereby charge and command all perバns whatバever, who are aピembled together in arms againフ his majeフy痴 government, to diッand themテlves, and return to their dwelling, there to remain in a peaceable and quiet manner; And we alバ charge and command all ブch other perバns as are aピembled together under the name of the General or Provincial Congreピes, committees, conventions, or other aピociations, by whatever name or names known and diフinguiドed, or who, under the colour of any authority from any ブch Congreピ, committee, convention, and other aピociation, take upon them to iピue or execute any orders for levying money, raiナng troops, fitting out armed ドips and veピels, impriバning, or otherwiテ moleフing his majeフy痴 ブbjects, to deナフ and ceaテ from all ブch treaバnable actings and doings, and to relinquiド all ブch uブrped power and authority, バ that peace may be reフored, a パeedy remiピion of paフ offences quiet the apprehenナons of the guilty, and all the inhabitants of the ヂid colonies be enabled to reap the benefit of his majeフy痴 paternal goodneピ in the preテrvation of their property, the reフoration of their commerce, and the テcurity of their moフ valuable rights, under the juフ and moderate authority of the crown and parliament of Great Britain: And we do hereby declare, and make known to all men, that every perバn, who within ナxty days from the day of the date hereof ドall appear before the governor, or lieutenant-governor, or commander in chief, in any of his majeフy痴 colonies or provinces aforeヂid, or before the general or commanding officer of his majeフy痴 forces in America, or any other officer in his majeフy痴 テrvice, having the command of any detachment or parties of his majeフy痴 forces there, or before the admiral or commander in chief of his majeフy痴 fleets, or any other officer commanding any of his majeフy痴 ドips of war, or any armed veピel in his majeフy痴 テrvice, within any of the ports, havens, creeks, or upon the coaフ of America, and ドall claim the benefit of this proclamation, and at the ヂme time teフify his obedience to the laws, by ブbツribing a declaration in the words, following:
 
"I, A.B. do promiテ and declare, that I will remain in a peaceable obedience to his majeフy, and will not take up arms, nor encourage others to take up arms, in oppoナtion to his authority,"
 
ドall and may obtain a full and free pardon of all treaバns, and miパriナons of treaバns, by him heretofore committed or done, and of all forfeitures, attainders, and penalties for the ヂme; and upon producing to us, or to either of us, a certificate of ブch, his appearance and declaration, ドall and may have and receive ブch pardon made and paピed to him in due form.
 
Given at New York, this thirtieth day of November, 1776. Howe. W. Howe.

   The proclamation, timed to coincide with the eminent departure of many men whose terms of enlistment were soon to be completed, was troublesome to General Washington. He knew that not everyone agreed with the revolution that was taking place. According to the Annual Register, 1777, published in England, within a month after the British secured control of the city of New York, a petition stating their allegiance, and praying for the restoration of English government in the colonies, was submitted to the Howes. The petition contained the signatures of 948 inhabitants. In response, General Washington issued his own proclamation:

Whereas テveral perバns, inhabitants of the united フates of America, influenced by inimical motives, intimidated by the threats of the enemy, or deluded by a proclamation iピued the 30th of November laフ, by Lord and General Howe, フiled the king痴 commiピioners for granting pardons, &c. (now at open war, and invading theテ フates) have been バ loフ to the intereフ and welfare of their country, as to repair to the enemy, ナgn a declaration of fidelity, and in バme inフances have been compelled to take the oaths of allegiance, and engaged not to take up arms, or encourage others バ to do, againフ the King of Great Britain. And whereas it has become neceピary to diフinguiド between the friends of America and thoテ of Great Britain, inhabitants of theテ States; and that every man who receives protection from, and as a ブbject of, and State (not being conツientiouネy ツrupulous againフ bearing arms) ドould フand ready to defend the ヂme againフ hoフile invaナon; I do, therefore, in behalf of the United States, by virtue of the powers committed to me by Congreピ, hereby フrictly comand and require every perバn, having ブbツribed ブch declaration, taken ブch oaths, and accepted ブch protection and certificate, to repair to head quarters, or to the quarters of the neareフ general officer of the Continental army, or militia, (until further proviナon can be made by civil authority) and there deliver up ブch protection, certificate and paピports, and take the oath of allegiance to the United States of America: Nevertheleピ hereby granting full liberty to all ブch as prefer the intereフ and protection of Great Britain to the freedom and happineピ of their country, forthwith to withdraw themテlves and families within the enemy痴 lines. And I do hereby declare, that all and every perバn who may neglect or refuテ to comply with this order, within thirty days from the date hereof, will be deemed adherents to the King of Great Britain, and treated as common enemies to theテ American フates.
 
