American Minute with Bill Federer

JAN. 3 - Battle of Princeton - 'Who but a Washington, inspired by Heaven, could have struck out the great maneuver of Princeton?'
Frederick the Great of Prussia called these ten days "the most brilliant in the world's history."

After winning the Battle of Trenton, Christmas night, George Washington's small force met General Cornwallis' 8,000 man British army.

The night before the battle, Washington left his campfires burning and silently marched his army around the back of the British camp at Princeton, New Jersey.



At daybreak, JANUARY 3, 1777, Washington attacked.

When the British fought back, American troops under John Cadwalader began retreating.



General George Washington quickly rode over, stopped the retreat, then ordered his men to follow him as he rode within 30 yards of the British.

He suddenly turned, faced his men and yelled "Halt!" and then "Fire!"

The British returned fire, filling the field with a cloud of smoke.



Many thought Washington was surely shot, as he was exposed to fire from both sides, but when the smoke cleared, Washington was seen waving his men to charge forward.



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Three British regiments were captured and enthusiasm swept America.



President Calvin Coolidge stated October 28, 1925:

"Distinguished military critics have described Washington's campaign of Trenton and Princeton as a military exploit of unparalleled brilliancy."

Yale President Ezra Stiles stated in an Election Address before the Governor and General Assembly of Connecticut, May 8, 1783:



"In our lowest and most dangerous estate, in 1776 and 1777, we sustained ourselves against the British Army of 60,000 troops, commanded by...the ablest generals Britain could procure throughout Europe, with a naval force of 22,000 seamen in above 80 men-of-war...

Independence...was sealed and confirmed by God Almighty in the victory of General Washington at Trenton, and in the surprising movement and battle of Princeton...



Who but a Washington, inspired by Heaven, could have struck out the great movement and maneuver of Princeton?..."

Ezra Stiles continued:

"The United States are under peculiar obligations to become a holy people unto the Lord our God."

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