There are tales in histroy and life, that would never be forgotten; those tales that you would even want your grandson to know; stories that you tell to your child with the uttermost joy and excitement. One of this tales is the Crossing of the Delaware, a tale we want to share with you all. I’m sure most of the Americans have heard it, after all it is a compelling story, an example of freedom and independence that can help us understand that American liberty wasn’t always assured; that people needed to fight against all odds with all their hearts until the very end for it. George Washington and his men as they crossed the Delaware, took history in their own hands and incredibly changed its inexorable course. As things were going, British in a few months were expected to win the Revolutionary War, but this revolutionaries ultimately changed this in this tale; a tale that would be always sounded through history. There was nothing easy about what this men did. They were not equipped, they had no clothes, no food. Marching in the winter was harsh, especially when shoes were not available, and crossing icy water was dangerous and not a recommendable action. However all this was done just to take on the Largest and Strongest Army in the world. These Americans were models of persistence and Washington himself one of the most brilliant leaders. In 1776, twenty hundred men crossed the Delaware. Now in 2012 more than two hundred ninety million Americans, and not just Americans, are beneficiaries of their bravery.

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Our tale opens in the late 1776. It was a time of trouble in the country. As war raged on against British, Patriots well doing not so well, and consequently were losing the war. By November of 1776, the British had defeated George Washington and is men on Long Island, and New York was lost. Patriots have been driven out of New York, and were now pursued through New Jersey. How could the Americans defeated the well trained Redcoats? Many of the americans had no jackets for warmth and many had no shoes and marched with rags wrapped around their feet. And to worsen the situation, everybody was hungry. To find an answer to this question, Washington and his generals decided to use the “surprise element”: cross the Delaware River into Trenton, New Jersey. On the other side of the river British had stationed Hessians which had no respect for American Soldiers and believed they would never do something daring or even bold. Washington would then the unexpected: something daring and bold; cross the Delaware.

Washington called a meeting of Generals and worked out a plan. They agreed that American Troops would cross the Delaware River at Christmas night from different places. Before Dawn of December 26, they should attack the Hessian at Trenton. Washington warned his officers to keep the plan a secret, because to succeed, they needed to catch the Hessians by surprise. By December 25, Americans gathered near the Delaware River ready to cross it and reach Pennsylvania secretly. This task was eased as days before, Washington had order his army to take any boat they found and could use. Reaching the other side of the Delaware River would place Patriots in safety for a time, and also would give them a great military advantage; however the perils that awaited were great. But the Patriots, beaten down as they were, would be able to succeed over these perils and fight again in war? Spirit and morale were essential for succeeding; and who better than Thomas Paine to rise it? Paine had marched with the army across New Jersey and had come with some words to encourage them. Paine wrote: “These are times that try 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.” George Washington would read many of his work such as “American Crisis” to their men to raise their spirits.

Finally the night came. George Washington lead twenty-four hundred men, the main part of the army to a crossing point about nine miles from Trenton. There the soldiers crowded in a black ship that would take them to the other side of the shore. The night that day, was very cold, and the river freezing. The men had a difficult crossing. They had to break ice to get the boats in the river and they needed to evade large chunks of floating ice in their way. The good things was that Washington had some good seafarers who new how to navigate in treacherous waters. The sailor maneuvered boat after boat across the icy river. As soon one group got to the New Jersey shore , they returned to pick up another ones. Washington crossed at the early hours of the crossing. He stood and watch how the wet soldiers arrived. He concluded that their spirit was good but that there was one problem, the crossing was taken longer than expected. Another problem was transporting the cannons, that together with the ammunition, weighed two thousands pounds. Placing them into a slippery boat and making sure that it didn’t sink on the way was difficult, dangerous and slow.

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Downstream, two of George Washington’s commanders struggle to take their men across the river but they couldn’t. General James Ewing and Colonel John Cadwalader could not get through the ice so they had to give up the battle at Trenton. By three o’clock, Washington’s men had already crossed and went on, marching the nine miles to Trenton. It was four o’clock when the army started to move; many hours later than Washington had initially planned. He feared that as the sun was rising, their attack wouldn’t be a surprise; however, there was no turning back. Luckily the Americans encounter with the Hessians resulted a complete surprise. The Americans with their courage and cannons won the first fight and made the Hessians retreat to an orchard field. After having retreat, the Hessians organized an attack hours later, from the orchard. After two hours of fight, the Battle of Trenton was over. Americans had had few deaths, while nine hundred Hessians had been captured. After many defeats, the patriots had finally won a great victory.

Here our tale ends, tale of honor and respect which helped to forge a new independent nation. The crossing of the Delaware resulted as planned, and brought the Patriots their first major victory after having so many defeats. The Crossing of the Delaware is something you should never forget, after all it secured independence and victory.

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