Given at Head Quarters, Morris Town.

   By the 1st of December, Cornwallis nearly overtook the American army just north of the Raritan River. But Washington deftly manuevered his troops out of harms way. After crossing the Raritan River, the Patriots destroyed the bridge痴 timber supports, thereby causing a delay for the British.

   General Howe sent orders for Cornwallis to halt his army at Brunswick. Howe was not pleased with Cornwallis failure to subdue the Americans. He decided to lead a detachment from New York, join with Cornwallis, and then complete the job himself. Buoyed by the response of hundreds of Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents who made the decision to take him up on his offer of pardon, Howe changed his plans for his northern campaign (i.e. against Albany) and chose to divert troops toward a possible capture of Philadelphia. Howe痴 army arrived at Brunswick on the 6th of December.

   The American army had arrived in the vicinity of Trenton on the 3rd of December, and was strengthened a bit on the 5th of December with the arrival of a detachment of Pennsylvania Associators that included the German Regiment under Colonel Nicholas Haussegger.

   Reinforced, and believing that it would now be possible to confront Cornwallis, and unaware that Howe had recently reinforced Cornwallis, General Washington headed with 1,200 men back northeastward toward Brunswick on the 7th of December. At Princeton, about halfway between Trenton and Brunswick, Washington intercepted the Americans under the command of Lord Stirling. Stirling was in retreat before the combined forces of Cornwallis and Howe. Realizing that once more he would be outnumbered, Washington changed his mind about starting a confrontation, and headed back toward Trenton.

   The British army arrived at Trenton on December 8, but the Americans had already ferried across the Delaware to the Pennsylvania side. In order to make their escape across the river quickly, the Americans had commandeered all the available boats up and down the river for some seventy-five miles. The British would have to construct boats before they could make the crossing. Howe had assumed that he would crush the American army, which was estimated to number only half of his own British army, and end the rebel uprising once and for all. Whether he wanted to or not, Howe would have to establish a camp and be patient until enough boats could be constructed if he wished to engage the Americans. Instead, with the prospects of undertaking a winter campaign or nothing, Howe chose the latter and, on the 14th, ordered his army into winter quarters at outposts stretching from New York to Trenton. Not inclined to be uncomfortable, Howe headed back for the warmth and comforts of New York while Cornwallis made preparations to travel to England for the winter.

   Washington deployed his troops along a twenty-five mile front along the west bank of the Delaware River, and planned his next move.

   The delegates assembled in the Continental Congress at Philadelphia had been receiving dispatches from Washington. The reports of Howe痴 troops reinforcing Cornwallis army, and thereby making the army that was traveling southward roughly 10,000 strong, arrived at Philadelphia around the 10th of December. The news threw the delegates and the inhabitants of the city into a panic.

   To deal with the threat of being taken by the British, the Congress passed a number of resolutions during their session of 12 December. According to the Journals Of The Continental Congress:

Reバlved, That the Marine Committee be directed to employ one or more faフ ヂiling veピels, to proceed on a cruiテ immediately off the Capes of Delaware, to give notice to all ドips or veピels inward bound of the フate of this port, in order that they may proceed to バme other place or places of ヂfety.
 
Reバlved, That General Putnam, or the commanding officer in Philadelphia, be deナred to appoint ブitable perバns to make proper proviナon of combuフibles, for burning ブch of the frigates and other continental veピels as may be in imminent danger of falling into the enemie痴 poピeピion ドould this city come into their hands.
 
