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at Mr Kenny's Ferry, at the time appointed, loping before midnight to pass over that division, and the artillery, and then it would be no difficulty to reach that place before. day-light, and effecțually to surprise Colonel Rail's brigade. The passage was however difficult; the river was so encumbered with ice that it was with great labour that they could work the boats cross the river, which retarded their paffage są much that it was near four o'clock before it was com pleated. They were also hindered in their march by 4 violent storm of snow and hail, which rendered the way so flippery, that it was with difficulty they reach, ed the place of their destination by eight o'clock.
The detachments were formed in two divisions im mediately upon their landing, one of which turning to their right, took the lower road to Trenton ; and the other, with General Washington, proceeded along the upper road to Pennington. Notwithstanding the delays and interruptions they met with, and the advan, ced state of day-light, the Hellians had no knowledge of their approach, until an advanced post at some diltance from the town was attacked by the upper divi fion; the lower division about the same time driving in the out grounds on their fidę. - The regiment of Rall having been detached to support the picquęt which was first attacked, was soon put into diforder by the regreat of that party, and obliged to rejoin the main bor dy. Colonel Rall now bravely charged the enemy, but being soon mortally wounded, the troops were thrown into disorder, after a fhort encounter, and driyen from their artillery, which confifted of fix brass field pieces. Thuş overpowered and nearly surrounded, after an ineffectual attempt to retreat to Prince. town, the three regiments of Rall, Lofsberg, and
Knyphausen, were obliged to surrender prisoners of war. Some few of the Chaffeurs, and some ftragglers made their escape along the river fide to Bordentown, several of the Hessians that had been out plundering in the country, and accordingly absent from their dety that morning, took the same way of saving themselves, while their crime was concealed under the général trisfortune. - The loss of the Hellian's in killed and wounded was Verý, inconfiderable ; their loss in this respect did not exceed forry, at most. The loss of the Americans was Itill more inconsiderable. The prisoners amounted tő 918. Thus one part of General Washington's pláň was executed with success; but the two others failed in the execution; the quantity of ice being so great that the divisions under Erving and Cadwallader, found the fiver at the places they were to cross impasible. Had ñot this happened, and that the first according to his order's had been able to take poffeflion of the bridge over Trenton Creek, not one of those that fled to Bordentown would have escaped. Had the design been éxécured in all its parts, and the three divisions had joined after the affair at Trentoni
, it seems probable flat they would have swept all the posts on the river before them.
In his prefent situation General Washington could not proceed farther in his plan of operation. The force he had with him was far from being able to maintain its ground at Trenton, there being a body of light infantry at Princetown, which was only a few miles distant, which by the junction of Donop's bris gade, or other 'bodies from the nearest cantonments, would have foon fwallowed up his little army. He ac, cordingly retid the pictware the same evening,
carrying with him the prisoners, who with their artilJery and colours, afforded a day of new and joyful tria umph in Philadelphia. This finall success wonderful- ! ly raised the spirit of the colonists. It is a strange, but a general disposition in mankind to be more afraid of those they do not know, than of those with whom they are acquainted. Difference of dress, of arms, complexion, beard, colour of the hair or eyes, with the general mein and countenance, have on various occasions had surprising effects, upon even brave and experienced soldiers. The Hessians had hitherto been very terrible to the Americans, and the taking a whole brigade of them prisoners, appeared fo incredible ac, Philadelphia, that the very time they were marching to that city, people were contending in different parts that the whole story was a fiction, and that indeed it could not be true. The charm was however broken, and the Heflians were no longer terrible. These invincible troops were found both to be vulnerables and capable of being fubdued; and the Americans found, that by suitable exertions of their own strength they were a match for the most terrible of their enemies. From this time they began to understand their own importance, and made our men find their imprefsion more heavily that for some time before. Thuis so far turned the scale of success, that our troops nee ver after that time gained an advantage that was of any real emolument to them,
General Washington was now reinforced by several regiments from Virginia and Maryland, as well as with several new bodies of Pensylvania militia, who with those of that province under his command, were much distinguished in the hard service of the ensuing: winter campaiga. The furprise at Trenton did not excite
jess amazement in the British and auxiliary quarters than it did joy in those of the Americans. That three old veteran regiments of a people that make war a profession, should lay down their arms to a ragged and untrained militia, and that with scarcely any loss on their side, seemed an event of fo extraordinary a nature, that it gave full scope to the operation of conijecture, suspicion, censure, and malignity, as different persons were differently affected. General Howe was blamed for making fo extensive a chain of cantonments; Rall was blamed for marching out of the town to meet the enemy; and the Hessians were blamed for cow. ardice in the opinion of their allies. General Howe was certainly led into this error by the deep scheme which General Washington had laid,--and he was carched in a fnare that very few perfons could have escaped. The American General had fo exquisitely counterfeited weakness, fear, and distress, that even his own friends had the same apprehensions that his enemies had concerning his situation. It was no worrder that General Howe imagined there was no danger from a General that appeared to have neither iner, money, nor any present resources.---The friends of General Howe vindicated his character by alledging, that he not only depended upon the weakness of the enemy, but was influenced to make such cantonment's to cover and protect Monmouth county, where a great number of the people were well-affected to govern
It was added in his defence, that perhaps no line of cantonments or posts can be so perfectly con trived as not to admit of an impression, in some part, by a force much inferior to the aggregate power of the defensive. It, upon the whole appears, that on this occafion General Howe was outwitted by General
General Wathington. As to Colonel Rall, provid ed the charge against him was just; his misconduct proceeded from the fame error which prevailed generally among both officers and men of the British as well as the Hessian forces: From their successes and superiority in the former campaign, which they per
ceived they had in every action, they held the colonifts in the utmost contempt, both as men and as soldiers; and were ready to attribute all their advantages to their own personal bravery, which were in fact derived from a number of other occurrent circumftances; from military skill, experience, and discipline, from the superior excellency of their small arms, artillery, and of all other engines, and supplies necessary for war; and still more particularly to a better supply, and a more dexterous use of the bayonets, which gave them a great superiority over the Americans, who were but badly furnished with this kind of arms, and were not expert in the use of them.
The King's troops began now to perceive that they had more to do than sport themselves in winter quarters. The alarm that was now ispread induced the Britilh and auxiliary troops immediately to assemble, and General Grant, with the forces at Brunswick to advance speedily to Princetown, whilft Lord Cornwallis who was gone to New York in his way to England, found it necessary to delay his voyage, and return to the defence of the Jerseys.. 1 They found that they were not now without an enemy to encounter, for General Washington having received reinforcements, had again pafsed the Delaware, and was with his whole force at Trenton. Lord Cornwallis advanced prefently to attack hin, and found him strongly posted at the back of Trenton Creek, and in possesion of Ff.