Social Studies 5: Ice Cold Victory: Crossing the Delaware
Sure, spending the holidays at Grandma's is always nice, but every once in a while it's fun to mix things up and instead trudge throw snow and cold in stockinged feet as you wait for your enemy to try to kill you. Merry Christmas, everyone!
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
…which is the second worst thing to find in your stocking, after coal. [Father Christmas holding lumps of coal]
Speaking of stockings, that’s about all George’s men had on their feet as they trudged [Soldiers wearing stockings without any shoes]
through the snow and mud that winter.
Many had wrapped their feet in rags to try and keep warm – which was hardly proper
footwear for fighting.
That combined with their losing streak had the soldiers feeling pretty depressed. [Soldier falls over]
The ones that weren’t simply deserting were definitely not planning on sticking around
when their enlistment was up at the end of the year. [Soldiers gathered round a fire]
They were even cancelling their subscriptions to Revolution Weekly…
Yep: ole General George definitely needed a win. ['Revolution' magazine with headline about Washington's army losing again]
And as luck would have it, a group of Hessian Mercenaries were hanging out in Trenton, just
across the Delaware River from McKonkey’s Ferry, where George was stationed.
And, yes, if you noticed that “McKonkey’s Ferry” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, [Student is confused by the name]
then you understand why this moment in history is called “George Washington crossing the
Delaware” and not “George Washington departing McKonkey’s Ferry.”
And as much as we all like dreaming of a white Christmas, 1776 took it just a little too [Washington in bed dreaming]
It wasn’t just a white Christmas– it was a downright nasty one.
Which doesn't sound as nice when you sing it…I'm dreaming of a downright nasty Christmas…yeech, [Woman dancing on stage]
nope…definitely not as nice.
But this Christmas was so nasty, that the Hessians were confident the “lazy Americans” [Woman gets tomatoes chucked at her on stage]
would stay home.
Heck, they didn’t even post a guard while they sat around roasting their chestnuts over [Soldiers looks happy and are roasting chestnuts]
an open fire.
Washington smelled an opportunity.
…And maybe chestnuts. [Washington closes his eyes and sniffs]
Armed with intelligence reports that let him know exactly when the Hessians were sleeping
and when they were awake, George ordered a risky midnight crossing of the Delaware River.
During what was less of a silent night and more a night filled with pouring rain and [Clear night skies turn into pouring rain]
heavy winds, the Colonials made their way across the icy water. [Line of soliders crossing the river, the solider at the back falls over]
Then, like the Grinch stealing upon Whoville, the Colonials took the Hessians completely
Washington’s gamble paid off in a big way. [Man jumps into chimney of a house and someone screams]
For starters, the Continental Army achieved two victories with minimal losses - only two
dead and five injured.
The Hessians, meanwhile, lost 22 men and had 83 injured.
Plus, the Continentals took one thousand Hessians as prisoners.
And presumably, confiscated lots of pretzels, sausages and lederhosen. [Father Christmas holding a pretzel]
But perhaps most importantly, the thrilling victory gave the colonial soldiers new hope.
Their plans to abandon the army were, well, abandoned. [Soldiers look cheerful]
Instead, they decided to re-enlist and keep up the good fight, which helped turn the side of
the war back in the Americans’ favor. [A page of a book turns and 'The End' is reached]
And that was exactly the Christmas miracle George Washington needed. [Father Christmas reading a 'Christmas Miracle' book]
But he probably still wanted that rocking horse.