Reバlved, That the continental general commanding in Philadelphia, be directed to defend the ヂme to the utmoフ extremity, againフ the attempts of the enemy to get poピeピion of it; and that, for this end, he apply, from time to time, to the council of ヂfety of Penペlvania for their aid and aピiフance.
 
Reバlved, That the arms, ammunition, and cloathing, in or near the city of Philadelphia, be put under the direction of General Putnam; and that Mr. J. Meaテ, Mr. Towers, and all other perバns having continental フores in care, make immediate return of the ヂme to General Putnam, of the quantities and kinds of each, and where the ヂme are placed, that the general may take proper order therein, whether for ヂftey or uテ, as he ドall judge proper.
 
General Putnam and Brigadier General Mifflin being called to a conference, and having, by フrong arguments, urged the neceピity of the Congreピ retiring, it was, therefore, Reバlved, That Mr. Wilバn be deナred to inform the aピembly and council of ヂfety of Penペlvania of the (propoテd) adjournment of Congreピ, and the place to which they have reバlved to adjourn; and to inform them, that Congreピ will, at all times, on their application, be ready to comply with their requiナtions for the テcurity of this city and フate againフ the common enemy.
 
Whereas the movements of the enemy have now rendered the neighborhood of this city the テat of war, which will prevent that quiet and uninterrupted attention to the public buナneピ, which ドould ever prevail in the great continental council:
 
Reバlved, That this Congreピ be, for the preテnt, adjourned to the town of Baltimore, in the フate of Maryland, to meet on the 20th inフant, unleピ a ブfficient number to make a Congreピ ドall be there バoner aピembled; and that, until the Congreピ ドall otherwiテ order, General Waドington be poピeピed of full power to order and direct all things relative to the department, and to the operations of war.

   General Charles Lee, who had postponed his rendezvous with the Washington, holding his large detachment in northern New Jersey under the artifice that he planned to attack the British from the rear should they follow Washington, was surprised and taken captive. While lodging at White痴 Tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, about three miles from Morristown where his troops were encamped, on 13 December, Lee and a number his staff officers were hailed to surrender by a patrol of the Queen痴 Light Dragoons led by, then, subaltern Banastre Tarleton. Lee refused, and instead attempted to escape. Lee was taken prisoner and all of his officers were either killed or wounded.

   Lee痴 command was assumed by Major General John Sullivan. Sullivan lost no time in heading to join the rest of the American army; arriving on 20 December at Newtown, Pennsylvania where Washington had made his encampment. Sullivan brought approximately two thousand men into Washington痴 army. Also arriving at about the same time were 500 men, under the command of General Gates, previously attached to General Schuyler. Washington痴 army now stood at roughly 5,000; his original 3,000 reduced by 2,000 who left because their enlistments were up, but reinforced with the 1,200 troops under Stirling; the 2,000 troops under Sullivan; and the 1,000 Philadelphia Associators and Germans under Colonel Haussegger.

   Some historians claim that Washington formulated his plan to attack Trenton because of a strong belief that the Patriot Cause might not survive through the winter. Perhaps he saw the movement of the British army into winter quarters as an opportunity to strike at a portion of it without having take on the entire army. Regardless of the underlying motivation, General Washington held a council of war with his staff officers at his headquarters at Newtown on the 24th of December. Plans were made to attack the Hessians under Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall holding Trenton the following day, Christmas.

   The plan of attack called for Brigadier General James Ewing to take a division of 700 men across the river at Trenton Ferry to take posession of and hold the bridge over the Assunpink River. That would seal off any escape route for the Germans. Lieutenant Colonel John Cadwalader was to lead two divisions, about 1,900 men, across near Bristol; from there they would march on the Hessian garrison at Bordentown under the command of General Carl von Donop. General Washington would take the main body of nearly 2,400 men across the river some nine miles upstream from Trenton at McKonkey痴 Ferry.

