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Washington crossing the Delaware

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  • Washington crossing the Delaware

    It is good to know where we came from to be able to choose wisely about the path we should take in the future.

    Not many know how close our army was to total defeat 6 months after the start of the war of 1776.

    Washington had to either surrender and all was lost or do something drastic. Some of his generals refused to follow him in this venture.

    He chose to cross back over the Delaware River and attack the German Hessians in Trenton.

    These German soldiers were the best soldiers in the world at the time. They were professional full time soldiers and very well trained and experienced. They were also very well equipped.

    Washington's troops were part time soldiers and not well trained or experienced. Further many were only young boys. Also they had very little food and equipment.

    Further, these Hessians were the same group that had defeated Washington in New York and had ran his soldiers through with their bayonets when the Americans has tried to surrender.

    Now this is only a movie, but it does tend to show how desperate our army was at the time.

    I was reminded while watching, of how thankful I am to The Lord Jesus that every cowardly person who acted without mercy or justice will be judged by our Lord. Also every soul that acted with justice and mercy will be rewarded in eternity.

    There will not be one that will be forgotten. No one will lose their reward or punishment.

    There is violence and blood shown in war. There is some offensive language. Not all men speak like those who love The Lord Jesus should speak.
    Last edited by Lou Newton; March 28, 2016, 07:17 PM.

  • #2
    Watching this. Thanks, Lou.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Baruch View Post
      Watching this. Thanks, Lou.

      Anyone who watches this should see that this whole affair was a miracle from The Lord Jesus. The movie did not show Washington telling others that it was just that, but he did.

      Washington's army was totally defeated. They had lost every battle ( except for Boston) and every defeat was worst. They had few men left and almost no food and supplies. Some men had no shoes. The British knew that Washington was defeated and Cornwallis was no fool. The very troops that defeated Washington the worst were the Hessians.

      Washington's own officers thought this whole plan was insane.

      BUT The Lord inspired Washington to attack the very troops that were the very best. And to cross the Delaware at NIGHT with the ice was thought impossible, especially when Washington had no Navy. But Washington did have these fishermen that knew boats and treacherous waters. They got them all across at night without losing one boat.

      Then they marched that same night all night after spending hours to cross the river. It was not thought that any group of men could do this on a winter night and then fight a battle against the best troops in the world that same day, without any rest.

      But then further to defeat these Hessians that had defeated them so badly without LOSING ONE MAN !!!!; is not that a miracle just like God gave Israel many times.

      But the history of our`nation is FILLED with miracles like this.

      Much is written about the unbelievable courage of Washington, especially during battle. But they leave out a very important detail.

      Washington at times rode his horse at the enemy while his whole army was in full retreat. One soldier that was running for his life, like all the rest of his group, wrote this: "As I watched General Washington attack the British army by himself, I was so shamed by my behavior and his courage that I had to turn around and follow him." Washington saved them from defeat that day, and many other days.

      In one battle in the French and Indian war, Washington had two horses shot out from under him and had many bullet holes in his hat and coat, but he was not hit once. In that same battle most of the British officers were killed. When the few surviving British officers saw his coat and jacket some remarked that God was certainly with him.

      These stories got back to the court of the King and the highest British officers. I think it was very evident,to them all, that God was with Washington. When the revolutionary war came, I think there was not one British officer that wanted to face him. But when the Hessians defeated him so badly they seemed to change their mind.

      But why was Washington himself able to be so brave. When Washington was in Ohio surveying, one of the Indian chiefs who fought against him in the French and Indian War was told that Washington was in Southern Ohio. That chief traveled from Central Michigan to see Washington.

      When he finally arrived to see Washington this is what he said:
      "I am a chief, and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes, and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior (George Washington, from the day he had horses shot out from underneath him) of the Great Battle.
      It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief. I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe — he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do — himself is alone exposed.
      Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies.
      Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss - 'twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle. I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy.
      Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies — he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire."'"

      I think George Washington knew that was prophecy from The Holy Spirit ( which there is only one). He believed it is his heart and so believed that God had told him that he would not die in battle. I think The Holy Spirit reminded him of these words whenever he was needed to do something very brave.

      Our history books fail to give The Lord any credit for our victory. But George Washington gave The Lord the credit for the victory many many times:

      George Washington's friend, Dr. James Craik, who was a witness of the battle said: "I expected every movement to see him fall. His duty and situation exposed him to every danger. "Nothing but the superintending care of Providence could have saved him from the fate of all around him." (Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, by George Washington Parke Custis, Edited by Benson J. Lossing, Vol. 1, page 248)

      ===Two days after the battle, Washington displayed his usual gratitude to Deity. In general orders he said: “The men are to wash themselves this afternoon and appear as clean and decent as possible . . . that we may publicly unite in thanks-giving to the Supreme Disposer of human events for the victory which was obtained . . . over the flower of the British troops.”
      Last edited by Lou Newton; March 29, 2016, 05:32 PM.


