4 Washington’s men crossed the ice choked Delaware before the battle
On the night of December 25–26, 1776, George Washington and his troops crossed the ice choked Delaware river. The crossing was accomplished “with almost infinite difficulty” with the most prominent danger being the “floating ice in the river”. It was made worse by the arrival of a strong storm that brought freezing rain, snow, and terrifying winds. Washington was among the first of the troops to cross. The charge of the crossing logistics was given to Brigadier General Henry Knox. Under his overall command, 18 cannons were brought over the river. He is highly praised for bringing men, horses and artillery across the river without loss. Washington’s crossing was later captured by Germanartist Emanuel Leutze in his painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, which became a sensation and remains one of the most famous paintings in the United States.
5 The American army split into two and followed two different routes to Trenton
George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River couldn’t be complete till 3 am on December 26, three hours behind schedule. As soon as the army was ready, Washington ordered it to be split into two columns: one under the command of himself and Major General Nathanael Greene; and the second under Major General John Sullivan. At 4:00 am, the soldiers began to march towards Trenton. The column under Sullivan took the abandoned River Road from Bear Tavern to Trenton while Washington’s column followed Pennington Road, a parallel route that lay a few miles inland from the river. It took the American army around 4 hours to march from the river crossing site to the outskirts of Trenton. Along the way, several civilians joined as volunteers. They primarily served as guides due to their knowledge of the terrain.