David McCullough’s 1776 is perhaps the best book ever on George Washington, the tactician. It examines the battles of 1776, the first year of the Revolution, and how Washington rallied the troops from defeat after defeat. The book ended with this battle.
December 26, 1776 - Washington Gains First Major Victory At Trenton
At approximately 8 a.m. on the morning of December 26, 1776, General George Washington’s Continental Army reaches the outskirts of Trenton, New Jersey, and descends upon the unsuspecting Hessian force guarding the city. Trenton’s 1,400 Hessian defenders were still groggy from the previous evening’s Christmas festivities and had underestimated the Patriot threat after months of decisive British victories throughout New York. The troops of the Continental Army quickly overwhelmed the German defenses, and by 9:30 a.m.Trenton was completely surrounded.
Although several hundred Hessians escaped, nearly 1,000 were captured at the cost of only four American lives.
The seemingly insignificant battle turned the tide in favor of the Americans after a miserable loss-filled 1776.