Christmas 1776

In preparation for an upcoming publication by Emerging Revolutionary War’s historian Mark Maloy, I was doing some light reading about the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. That is when I came across the following quote by the late Albert Chestone;

“The great Christmas raid in 1776 would forever serve as a model of how a special
operation–or a conventional mission, for that matter–might be successfully
conducted. There are never any guarantees for success on the battlefield; but with a
little initiative and a handful of good Americans, the dynamics of war can be altered
in a single night.”

There is no doubt that the actions that followed the daring enterprise of crossing the Delaware was a turning point in the long road to independence of the American colonies. Yet, sometimes we overlook the entire operation as a fait accompli.

But, imagine the stress, yearning, and anxiety that must have wracked George Washington on that Christmas day. The war, the dream, and his very own life hung in the balance.

Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts about the quote above.

One single night changed the dynamics of the war. A true turning point. As we prepare to turn the calendar to 2018, Emerging Revolutionary War wishes you all a happy holiday season and stay tuned on what the next year brings from us here!

“Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze, 1851

2 thoughts on “Christmas 1776

  1. greg r

    The most important 10 days in the Revolution, without a doubt. The War for Independence would never again be as close to total defeat than as things stood on the morning of Christmas Day, 1776. Washington risked everything…. and won 3 battles in 10 days. i don’t think this gets as much recognition as it deserves. Thanks for the post!


  2. William M Welsch

    Thanks, Phil. My only complaint is with Chestone’s calling the battle a raid. When the commander-in-chief commits two of his senior subordinates, five other generals, most of his available men, and 18 cannon, it’s not a raid, but a battle. Certainly not as big as some others, but a decent size one by revolutionary standards. Sorry – no raid.

    Bill Welsch


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