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Thread: A Revolutionary Christmas Story....

  1. #1
    A Revolutionary Christmas Story
    By LYNNE CHENEY

    Published: December 21, 2004


    AS 1776 was drawing to a close, Elkanah Watson, a young man in Massachusetts, expressed what many Americans feared about their war for independence. "We looked upon the contest as near its close," he wrote, "and considered ourselves a vanquished people."

    There was good reason for pessimism. The British had driven Gen. George Washington and his men out of New York and across New Jersey. In early December, with the British on their heels, the Americans had commandeered every boat they could find to escape across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. They were starving, sick and cold. The artist Charles Willson Peale, watching the landing from the Pennsylvania shore, described a soldier dressed "in an old dirty blanket jacket, his beard long and his face so full of sores that he could not clean it." So disfigured was the man, Peale wrote, that at first he did not recognize him as his brother James.

    In these desperate circumstances, George Washington made a stunning decision: to go back across the Delaware and launch a surprise attack on the Hessian mercenaries occupying Trenton. On Christmas night, he led 2,400 men, many of them with their feet wrapped in rags because they had no shoes, to a crossing point nine miles upstream from Trenton. As freezing temperatures turned rain to sleet and snow, they began to cross the river.

    The task was harder than any of them had imagined. Men had to break through ice to get into the boats and then fend off chunks of floating ice once they were in the river. Getting cannons across - each weighed nearly a ton - was especially difficult. Downstream, two other groups that Washington had ordered to cross the Delaware failed in their mission. But Washington and his men persevered, until finally, at 4 o'clock in the morning, they were across and ready to march to Trenton.

    They had planned to approach Trenton before dawn, but the difficulty of the crossing had delayed them, and it was daylight when they encountered the first Hessians. Still, the surprise worked, and in two hours, with few losses of their own, they captured nearly 900 of the enemy. "This is a glorious day for our country," Washington declared.

    His men were exhausted after the battle, and many of them, their enlistments expired, decided to go home. But many others stayed with Washington as he decided to keep fighting. When he learned that thousands of British and Hessian troops were heading toward Trenton from Princeton, a pretty college town to the north, he deployed his troops along the south side of Assunpink Creek. He also sent a force to the north side of the creek to slow down the advancing enemy. Near evening on Jan. 2, 1777, when these delaying forces had done all they could, they ran for a narrow bridge that crossed the creek - and saw Washington waiting there for them. "I pressed against the shoulder of the general's horse and in contact with the boot of the general," a private remembered years later. "The horse stood as firm as the rider."

    Gen. Charles Cornwallis, the British commander, decided he could wait to attack the Americans. "We've got the old fox safe now," he is supposed to have said of Washington. "We'll go over and bag him in the morning." But Washington had other plans. He knew that Cornwallis had brought most of his troops with him, which meant that there would be far fewer of the enemy at Princeton. That night, with men and officers enjoined to silence and cannon wheels muffled with rags, Washington led the main body of his army on a march around Cornwallis's troops toward Princeton. It was dawn before Cornwallis realized they were gone.

    The first encounter of the two armies on farmland outside Princeton did not go well for the Americans. Many were killed, and the dazed survivors retreated, but Washington rallied his troops with the bravery for which he was becoming legendary and led them to within 30 yards of the British line. Once the two sides started firing, it seemed impossible that he would survive, but when the smoke cleared, there he was, straight and tall astride his white horse. With a great shout, the Americans began to advance. The British fell back and then ran. "Bring up the troops," Washington called to an aide. "The day is our own."

    Twice in 10 days Washington and his ragtag army had defeated the greatest military power in the world, and their victories lifted the spirits of patriots everywhere. True, the years ahead would be hard - Christmas 1777 would find Washington and his men at Valley Forge. But because of the 10-day campaign that began on Christmas 1776, Americans could now think of winning their war for independence. They could imagine that their great struggle would have a glorious end.



    Lynne Cheney, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots."

  2. #2
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    Great story...now fast forward to 2004.

    I betcha ten bucks Michael Moore-on, Moveon.org, ANSWER and other leftists groups/individuals would be out in Trenton protesting soon-to-be President Washington and his men, stating the "Hessian mercenaries are not our enemy!!!! Go bomb King George!!"

    Of course after this victory they'd probably spit on the soldiers who wore rags on their feet, calling them baby killers. Then they's demand a recount George Washington's Presidential election victory claiming "the Federalist party stole the election!! they gave the vote counters rigged eye-glasses so every vote looked like a vote for Washington!!"

    [b]I was down with George at the Delaware, but I wore a Kangol not the fake white hair!"[/b]

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY[/i]@Dec 23 2004, 11:01 PM
    [b] Great story...now fast forward to 2004.

    I betcha ten bucks Michael Moore-on, Moveon.org, ANSWER and other leftists groups/individuals would be out in Trenton protesting soon-to-be President Washington and his men, stating the "Hessian mercenaries are not our enemy!!!! Go bomb King George!!"

