“Necessity, dire necessity, will, nay must, justify an attempt.” – Washington Plans an Attack on Trenton

Emerging Revolutionary War Era

In another installment of #TrentonTuesday we look at Washington’s plan of attack. George Washington, who had been mulling the prospect of an attack for weeks, saw an opportunity in the Hessian outpost at Trenton. Much of his information was coming from his spies and he also realized that the British employed numerous spies in his own camp, so he would need to conceal his plans. Secrecy and stealth would be the most important aspects if he wished to keep the element of surprise on his side. Washington though needed to act. His aide, Colonel Joseph Reed wrote to Washington that “Our affairs are now hasting fast to ruin if we do not retrieve them by some happy event.  Delay is now equal to total defeat.”

Washington’s initial plan had three crossings of the Delaware River.

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