SIG MMG 338 Program Series

My Second Favorite Christmas Tale – Washington Crosses The Delaware

On Christmas night 1776, George Washington led a force of American patriots across the Delaware River to attack the Hessian mercenary garrison at Trenton, New Jersey which was fighting for the British.

You’ve likely seen Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, painted in 1851, but modern artist Mort Kunstler created a much more likely depiction of events in his 2011 painting entitled, Washington’s Crossing.

It was audacious plan; take a force of 5400, including artillery, across a river at night in a storm in order to attack the enemy in his sleep. 2400 made it with 3,000 troops and the critical artillery stranded in the wrong side of the Delaware. Washington struck out toward his prey and attacked at 8:00 AM, fortunate that the defenders were groggy from their Weinacht’s Fest, surprising many still in bed.

Miraculously, only three Americans were killed, while over 1000 Hessians were captured with 22 killed and 98 wounded. Unfortunately, without his additional force, Washington was forced to withdraw. But the psychological victory fed faith in the revolution.

Consequently, George Washington crossing the Delaware in the middle of a stormy night in order to kill German mercenaries remains my second favorite Christmas tale.

2 Responses to “My Second Favorite Christmas Tale – Washington Crosses The Delaware”

  1. Sasquatch says:

    Killing Germans on Christmas is quite the time honored tradition!