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Americans Retreat to Trenton Falls

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

December 12. –Since last Sunday, we have all been at the laboring oar, from the generals to the privates. Early in that day we heard that Cornwallis was coming in three different ways.1 Knowing our weak situation, he made a forced march to come up with us, and was within two miles of Princeton, when Lord Stirling began his retreat with two brigades. Boats from every quarter were collected, and our stores, together with the troops remaining at Trenton, were immediately conveyed over the Delaware. On Sunday morning, having every thing over, we crossed the Delaware, and took our quarters about half a mile from the river. About eleven o’clock the enemy came marching down with all the pomp of war, in great expectation of getting boats, and immediately pursuing; but of this we took proper care, by destroying every boat, shallop, &c., we could lay our hands on. They made forced marches up and down the river, in pursuit of boats, but in vain. This is Thursday; the enemy are much scattered, some in Trenton, directly opposite; from that on their left to Bordentown and Burlington, on the river banks. They are at least twelve thousand strong, determined for Philadelphia, for which purpose they are transporting flat-bottomed boats from Brunswick to Trenton by land. 2


1 Clift’s Diary.
2 Extract of a letter from Trenton Falls, in the Freeman’s Journal, December 81.

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