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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Iron Works Hill, Greatness and the Mosaic of the Revolution

December 22 marks the Battle of Iron Works Hill in 1776 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, on which I previously posted.  The "battle" was actually more of an artillery duel, with no casualties. The Americans suffered three wounded at the companion skirmish at Petticoat (Rancocas) Bridge.

Here is Mt. Holly today, giving a taste of the historic center of town.  This feint was part of Washington's diversionary plans in anticipation of his attack on Trenton on December 26, 1776.

So much of what passes for political discourse today is elevated gossip, focused on a handful of people.  Journalists focus incessantly on whether a particular president had a good day or bad day, as if that were the important news.  Washington's success at Trenton was of course in large part due to his leadership and determination, but would not have been possible but for the efforts of others.  Even the idea of attacking Trenton was not just Washington's; his aide, Colonel Joseph Reed, actually suggested the crossing of the Delaware and the attack.  The engagement's sole purpose, spread out over a wider geographic area around Mount Holly, was to draw Colonel Carl von Donop's 2000 man Hessian force from Bordentown, far enough from Trenton so as to remove a threat of reinforcement when Washington attacked.  And it worked.

It's good to remember this.  No one is great alone.

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