Washington's Christmas Gift

A Children's Story About George Washington

George Washington was fighting to set this country free, but the army that the King of
England sent to fight him was stronger than Washington's army. Washington was beaten
and driven out of Brooklyn. Then, he had to leave New York. After that, he marched away
into New Jersey to save his remaining army from being taken. At last he crossed the
Delaware River, and here he was safe for a while.

Some of the Hessian soldiers that the king had hired to fight against the Americans came to
Trenton. Trenton, New Jersey is on the Delaware River.

Washington and his men were on
the other side of the Delaware River
from the Hessians. Washington's
men were discouraged, for they
had been driven back all the way
from Brooklyn. It was winter, and
they had no warm houses to stay
in, and they hardly had any warm
clothes to wear. They were dressed
in old clothes that people had given
them. Some of them were even
barefooted in this cold, winter

The Hessians and other soldiers of
the king were waiting for the river
to freeze over so that they could
march across on the ice. They meant to fight Washington once more, and break up his
army. But Washington was thinking about something too.

He was waiting for Christmas. He knew that the Hessian soldiers on the other side of the
river would eat and celebrate a great deal on Christmas Day.

The afternoon of Christmas came. The Hessians were singing and drinking in Trenton, but
Washington was marching up the river bank with his army. Some of his barefoot men left
blood marks on the snow as they marched.

The men and cannons were put into flat boats, and these boats were pushed across the river
with poles. There were many great pieces of ice in the river, but all night long the flat boats
were pushed across and then back again for more men. It was three o'clock on the morning
after Christmas when the last Americans crossed the river. It was hailing and snowing, and
it was very cold. Two or three of the soldiers froze to death.

It was eight o'clock in the morning when Washington got to Trenton, and the Hessians were
sleeping soundly. The sound of the American drums waked them. They jumped out of their
beds, and they ran into the streets. They tried to fight the Americans, but it was too late.
Washington had already taken their cannons, and his men were firing these at the Hessians.
The Hessians ran into the fields to get away, but the Americans caught them.

The battle was soon over, and George Washington had taken nine hundred prisoners.

This was called the battle of Trenton. It gave great joy to all the Americans, and it was
Washington's Christmas gift to the country.
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