   The plan sounded good, but the elements did not come together as they were supposed to. To start with, Cadwalader痴 march on Bordentown was intended to serve as a decoy, but after getting his men across the river it was proving too arduous to transport the artillery across. Without the artillery, it would be difficult to engage the enemy. So, Cadwalader took his men back to the Pennsylvania side of the river. Ewing didn稚 even attempt a crossing of the river; he felt it would be too hazardous. Only General Washington痴 own division made the crossing successfully, including the transport of their artillery. It would be 3:00am on the morning of the 26th before all the troops and artillery succeeded in crossing the river. They were formed into two columns; the right, following the River Road in order to come upon the town from the south, was led by Sullivan while the left, which took the Pennington Road to enter the town from the north, was commanded by Greene.

   According to General Washington, in a letter to the Congress dated 27 December, the division under General Greene:

"arrived at the Enemys advanced poフ, exactly at Eight O辰lock, and in three Minutes after, I found, from the fire on the lower Road that, that Diviナon had alバ got up."

   Legend has it that the Hessians were sleeping off hangovers from their Christmas Day partying. But that is now generally believed to have been a wrong assumption because the pickets delivered news of the advance of the Americans to Colonel Rall in time for him to begin to assemble his men into formation.

   An account of the battle that followed was included in the Annual Register for the year 1777, published at London:

Colonel Rall, a brave and experienced officer, was フationed with a brigade of Heピians, conナフing of three battalions, with a few British light-horテ, and 50 chaピeurs, amounting in the whole to 14 or 1500 men, at Trenton on the Delaware, being the higheフ poフ which the royal army accupied upon that river. Colonel Donop, with another brigade, lay at Bordentown, a few miles lower the river; and at Burlington フill lower, and within twenty miles of Philadelphia, a third body was poフed. The corps at Trenton, as well as the others, partly from the knowledge had of the weakneピ of the enemy, and partly from the contempt in which they held him, conナdered themテlves in as perfect a フate of テcurity, as if they had been garriバn duty in their own country, in a time of the profoundeフ peace. It is ヂid, and テems probable, that this ブppoテd テcurity increaテd that licence and laxity of diツipline, of which we have before taken notice, and produced attention to the poャibility of a ブrprize, which no ブcceピ of ナtuation can juフify in the vicinity of an enemy, however weak or contemptible.
 
The circumフances, if really exiフed, テem not to eツaped the vigilance of General Waドington. But, excluナve of theテ, he fully ヂw and comprehended the danger to which Philadelphia and the whole province would be inevitably expoテd, as バon as the Delaware was thoroughly covered with ice, if the enemy, by retaining poピeピion of the oppoナte ドore, were at hand to profit of that circumフance, whilフ he was utterly incapable of oppoナng them in the field.
 
To ward off this danger, he with equal boldneピ and ability formed a deナgn to prevent the enemy, by beating up their quarters; intending to remedy the deficieny of force by the manner of applying it; by bringing it nearly to a point; and by attacking unexpectedly and テparately thoテ bodies which he could not venture to encounter if united. If the deナgn ブcceeded only in part, it might, however, induce the enemy to contract their cantonments, and to quit the vicinity of the river, when they found it was not a ブfficient barrier to cover their quarters from inブlt and danger; thus obtaining that テcurity for Philadelphia, which, at preテnt, was the princlipal object of his attention.
 
For this purpoテ, General Waドington took the neceピary meaブres for aピembling his forces (which conナフed moフly of drafts from the militia of Penペlvania and Virginia) in three diviナons, each of which was to arrive at its appointed フation on the Delaware, as バon after dark, and with as little noiテ, as poピible, on the night of Chriフmas day. Two of theテ diviナons were under the command of the Generals Erwing and Cadwallader, the firフ of,which was to paピ the river at Trenton Ferry, about a mile below the town, and the other フill lower towards Bordentown. The principal body was commanded by Mr. Waドington in perバn, aピiフed by the Generals Sullivan and Green, and conナフed of about 2500 men, provided with a train of 20 ノall braピ field pieces.
 
With this body he arrived at M狸enky痴 Ferry, about nine miles above Trenton, at the time appointed, hoping to be able to paピ the diviナon and artillery over by midnight, and that it would then be no difficulty to reach that place long before daylight, and effectually to ブrprize Rall痴 brigade. The river was, however, バ incumbred with ice, that it was with great difficulty the boats could make their way through, which, with the extreme テverity of the weather, retarded their paャage バ much, that it was near four o団lock before it was compleated. They were フill equally delayed and incommoded in the march by a violent フorm of ハow and hail, which rendered the way バ ネippery that it was with difficulty they reached the place of deフination by eight o団lock.
 
