On December 26th, Washington's Army crossed the Delaware and surprised the British at Trenton. The main attack was made by 2,400 troops under Washington on the Hessian Garrison. Washington's troops acheived total surprise and defeated the British forces. The American victory was the first of the war, and helped to restore American morale.
Despite Washington's defeats in New York, he was not willing to sit idly by while the British occupied all of New Jersey. The front lines of the British were occupied by Hessians troops who held positions along the Delaware River opposite Washington's troops in Pennsylvania. On Christmas Night, Washington surprised the British by leading a group of 2400 troops across the Delaware. At the same time, James Ewing was to seize the ferry just south of the city. Despite the ice floating down the river, Washington succeeded in crossing the river and leading his men and their artillery ashore. At a few minutes before 8:00, Washington and Ewing's troops converged on Trenton. The Americans set up artillery that commanded the streets of the city. As the Hessians who had been up late celebrating Christmas took to the streets, they were struck down. The British commander, Colonel Rall, was soon killed. Within an hour, the battle was over, 22 Hessians were dead, 98 were wounded and almost a thousand were being held prisoner. Only four Americans, however, were wounded. Washington returned with his triumphant forces to Pennsylvania. The next day, Colonel Caldwater who had failed to cross the river the day before, crossed the Delaware with his troops and occupied the empty town of Burlington. Two days later, Washington followed with his men. As the year ended, Washington had 5000 men and 40 howitzers in Trenton.