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Reasons of the Success at Trenton

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

The defeat of the Hessians at Trenton, was primarily owing to a dispute which existed between the English and German troops. Colonel Rahl, apprehending that he should be attacked by superior numbers, required of Lord Cornwallis a reinforcement. Two regiments, under Colonel Grant, were detached for that purpose. The English troops showed a reluctance to assist the Hessians. They halted a few hours, during which interval Colonel Rahl was defeated.

The disputes between the English and the Hessians troops originated from the following incident: An officer of the regiment of Losberg engaged some English officers at Princeton in a conversation respecting military discipline. An English officer, whether heated by liquor, or irascible through passion, replied to the German by throwing a punch bowl at his head. The insult was properly resented. But the seeds of discord being thus unhappily sown, a crop of evils ensued. The private men, adopting the quarrels of their officers, indulged themselves in frequent rencounters. 1


1 Pennsylvania Journal, June 25.

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