The detachment had been formed in two diviナons immediately upon paピing the river, one of which, turning to the right, took the lower road to Trenton, whilフ the other, with General Waドington, proceeded along the upper, or Pennington road. Notwithフanding the delays they met, and the advanced フate of daylight, the Heピians had no knowledge of their approach, until an advanced poフ at バme diフance from the town, was attacked by the upper diviナon, the lower, about the ヂme time, driving in the outguards on their ナde. The regiment of Rall, having been detached to ブpport the picket which was firフ attacked, was thrown into diバrder by the retreat of that party, and obliged to rejoin the main body. Colonel Rall now bravely charged the enemy but being バon mortally wounded, the troops were thrown into diバrder after a ドort engagement, and driven from their artillery, which conナフed only of ナx battalion braピ field pieces. Thus overpowered, and nearly ブrrounded, after an ineffectual attempt to retreat to Princetown, the three regiments of Rall, Loピberg, and Knyphauテn, found themテlves under the unfortunate neceピity of ブrrendering priバners of war.
 
As the road along the river ナde to Bordentown led from that part of Trenton moフ remote from the enemy, the light horテ, chaピeurs, a conナderable number of the private men, with バme few officers, made their eツape that way. It is alバ ヂid, that a number of the Heピians who had been out marauding in the country, and accordingly abテnt from their duty that morning, found the ヂme refuge, whilフ their crime was covered under the common miデortune.
 
The loピ of the Heピians in killed and wounded was very inconナderable, not exceeding 30 or 40 at the moフ; that on the other ナde was too trifling to be mentioned; the whole nurnber of priバners amounted to 918. Thus was one part of General Waドington痴 project crowned with ブcceピ; but the two others failed in the execution, the quantity of ice being バ great, that the diviナons under Erwing and Cadwallader, found the river, where they directed their attempts, impaピable. If this had not been the caテ, and that the firフ, in purブance of his inフructions, had been able to have poピeピed the bridge over Trenton Creek, not one of thoテ who made their way to Bordentown could have eツaped. But if the deナgn had taken effect in all its parts, and the three diviナons had joined after the affair at Trenton, it テems probable that they would have ヘept all the poフs on the river before them.
 
As things were, General Waドington could not proceed any further in the proテcution of his deナgn. The force he had with him was far from being able even to maintain its ground at Trenton, there being a フrong body of light infantry within a few miles a Princetown, which by the junction of Donop痴 brigade, or other bodies from the neareフ cantonments, would have バon overwhelmed his little army. He accordingly repaピed the Delaware the ヂme evening, carrying with him the priバners, who, with their artillery and colours, afforded a day of new and joyful triumph at Philadelphia.

   Although only alluded to briefly in the account above, Colonel Rall attempted to repulse the Americans by making a bayonet charge up King Street. Colonel Henry Knox had positioned his artillery at the head of King and Queen Streets, and effectively kept the Germans at bay. As they retreated back down King Street, Rall痴 troops were fired upon from the left by the men under General Hugh Mercer. The Hessians were driven back to an orchard at the southeast end of the town where Colonel Rall attempted to rally them. But he received a mortal wound. The troops saw the futility of their situation, and surrendered.

   According to most estimates, the Americans losses included four killed and eight wounded, while the Hessians sustained twenty-two deaths and ninety-two wounded, along with the capture of the 918. It is believed that another four or five hundred Hessians escaped to Bordentown by crossing over the Assunpink River.

   General Washington wrote to Robert Morris from his camp at Newton on 27 December and stated that he regretted that the ice in the Delaware River had prevented Cadwallader and Ewing from making the crossing. He said that:

"I am perブaded we ドould have been crowned with much succeピ...not a Heピian would have eツaped from thence."

   Despite his regrets that the victory was not bigger than what it was, he underestimated the enormous value it had in terms of bolstering the public spirit. It was a much needed victory for the Patriot Cause.