We all learned about the incredibly harsh winter General Washington and his men endured deep into the Revolutionary War. Throughout the entire war, time and again, Morristown was a key location for the the Continental Army. Morristown National Historical Park commemorates the sites of General Washington and the Continental Army’s winter encampment of December 1779 to June 1780, where they survived through what would be the coldest winter on record.
Another well-known time period during the Revolutionary War that began in Princeton and ended in Morristown is known as Ten Crucial Days. The first day was on December 25th, when the Continental Army force of more than 2,000 soldiers crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey at McConkey’s Ferry. Once on the other side, they marched 10 brutal miles to Trenton in a blizzard to assault the 1,500 Hessian troops occupying the town. In this First Battle of Trenton, the Continental Army defeats the Hessians; their first major win in the Revolution.
Over the next 10 days, Washington and his Army crossed the Delaware back and forth with stealthy precision, which lead to multiple battles against Hessian and British troops, and more importantly, multiple wins.
That key first crossing of the Delaware River is reenacted every year on Christmas Day. Just as it was during that cold winter of 1776 and 1777.
This free event takes place from noon to 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day. The actual crossing begins at 1:00 p.m. Washington Crossing Historic Park is located at the intersection of Routes 532 and 32 (River Road) in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. Please note drones are not allowed. Additional historical events during the annual Ten Crucial Days Patriot’s Week will take place from December 26th to the 31st.
I always thought it was fitting that New Jersey played such a key role in our battle for independence. I think that independent fighting spirit still lives in all of us that call great state home today. It’s what makes us known around the country as one really tough crew.