tv Battle of Trenton CSPAN May 20, 2017 8:30am-8:46am EDT
eastern, a history professor talked about the first u.s. congress is 1790 debate on slavery and race. >> in a series of petitions that generated this heated debate antislavery activist and especially the pennsylvania abolitionists society put forth the vision of the new nation and imagined a racially inclusive republic where the basic rights of enslaved africans were respected. presidency,he history professor and author charles roser on letters exchanged between abraham lincoln and his friend. >> to talk about their everlasting love for each other was normal and encouraged to be expressive about intimacy and connection and even love. that's the way to see this relationship. againstas the boundary sexuality was absolutely and certainly maintained. for the complete "american history tv," schedule, go to c-span.org.
>> american history tv is looking at the revolutionary war in new jersey. coming up, we retrace the steps of soldiers who fought in the battle of trenton. mr. siegel: the battle of trenton is exceptionally of 1776ant in the time because the american revolution was on the edge of being extinguished. washington's army had reached its lowest point, he was in danger of losing a lot of his troops and his enlistments. he had just lost several significant battles in manhattan and in the new york area. and had retreated across new jersey, hoping to increase the numbers of his army while passing through new jersey and the opposite happened. he lost troops. the analogy i like to use is pointhe rebellion at that was like a candle that was about to be blown out. washington would retreat across the delaware river and set up
his forces in pennsylvania in the new town area, and it's there that he developed a plan to use his army before they all went home, and to launch an attack against the german garrison there was holding trenton. trenton was a very important crossroads city at the time, a town of about 1000 people on the major route between philadelphia and new york city. trenton have a lot of significance sitting on the delaware river about 50 miles north of philadelphia. the british assigned three german regiments to hold this position for the winter of 1776. we are standing by the trenton battle monuments, in this position because this is the top of the town, to my right, you're left is warren street and broad
street is on the other side. the two streets come together here at this intersection, what we local folks call the five points. the streets spread out as they had down to the greek it forms a triangle. it was in that triangle that most of the city lived. and washington's plan in the attack on trenton, he divided his force, is to divisions. one division he wanted to seize this position here and the other division would seize the greek and if he accomplished both of those tasks, he would have the german force here in effect, surrounded. he would have a force on the high ground and another force at the creek and the crossing. in the battle of trenton, he would attack from the north to capture this position that he would attack from the west to capture the greek, which we will see later on.
the battle monument itself is one of the most significant revolutionary war monuments in the united states. in 1893, inated 1893, this is the major thoroughfare linking philadelphia to princeton and then to new york. all the traffic came up this road. the new jersey turnpike and route one in all these of the roads that are dominant today don't exist back then. the location of this monument was very important. a few decades later, a companion monument would be dedicated in princeton, so these two monuments would commemorate these two important battles, the battle of trenton and the battle of princeton. is 100 78 feet tall, the architect of grants team, a man named john duncan would interrupt his work in new and takeome to trenton the commission to design this
monument. john duncan is the architect of the columns, you see the three statues including george washington all the way the top are done by william rudolph, who was very important, the vast relief engraving you see on the front of the monument that's one of two bronzes they were done by the famous philadelphia painter thomas egan's. these are the only two bass relief sculptures that he gives is known to have made in his entire career, most of what he did was painting. .hese are really artifacts we are standing in front of the monument and we're going to show you why the monument is here and why this position was important. today we call north street, it was queen street, and this is king street. you see on the ground is open and how the streets slope downward. what is provided was an
exceptional artillery position, because the guns of the time could fire down the streets, a solid shot that could skip down the streets as well as canisters spring pellets and all sorts of ammunition. if he could hold this position and get his artillery batteries positioned on the streets and fire down the streets, he could disrupt the german troops in their efforts to form lines. the battery was under the command of thomas had 46 who we think pounder cans that have a range of almost half a mile fire down this way. he was a veteran experienced artillery man, so they partnered him up with the battery that was cityioned here, new york artillery, firing down king street. this officer was lieutenant