    Of course after this victory they'd probably spit on the soldiers who wore rags on their feet, calling them baby killers. Then they's demand a recount George Washington's Presidential election victory claiming "the Federalist party stole the election!! they gave the vote counters rigged eye-glasses so every vote looked like a vote for Washington!!"

    [b]I was down with George at the Delaware, but I wore a Kangol not the fake white hair!"[/b] [/b][/quote]
    LOL, you people are so full of s**t. It's quite a thing when your fighting for your own independence, and trying to force your own form of independence on a completely different people and society.

    Hell the dreaded "Massachussets liberals" those days were people like John Hancock, John Adams, and Sad Adams. The conservatives were probably the loyalists who wanted to remain subjects of the King.

    And while we're on the subject of war, I'm trying to think who was the president during World War II, oh yes Franklin Roosevelt, quite possibly the most liberal president in the nation's history.

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    "Don't Tread on Me" ring a bell?

    These guys went to war, blew people's heads off, because Britian put a tax on their favorite breakfast beverage. Does that sound like a pantywaist PC crowd to you?

    The only thing that Lynn Cheney doesn't fully convey was how dire the American cause was at that time. When you're done sloganeering down at the food co-op, read "Washington's Crossing" by David Hackett Fischer. But figure facts won't get in the way of your warped worldview. Merry Christmas!

  5. #5
    [quote][i]Originally posted by New England Hick[/i]@Dec 23 2004, 09:35 PM
    [b] A Revolutionary Christmas Story
    By LYNNE CHENEY

    Published: December 21, 2004


    AS 1776 was drawing to a close, Elkanah Watson, a young man in Massachusetts, expressed what many Americans feared about their war for independence. "We looked upon the contest as near its close," he wrote, "and considered ourselves a vanquished people."

    There was good reason for pessimism. The British had driven Gen. George Washington and his men out of New York and across New Jersey. In early December, with the British on their heels, the Americans had commandeered every boat they could find to escape across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. They were starving, sick and cold. The artist Charles Willson Peale, watching the landing from the Pennsylvania shore, described a soldier dressed "in an old dirty blanket jacket, his beard long and his face so full of sores that he could not clean it." So disfigured was the man, Peale wrote, that at first he did not recognize him as his brother James.

    In these desperate circumstances, George Washington made a stunning decision: to go back across the Delaware and launch a surprise attack on the Hessian mercenaries occupying Trenton. On Christmas night, he led 2,400 men, many of them with their feet wrapped in rags because they had no shoes, to a crossing point nine miles upstream from Trenton. As freezing temperatures turned rain to sleet and snow, they began to cross the river.

    The task was harder than any of them had imagined. Men had to break through ice to get into the boats and then fend off chunks of floating ice once they were in the river. Getting cannons across - each weighed nearly a ton - was especially difficult. Downstream, two other groups that Washington had ordered to cross the Delaware failed in their mission. But Washington and his men persevered, until finally, at 4 o'clock in the morning, they were across and ready to march to Trenton.

    They had planned to approach Trenton before dawn, but the difficulty of the crossing had delayed them, and it was daylight when they encountered the first Hessians. Still, the surprise worked, and in two hours, with few losses of their own, they captured nearly 900 of the enemy. "This is a glorious day for our country," Washington declared.

    His men were exhausted after the battle, and many of them, their enlistments expired, decided to go home. But many others stayed with Washington as he decided to keep fighting. When he learned that thousands of British and Hessian troops were heading toward Trenton from Princeton, a pretty college town to the north, he deployed his troops along the south side of Assunpink Creek. He also sent a force to the north side of the creek to slow down the advancing enemy. Near evening on Jan. 2, 1777, when these delaying forces had done all they could, they ran for a narrow bridge that crossed the creek - and saw Washington waiting there for them. "I pressed against the shoulder of the general's horse and in contact with the boot of the general," a private remembered years later. "The horse stood as firm as the rider."

    Gen. Charles Cornwallis, the British commander, decided he could wait to attack the Americans. "We've got the old fox safe now," he is supposed to have said of Washington. "We'll go over and bag him in the morning." But Washington had other plans. He knew that Cornwallis had brought most of his troops with him, which meant that there would be far fewer of the enemy at Princeton. That night, with men and officers enjoined to silence and cannon wheels muffled with rags, Washington led the main body of his army on a march around Cornwallis's troops toward Princeton. It was dawn before Cornwallis realized they were gone.

    The first encounter of the two armies on farmland outside Princeton did not go well for the Americans. Many were killed, and the dazed survivors retreated, but Washington rallied his troops with the bravery for which he was becoming legendary and led them to within 30 yards of the British line. Once the two sides started firing, it seemed impossible that he would survive, but when the smoke cleared, there he was, straight and tall astride his white horse. With a great shout, the Americans began to advance. The British fell back and then ran. "Bring up the troops," Washington called to an aide. "The day is our own."

