The Battle of Trenton

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In late 1776, General George Washington desperately needed a victory. His Soldiers morale was slumping, and public attitude was deteriorating. Washington had set his sights on Trenton, but for him to assure some much needed success; he needed intelligence on the British’s camp at Trenton. He turned to a strong patriot, John Honeyman who agreed to embed himself as a spy for General Washington. Washington sent Honeyman forth from his home in Philadelphia to Griggs town, New Jersey which was 17 miles from Trenton. Honeyman settled in and posed as a butcher and a loyalist to the British King. Honeyman immediately made numerous contacts with the opposition and was soon regularly supplying beef to the Hessian troops stationed at Trenton, and consistently gaining their trust. The demand for beef was continues as the Christmas holidays approached, and Honeyman became familiar with the Hessian camp and the roads around the town. This is exactly what General Washington was looking for, an informant that new the inside of the opposition. General George Washington was a firm believer in intelligence and especially the hidden secret of the intelligence world and stated, “The necessity of procuring good Intelligence is apparent & need not be further urged--All that remains for me to add is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most enterprises of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated, however well planned & promising a favorable issue.” George Washington
At the end of 1776 the destiny of the Continental Army and its commander, George Washington, were at a low fade. Despite the great optimism inspired by the publication of Paine’s Common Sense and the Declaration ...

... middle of paper ... day the Army had won their first major victory. After the battle of Trenton, Honeyman continued spying for General Washington. Honeyman played his role as a loyal man to the British so well that the patriots who were not in on this secret ring had latter caught and jailed him for treason. When General Washington had gotten word of this he Colonel Jacob Hyer to step in and arrange bail so that Honeyman was not hung for treason.
The overall effect of the battle of Trenton was out of all proportion to the numbers involved and the casualties. General Washington and his troop’s efforts at Trenton spread across the colonies and the psychological governance achieved by the British in the previous year was no turning. Congress and the American people were stunned that such a strong German contingent could be surprised in such a manner with such little resistance.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that general george washington needed intelligence on the british's camp at trenton to assure some much needed success.
  • Explains that the continental army's initial military engagements had been disastrous, with the british losing more than 1000 casualties. the army was disorganized, undisciplined, and the enlistment term was due to expire.
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