Manuscript/Mixed Material George Washington to Continental Congress, December 27, 1776
I have the pleasure of Congratulating you upon the success of an enterprize which I had formed against a Detachment of the Enemy lying in Trenton, and which was executed yesterday Morning. The Evening of the 25th I ordered the Troops intended for this Service [which were about 2400]91 to parade back of McKonkey's Ferry, that they might begin to pass as soon as it grew dark, imagining we should be able to throw them all over, with the necessary Artillery, by 12 O'Clock, and that we might easily arrive at Trenton by five in the Morning, the distance being about nine Miles. But the Quantity of Ice, made that Night, impeded the passage of the Boats so much, that it was three O'Clock before the Artillery could all get over, and near four, before the Troops took up their line of march.
This made me despair of surprising the Town, as I well knew we could not reach it before the day was fairly broke, but as I was certain there was no making a Retreat without being discovered, and harassed on repassing the River, I determined to push on at all Events. I form'd my detachments into two divisions one to March by the lower or River Road, the other by the upper or Pennington Road. As the Divisions had nearly the same distance to March, I ordered each of them, immediately upon forcing the out Guards, to push directly into the Town, that they might charge the Enemy before they had time to form. The upper Division92 arrived at the Enemys advanced post, exactly at Eight O'Clock, and in three Minutes after, I found, from the fire
91. The phrase in brackets is in the draft but not in the letter sent.
92. As first written the draft was “I arrived with the upper division.”
About this Item
- George Washington Papers, Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775-1785, Subseries 3A, Continental Congress, 1775-1783, Letterbook 2: Sept. 24, 1776 - Aug. 30, 1777
- Contributor Names
- Washington, George, 1732-1799 (Author)
- Created / Published
- Subject Headings
- - United States
- - Manuscripts
- Call Number/Physical Location
- MSS 44693: Reel 002
- series: Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775-1785
- series: Subseries 3A, Continental Congress, 1775-1783
- Source Collection
- George Washington papers
- Manuscript Division
- Online Format
- online text
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The Diaries of George Washington
The following statement is made by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, the copyright owners of The Diaries of George Washington.
Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976-79; a series of The Papers of George Washington. Copyright 1976-79 by the Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia. Used by permission of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for the correctness and completeness of the images and texts as they appear in this online collection.
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Chicago citation style:
Washington, George. George Washington Papers, Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775 to 1785, Subseries 3A, Continental Congress, 1775 to 1783, Letterbook 2: Sept. 24, 1776. 1776. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/mgw3a.002/.
APA citation style:
Washington, G. (1776) George Washington Papers, Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775 to 1785, Subseries 3A, Continental Congress, 1775 to 1783, Letterbook 2: Sept. 24, 1776. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mgw3a.002/.
MLA citation style:
Washington, George. George Washington Papers, Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775 to 1785, Subseries 3A, Continental Congress, 1775 to 1783, Letterbook 2: Sept. 24, 1776. 1776. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mgw3a.002/>.