Following his famous crossing of the Delaware River, General George Washington marched the Continental Army to Trenton, New Jersey. The weather was worse than it had been crossing the river, yet the army continued to proceed as Washington rode up and down the column, pressing his men to carry on.
Shortly after eight o’clock on the morning of December 26, 1776, the Continental Army started its charge on the city. They marched through thick snow with Washington personally leading the middle charge, while German drums urgently called the Hessians to arms. Washington had maintained the element of surprise.
As the Hessians grouped, the Continental Army entered the city at two points, while Nathanael Greene and Washington arrived from the north. The Hessian officers incorrectly assumed they were surrounded with no option for retreat, deciding to counterattack Washington within the city. This proved to be costly as Washington’s forces occupied the highest ground with clear views of all Hessian movements.
Again and again, efforts to outflank the Continentals failed, allowing Washington’s forces to overpower Hessians, who broke ranks, fleeing from the fighting. They retreated east of Trenton where they were forced to surrender. Despite the large number of Hessians that escaped Trenton, Washington still won a crucial strategic and material victory. In only one hour of fighting, the Continental Army secured a vital victory.
With today’s emphasis on cutting corners and sacrificing quality in a fight to the bottom, we believe in the ideal that working smarter and delivering more than expected is the better battle plan.