The Battle of Trenton
On Christmas night of 1776, Washington and his army were huddled together in their camp by the Delaware River. Defeated and tired they had retreated to Pennsylvania. The army of 6000 men dressed on rags were discouraged and weakened. Across the river in Trenton, slept a small group of Hessians who were stationed to guard New Jersey. General Howe had sent a large percent of soldiers to Newport and New York, sensing the Americans were not strong enough to attack.
Since the British were relaxed and unsuspecting, Washington announced that now was the time to attack. His plan was to send three different divisions across the Delaware at different times during the night, then join in an attack on the Hessians. This operation required every man and was a huge risk. They crossed the river in boats through sleet, hail, and ice. The Americans then charged on the sleeping Hessians and in 1 hour captured 1000 prisoners and took Trenton.
Washington's army finally felt hope and courage for the first time all winter. The news of the victory spread, eliminating any rumors or doubts of Washington's competency.