In a letter dated December 3, 1776, General George Washington writes to Congress from his headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey, to report he had transported significantly of the Continental Army’s retailers and baggage over the Delaware River to Pennsylvania. In his letter Washington wrote, Immediately on my arrival the following, I ordered removing all of the military along with other shops and baggage a lot more than the Delaware, an excellent quantity are got a lot more than, so when soon because the boats appear from Philadelphia, we will load them, this night and tomorrow if we have been not disturbed where means I am hoping to possess every issue secured.
Washington then made the vital strategic move of confiscating and burning all of the boats across the Delaware to avoid British troops from pursuing his beleaguered forces over the river. The British strategy of chasing Washington across New Jersey, instead of capturing his whole army in Manhattan, appeared to be a stroke of genius. As New Jersey was devastated as a result of British forces and Washington’s men cowered in Pennsylvania, even staunch Patriots, such as for example Thomas Jefferson, considered surrender to the crown.
Also with this day, General Washington received a letter dated November 30 from his second-in-command, General Charles Lee, reporting he was going to cross into New York near Peekskill with this day in 1776. In an apt reflection of hawaii of the American fortunes, the British captured General Lee nine days later in New Jersey. Richard Stockton, a respected New Jersey patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was also in British custody and was forced to swear an oath of allegiance to the British king alongside a large number of his New Jersey neighbors.