    Twice in 10 days Washington and his ragtag army had defeated the greatest military power in the world, and their victories lifted the spirits of patriots everywhere. True, the years ahead would be hard - Christmas 1777 would find Washington and his men at Valley Forge. But because of the 10-day campaign that began on Christmas 1776, Americans could now think of winning their war for independence. They could imagine that their great struggle would have a glorious end.



    Lynne Cheney, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots." [/b][/quote]
    Hick--can you tell us where you got your GED from? In those days, did they require even an elementary knowledge of US history. You might be the dumbest person I have ever run across on the internet.

  6. #6
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by rextilleon+Jan 5 2005, 06:49 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (rextilleon &#064; Jan 5 2005, 06:49 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-New England Hick[/i]@Dec 23 2004, 09:35 PM
    [b] A Revolutionary Christmas Story
    By LYNNE CHENEY

    Published: December 21, 2004


    AS 1776 was drawing to a close, Elkanah Watson, a young man in Massachusetts, expressed what many Americans feared about their war for independence. "We looked upon the contest as near its close," he wrote, "and considered ourselves a vanquished people."

    There was good reason for pessimism. The British had driven Gen. George Washington and his men out of New York and across New Jersey. In early December, with the British on their heels, the Americans had commandeered every boat they could find to escape across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. They were starving, sick and cold. The artist Charles Willson Peale, watching the landing from the Pennsylvania shore, described a soldier dressed "in an old dirty blanket jacket, his beard long and his face so full of sores that he could not clean it." So disfigured was the man, Peale wrote, that at first he did not recognize him as his brother James.

    In these desperate circumstances, George Washington made a stunning decision: to go back across the Delaware and launch a surprise attack on the Hessian mercenaries occupying Trenton. On Christmas night, he led 2,400 men, many of them with their feet wrapped in rags because they had no shoes, to a crossing point nine miles upstream from Trenton. As freezing temperatures turned rain to sleet and snow, they began to cross the river.

    The task was harder than any of them had imagined. Men had to break through ice to get into the boats and then fend off chunks of floating ice once they were in the river. Getting cannons across - each weighed nearly a ton - was especially difficult. Downstream, two other groups that Washington had ordered to cross the Delaware failed in their mission. But Washington and his men persevered, until finally, at 4 o&#39;clock in the morning, they were across and ready to march to Trenton.

    They had planned to approach Trenton before dawn, but the difficulty of the crossing had delayed them, and it was daylight when they encountered the first Hessians. Still, the surprise worked, and in two hours, with few losses of their own, they captured nearly 900 of the enemy. "This is a glorious day for our country," Washington declared.

    His men were exhausted after the battle, and many of them, their enlistments expired, decided to go home. But many others stayed with Washington as he decided to keep fighting. When he learned that thousands of British and Hessian troops were heading toward Trenton from Princeton, a pretty college town to the north, he deployed his troops along the south side of Assunpink Creek. He also sent a force to the north side of the creek to slow down the advancing enemy. Near evening on Jan. 2, 1777, when these delaying forces had done all they could, they ran for a narrow bridge that crossed the creek - and saw Washington waiting there for them. "I pressed against the shoulder of the general&#39;s horse and in contact with the boot of the general," a private remembered years later. "The horse stood as firm as the rider."

    Gen. Charles Cornwallis, the British commander, decided he could wait to attack the Americans. "We&#39;ve got the old fox safe now," he is supposed to have said of Washington. "We&#39;ll go over and bag him in the morning." But Washington had other plans. He knew that Cornwallis had brought most of his troops with him, which meant that there would be far fewer of the enemy at Princeton. That night, with men and officers enjoined to silence and cannon wheels muffled with rags, Washington led the main body of his army on a march around Cornwallis&#39;s troops toward Princeton. It was dawn before Cornwallis realized they were gone.

    The first encounter of the two armies on farmland outside Princeton did not go well for the Americans. Many were killed, and the dazed survivors retreated, but Washington rallied his troops with the bravery for which he was becoming legendary and led them to within 30 yards of the British line. Once the two sides started firing, it seemed impossible that he would survive, but when the smoke cleared, there he was, straight and tall astride his white horse. With a great shout, the Americans began to advance. The British fell back and then ran. "Bring up the troops," Washington called to an aide. "The day is our own."

    Twice in 10 days Washington and his ragtag army had defeated the greatest military power in the world, and their victories lifted the spirits of patriots everywhere. True, the years ahead would be hard - Christmas 1777 would find Washington and his men at Valley Forge. But because of the 10-day campaign that began on Christmas 1776, Americans could now think of winning their war for independence. They could imagine that their great struggle would have a glorious end.



    Lynne Cheney, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots." [/b][/quote]
    Hick--can you tell us where you got your GED from? In those days, did they require even an elementary knowledge of US history. You might be the dumbest person I have ever run across on the internet. [/b][/quote]
    you haven&#39;t exactly demonstrated a unique knowledge on the subject either. ;) Why don&#39;t you try and make an educated response instead of running your mouth like most of your posts seem to show.

  7. #7
    that was pointless&#33;&#33;&#33;

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