Christmas of 1776

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bonnie, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    In 1776, just six months after signing the Declaration of Independence, the united American colonies were on the verge of military defeat. In November, Gen. George Washington's citizen soldiers were defeated on Long Island and forced retreat. By December, the Americans managed to retreat safely across the Deleware River to Pennsylvania, but this Christmas would not bring peace and tranquility.

    During the Christmas of 1776, hope, or what little of it remained from heady days in Philadelphia, was all but lost. Washington's army, if it could be called an army, was badly equipped-many of the soldiers were without shoes. Nedless to say, morale was low and expectations of victory even lower.

    It was then that washington summoned his generals and devised a plan to launch a surprise assault on the Hessian soldiers-German mercenaries-who lied in wait at Tenton N.J., just across the Deleware River. Here the plan was drawn up, "Christmas Day at night..is the time fixed upon for our attempt on Trenton, " said Washington.

    Meanwhile, Thomas Paine proved once again that the pen is mightier than the sword as he inspired the soldiers, writing: "These are the times that tyr men's souls...the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

    On Christmas night 1776, Washington's army of 2,400 men stealthily crossed the partially frozen Deleware River.

    The crossing had taken longer than planned, and, as a result, the attack would not occur under the cover of night. Nontheless, it would soon be revealed that the Americans had achieved total surprise. Just two hours after it began, the Battle of Trenton was complete-the Americans won a smashing victory, capturing more than 900 Hessian prisoners of war.

    A Hessian officer stationed in New York at the time, wrote, "Thus the times had changed! The Americans had constantly run before us. Four weeks ago we expected to end the war with the capture of Philadelphia, and now we have to render Washington the honor of thinking about our defense. Due to this affair at Trenton, such a fright came over the army that if Washington had used the opportunity we would have flown to our ships and let him have all of America. Since we had thus far underestimated our enemy, from this unhappy day onward we saw everything through a magnifying glass." The men who fought and won the battle of Trenton changed the course of history.

    And when they won, the victory was sweet. News of Trenton and Princeton spread across the land, lifting spirits of patriots everywhere. Many a battle lay ahead, but now Americans could think of winning the War of Independence. Now they could imagine that their great strugle would have a glorious end."

    Washington and his army restored hope that America would be free- this was America's first Christmas and it is, a timeless lesson in hope, sacrifice and the spirit of Christmas.

    www.townhall.com/columnists/jackkemp/printjk20041220.shtml

    Can you imagine how many newspapers today would report this world changing event.........??
     
  2. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    the wall street journal, that's it... and blogs everywhere, and fox news... and NHK (fair to americans, from japan)
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    While we are on the topic of George Washington, I just finished reading the new book on him, His Excellency: George Washington, and I have come to the conclusion that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were the major persons responsible for birthing this nation. Washington was a very poor military commander and lost almost every battle he was involved in, with the exception of a very few, such as the subject of your post, Bonnie. Something very odd or strange always happened (which had absolutely nothing to do with Washington) when Washington was able to win a battle from the British. I know we do not like to hear this today, but if France had not come to our rescue in the Revolutionary War, it is entirely possible that we might still be British subjects today. I guess we finally paid our long overdue debt to France when we rescued them from the Germans in WWII at a terrible cost in American lives.

    If anyone else on the board has read the new Washington book, I would be interested in hearing your comments/reactions to it. I am going to have to read some more books on Washington to see if I still feel the same way about Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson.
     
  4. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    No question that Geo W. was not the greatest commander in the world at the time. Also no question that without France's help, the colonists would never have achieved independence.

    The info in the book has been recorded time and again through out US history; most people dont take the time to read in depth sufficiently to get all the facts concerning the American Revolution.
     
  5. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Washington was still a good commander, but you are right, the two best generals of the day were Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold. The France statement is probably true, but they didn't help as much as they like to claim they did, but probably a bit more than we will admit.
     
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  6. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Yep...the French were actually more interested in causing problems for the English than they were in helping the colonists. They were a key factor in the defeat of the British at Yorktown though.
     

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