Tag Archives: Trenton

How Washington Escaped A Trap

After the battle of  Trenton, Washington went back across the Delaware River. He had not men enough to fight the whole British army. But the Americans were glad when they heard that he had beaten the Hessians. They sent him more soldiers. Then he went back across the river to Trenton again. There was a British general named Cornwallis. He marched to Trenton. He fought against Wash­ington. Cornwallis had more men than Washington had. Night came, and they could not see to fight. There was a little creek between the two armies. Washington had not boats enough to carry his men across the river. Cornwallis was sure to beat him if they should fight a battle the next morning.

Cornwallis said, “I will catch the fox in the morning.” He called Washington a fox. He thought he had him in a trap. Cornwallis sent for some more soldiers to come from Princeton in the morning. He wanted them to help him catch the fox. But foxes sometimes get out of traps.

When it was dark,Washington had all his camp fires lighted. He put men to digging where the British could hear them. He made Cornwallis think that he was throwing up banks of earth and getting ready to fight in the morning.

But Washington did not stay in Trenton. He did not wish to be caught like a fox in a trap. He could not get across the river. But he knew a road that went round the place where Cornwallis and his army were. He took that road and got behind the British army.

It was just like John waiting to catch James. James is in the house.  John is waiting at the front door to catch James when he comes out. But James slips out by the back way. John hears him call ” Hello ! ” James has gone round behind him and got away.

Washington went out of Trenton in the darkness. You might say that he marched out by the back door. He left Cornwallis watching the front door. The Ameri­cans went away quietly. They left a few men to keep up the fires, and make a noise like digging. Before morning these slipped away too. When morning came, Cornwallis went to catch his fox. But the fox was not there.

He looked for the Americans. There was the place where they had been digging. Their camp fires were still burning. But where had they gone? Cornwallis thought that Washington had crossed the river by some means. But soon he heard guns firing away back toward Princeton. He thought that it must be thunder. But he found that it was a battle. Then he knew that Washington had gone to Princeton.

Washington had marched all night. When he got to Princeton, he met the British coming out to go to Trenton. They were going to help Cornwal­lis to catch Washington. But Washington had come to Princeton to catch them. He had a hard fight with the British at Princeton. But at last he beat them.

When Cornwallis knew that the Americans had gone to Princeton, he hurried there to help his men. But it was too late. Washington had beaten the British at Princeton, and had gone on into the hills, where he was safe.  The fox had got out of the trap.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, Washington’s Last Battle    Rita Bay

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Washington’s Christmas Gift

 Washington was fighting to set this country free. But the army that the King of England sent to fight him was stronger than Washington’s army. Washington was beaten and driven out of Brooklyn. Then he had to leave New York. After that he marched away into New Jersey to save his army from being taken. At last he crossed the Delaware River. Here he was safe for a while.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emmanuel Leutze

Some of the Hessian soldiers that the king had hired to fight against the Americans came to Trenton. Trenton is on the Delaware River. Washington and his men were on the other side of the Delaware River from the Hessians.Washington’s men were discouraged. They had been driven back all the way from Brooklyn. It was winter, and they had no warm houses to stay in. They had not even warm clothes. They were dressed in old clothes that people had given them. Some of them were bare-footed in this cold weather.

The Hessians and other soldiers of the king were waiting for the river to freeze over. Then they would march across on the ice. They meant to fight Washington once more and break up his army But Washington was think­ing about some­thing too. He was waiting for Christmas. He knew that the Hessian sol­diers on the other side of the river would eat and drink a great deal on Christmas Day. The afternoon of Christmas came. The Hessians were singing and drinking in Trenton. But Washington was march­ing up the river bank. Some of his barefoot men left blood marks on the snow as they marched.

The men and cannons were put into flat boats. These boats were pushed across the river with poles. There were many great pieces of ice in the river. But all night long the flat boats were pushed across and then back again for more men.

It was three o’clock on the morning after Christ­mas when the last Americans crossed the river. It was hailing and snowing, and it was very cold. Two or three of the soldiers were frozen to death.

It was eight o’clock in the morning when Washington got to Trenton. The Hessians were sleeping soundly. The sound of the American drums waked them. They jumped out of their beds. They ran into the streets. They tried to fight the Americans.

But it was too late. Washington had already taken their cannons. His men were firing these at the Hessians. The Hessians ran into the fields to get away. But the Americans caught them. The battle was soon over. Washington had taken nine hundred prisoners. This was called the battle of Trenton. It gave great joy to all the Americans. It was Washing­ton’s Christmas gift to the country.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, How Washington Escaped a Trap      Rita Bay

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