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Battle of Trenton Facts for Kids


  • The Battle of Trenton took place on the morning of December 26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, after General George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton, New Jersey.
  • The hazardous crossing in adverse weather made it possible for Washington to lead the main body of the Continental Army against Hessian soldiers garrisoned at Trenton.
  • After a brief battle, nearly the entire Hessian force was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans.
  • The Continental Army had previously suffered several defeats in New York and had been forced to retreat through New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
  • Morale in the army was low; to end the year on a positive note, George Washington—Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army—devised a plan to cross the Delaware River on the night of December 25–26 and surround the Hessian garrison.
  • The Hessians had lowered their guard, thinking they were safe from the American army, and had no long-distance outposts or patrols.
  • The Americans had been ousted from New York by the British and their Hessian auxiliaries, and the Continental Army was forced to retreat across New Jersey.
  • Washington’s force comprised 2,400 men, with infantry divisions commanded by Major Generals Nathanael Greene and John Sullivan, and artillery under the direction of Brigadier General Henry Knox.
  • One of the groups was sent north of Trenton, and the other was sent to block River Road, which ran along the Delaware River to Trenton.
  • On the high ground at the north end of Trenton, they were joined by a duty company from the Lossberg Regiment.