alexander hamilton. commanding the new york city .ilitia artillery now in my opinion, and i have to make that clear, in my opinion, general washington knew that his troops did not have the expertise, the training or experience to defeat the german forces from these professional german regiments on a fair field of battle. there's three regiments here, about 1500 men, washington is approaching with 2500 men. he has more troops, but his troops do not have the level of training and ability of the german troops do. and i think washington believed that and that washington's strategy here is to deprive the enemy of a fair field of battle. we are now in millville park in the city of trenton, where about half a mile, five blocks away
from the battle monuments which is at the top of the battlefield , this is the base of the battlefield. here, warreneet is street, king street you can see the traffic light over there. it's a quite a distance. about 200 yards apart, this is the face of the triangle. this is where washington's other force would come in to capture the bridge that crosses the creek. it forms the base of the bottom of the city, this is the one bridge the continue south and beyond that to burlington and philadelphia. a very important bridge. washington's troops would capture that bridge to cut off the germans retreat. one thing at the battle mom , heght -- monument in sight has the germans in a box. the whole battle transpires in about 45 minutes, and he would
as well asrisoners, inflict about 150 kills and wounded on the german force. some germans would get across this river and flee, but most of them would be taken prisoner and captured, as a washington would have his great victory. many people in the city and all over overlook the importance of this river, the creek, let's take a look at it. opinion, the creek is as important in american history as the antietam creek or bull run with the rio grande river. the importance that it has in deciding the first and the second battle of trenton, the creek was much larger back then, much deeper and had much more water flowing through it. the bridge behind us, the modern day bridge is where the bridge was located in 1776.
thate 1800s, they replace with a bridge over here. this is the abutment for the bridge they built in the 1800s. then sometime in the 20th century, they put in steel girders and put in the bridge that's their today. we think that the bridge abutment that you see included some stone from the original bridge in 1776. this would be the base of the position that washington's troops would hold. he would form regiments along about half a mile on both sides to fortify this bridge and the millville site. millville is the high ground on the other side of the river, one of our exclusive neighborhoods and trenton today is called millville. in aboutlt a mill here
1680, and that was how trenton was established. the mill is not here anymore, but this is the area where it was located and i was how i came to be called millville. that is how the settlement of trenton began in the 17th century. something that is important to understand about the events occurring here, we like to call this 10 days campaign. trenton the battle of is the central moments. it's only one part of the entire 10 days. the 10 days campaign begins with the most famous event, washington's crossing that everybody around the world has heard of. a lot of people wonder when washington crossed the delaware, where was he going survei?llance -- where was he going? he was coming here to fight the battle of trenton. forces would come into trenton and washington would form his position on the ridge of millville using the creek as his frontline.
this would set the stage for the second battle of trenton that leads to the battle of princeton. washington crossing occurs on christmas day, the battle of princeton occurs january 1, that covers the 10 days, which is why we call it the 10 days campaign. 2,the night of january washington's forces are fortified on millville, and the british are in the area where the battle monument is today. they moved in with the force of some 5000 men and night falls and washington will develop his plan to march around the british force and attacked them in the rear and what becomes the battle of princeton. us is the yellow douglas was nothe douglas house actually in that location, it was on millville on the other side of the greek, the reason the douglas house is preserved is because it was in that house
on the night of january 2 the general washington would have a council war. he would meet with his officers and try to decide what to do. and that's where washington developed a plan that about midnight he will pull his brigades off of millville, back south of the town and then start to follow these farm lanes and roads to quaker bridge and crossed of princeton behind the british army. probably one of the most important revolutionary war side in the entire united states, nevermind just in the state of new jersey or in the city. we are happy to have it. at the beginning of the 10 days campaign, the time that thomas hayden would write -- thomas payne would write these the times that try men's souls, it looks like the war was lost. people question whether george washington was competent as a battlefield commander.
things looked very bleak. at the end of the 10 days campaign, yet executed victories over german troops and over british troops the battle of princeton. he has captured the high ground in moorestown and he has the british hand in -- hemmed in. or continues for another four years, but it was the opportunity where the british failed to extinguish the rebellion. >> are cities tour staff travel to trenton, new jersey to learn about its rich history. learn more at c-span.org/ citiestour. you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. collects next on american
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