In December 1776, Washington’s army was on the brink of defeat; decimated by battles, lacking supplies and many men leaving on Dec. 31 when their one year enlistment period was up. Rather than a disadvantage, the state of Washington’s forces actually proved advantageous for his Christmas Eve invasion of Trenton, because the leader of the opposition, Gen. Howe, just assumed they would beat the colonists and ordering his Hessian troops into winter quarters. Winning the Battle of Trenton was a huge moral booster for the colonists and gave them an edge for the next battle on Jan. 2, 1777, at the Assunpink Creek.
As a part of Trenton’s Patriots Week Celebration, the NJ State Library hosted David Price, author of The Road to Assunpink Creek: Liberty’s Desperate Hour and the Ten Crucial Days of the American Revolution, to discuss the importance of that. According to Price, this encounter has generally received less attention from historians than the other two engagements fought during the “Ten Crucial Days” of the American Revolution; however, he described events that made it the most pivotal event of those days and perhaps of the entire Revolutionary struggle. Through the fierce fighting of his toughest men, a tactical error by Gen. Cornwallis and a night time march by Washington to Princeton, the colonists turned the tide of the Revolutionary War in their favor.
Price holds degrees in political science from Drew University and Rutgers University – New Brunswick, and was a nonpartisan research analyst with the NJ Legislature for 31 years. He is a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park in PA, and conducts guided interpretive tours at that Registered National Historic Landmark and site of the Continental Army’s crossing of the Delaware River in 1776. He focuses on the “Ten Crucial Days” of the American Revolution and other historical aspects of the park.
In addition to his newest book, Price is the author of Rescuing the Revolution: Unsung Patriot Heroes and the Ten Crucial Days of America’s War for Independence. He is a member of various national and local organizations relating to the Revolutionary War and lives in Lawrence Township.