Washington's Miracle, Part I
In December 1776
the revolution was at a low ebb,
the patriots had lost at Long Island
and the survivors through New Jersey fled.
Desertion was high as many soldiers
though the cause had been beaten, and was done,
Cornwallis pushed after those who remained,
less than five thousand militia with guns.
And time was truly on the British side
for patriot enlistments soon were up,
Washington stood to lose half of his force,
if that happened, they were all out of luck.
Washington escaped immediate threat
when his small army crossed the Delaware,
escaping to the Pennsylvania side,
and the British didn’t follow him there.
Cornwallis saw winter was approaching,
and thought come spring it would be a short campaign,
a mopping up action to break the rebels,
so from further pursuit his men restrained.
He set up garrisons near the river,
but didn’t do so in one running line,
had so little respect for the patriots,
didn’t think they dare fight in wintertime.
Washington saw this and got an idea,
garrison duty divided their men.
he couldn’t face the British as one force,
but in detail he could raise hell with them.
He set his eyes on the village of Trenton,
where fifteen hundred Hessian soldiers slept,
and due to a spy that he had in town
he knew much about their numbers and depth.
These German mercenaries did fight with
the British for the duration of the war,
they fought against freedom only for gold,
the thought of that left many Yankees sore.
But these were professional soldiers still,
not half-trained militia off of the farm,
George Washington knew that if things went wrong
it could do his army enormous harm.
Yet he wouldn’t just let things wither away,
so a plan he did begin to devise.
He’d strike Trenton across the Delaware,
regardless of the winter’s cold and ice.
He split his force, and sent half of it south,
to demonstrate against the British there,
to keep them tied up while his main force struck,
he had too few men to risk fighting fair.
Then his main force piled into Durham Boats
at a place locals called McConkey’s Ferry,
to cross the Delaware and march from the north,
but from the get-go the weather was hairy.
Winds and snow, mixed with a biting cold sleet
hit the patriots as they all embarked,
for a rag-tag army, some without shoes,
such a raw night threatened to sap their heart...
CONTINUES IN PART II.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2020
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