The Crossing

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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George Washington's decision to invade the Hessions was very risky in many ways. After watching "The Crossing," a movie about the Attack at Trenton the facts became clear and the personal relationships as well as historical events were shown. The fact of the matter is that Washington didn't really have too many choices to go on. He could have either stayed where he was and waited till the river froze which was basically suicide, or retreated with all of his men and lost New Jersey as well as the army. The army had little or no food and supplies and attacking THEM was a surprise as well as a way to get supplies to last till the next attack.

The biggest risk was deciding to attack on them in the first place. If they lost not only would many men die, but the men in the army would fall apart and go back home.

They had little hope to go on for winning the war, and their contracts were up in the 11 days. Daylight was an important factor in the whole maneuver. If the colonialist didn't reach Trenton before daylight then the less of a chance they had of beating the Hessians. Time was one of the risks that could have been prevented , but Washington's stubbornness to listen to Glover's idea how they couldn't make it in 6-10 hours ruined the attack to a certain point.

The first risk that Washington came in contact with was crossing the river. Despite winter, the river was already starting to freeze and many of Washington's men didn't like the idea of crossing the river with all the ice blocks, let alone crossing in the night which is hard to see where you are going. Many soldiers were sick and the cold weather wasn't helping too much.

The British were slowly taking over. Colonists lost New York and The Continental Congress had to flee from Philidelphia. Telling some of the army members about the plan could have ruined the whole attack because of spies that were hidden in the army. If one of the Spies knew about the plan then the Hessions would be ready to attack . But on the other hand If Washington didn't tell the army then they might get scared when they are crossing the river and not be able to conserve energy or try to run away.

In conclusion Washington's Attack on Trenton was risky in many ways. Keeping the plan secret, the crossing of the river, and time and sunlight were just a few of many risky behaviors that had been taken during the war. If General Washington had not taken those risks then who knows where we would be today.