This is the second entry in our Celebrate America series. We hope you enjoy this visit to the second of four pivotal points in American History

General Washington Crosses the Delaware

In the winter of 1776, morale was low for American soldiers. They consistently lost battles. They were cold, hungry and desperately short of supplies.Many enlistments were ending in January and the average fighting man was not expected to renew. General Washington recognized that his army was close to losing the fight for American independence.

On December 25, while the Hessians (German soldiers hired to fight by the British) celebrated Christmas with a feast and heavy drinking in their encampment at Trenton, George Washington put a desperate plan into action. With 2,000 soldiers, he crossed the bitterly cold, ice-encrusted Delaware River at night to reach that encampment.

The Germans were drunk, overfed and surprised by the attack. And in 45 minutes, the surprise attack was over. The American army gained 900 German prisoners, provisions and food, and a restored will to fight.