      • #4
        Awesome video and comments Lou. People do not realize the direct role God had in the birth of this country. Unfortunately, our society is rapidly turning away from God - and the consequences are being seen today.

        This might be a bit off-topic, but comparative. During the War of 1812, the British army invaded Washington. They set fire to pretty much the entire city, including the White House. Some of the burn marks remain on the building to this day. President James Madison had to evacuate the city. What many people do not know, is that an intense hurricane struck the area the next day and extinguished all of the fires. The British troops bivouacked nearby were pelted with torrential rains and horrendous wind. They eventually had to retreat from the area in the face of such unexpected force.
        Last edited by Fisherman; March 30, 2016, 09:28 AM.


        • #5
          Excellent comments. God is so great.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
            Awesome video and comments Lou. People do not realize the direct role God had in the birth of this country. Unfortunately, our society is rapidly turning away from God - and the consequences are being seen today.

            This might be a bit off-topic, but comparative. During the War of 1812, the British army invaded Washington. They set fire to pretty much the entire city, including the White House. Some of the burn marks remain on the building to this day. President James Madison had to evacuate the city. What many people do not know, is that an intense hurricane struck the area the next day and extinguished all of the fires. The British troops bivouacked nearby were pelted with torrential rains and horrendous wind. They eventually had to retreat from the area in the face of such unexpected force.

            Thanks for the comments Tom and Barry.


            ONCE AND ONLY ONCE.

            The British kept a Navy that was larger than any two nations. That was their policy and the reason that the Island had never been invaded since 1066.

            The French Navy has had almost no victories over the British Navy. Washington had surrounded Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. Cornwallis was the best British General. He was confident that he could be re-enforced by the British Navy.

            The French sent a large fleet to Yorktown to re-enforce Washington and was in the bay when the British fleet arrived. The French Fleet sailed out of the bay and stopped the British fleet from entering the bay to re-enforce Cornwallis.

            This Naval battle was one of the most important battles in history. It secured the surrender of Cornwallis to Washington.

            The French Navy had never had a major victory over a British fleet before this and has not had one since.

            This simply was a miracle from The Lord Jesus.

            Battle of the Capes
            Battle Off the Virginia Capes 19th century painting owned by the U.S. Navy and on display at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, VA

            "No land force can act decisively unless it is accompanied by maritime superiority"
            ---General George Washington

            "The Battle of Chesapeake Bay was one of the decisive battles of the world. Before it, the creation of the United States of America was possible; after it, it was certain."---Michael Lewis, The History of the British Navy

            "Few naval battles have decided more." ---Professor Randolph G Adams

            "It deserves the name of 'British Naval Waterloo of Cape Henry.'" ---Emil Reich (European Historian)

            On September 5, 1781, off the coast of Virginia, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, one of the most critical naval battles in United States history took place.The "Battle of the Capes" only lasted two and a half hours and did not involve any Americans, but this battle was one of the decisive factors that assured the United States would win independence from Great Britain.

            French Admiral Francois Joseph Paul, Marquis de Grasse Tilly arrived in the West Indies with a French fleet in April 1781. He sent word to French General Comte de Rochambeau, in Newport, Rhode Island, that he was under orders to sail his fleet north to assist the French and the American armies. General George Washington hoped to use De Grasse's fleet and Rochambeau's army to assist the American army in an attack on the British at New York City.Rochambeau and Washington sent word to De Grasse that his fleet was desperately needed and that any troops and money that De Grasse could bring with the fleet would also be of great help.They suggested that De Grasse come to either New York City which Washington favored; or to the Chesapeake Bay to assist General Lafayette's American army opposing British General Cornwallis and his army that had recently moved into Virginia; a course of action favored by Rochambeau..

            De Grasse decided to bring his fleet to the Chesapeake Bay because of the shorter sailing distance to it and it was more navigable than the New York harbor. In Santo Domingo, on the island of Hispaniola, (Dominican Republic), De Grasse loaded 3000 French troops from the Gatinais, Agenois and Touraine infantry regiments aboard his ships. He also raised 1.2 million livres (worth approximately 6 million US dollars today) in Havana, Cuba from the local government, banks and citizens to assist the American and French armies in America. On August 5, De Grasse set sail with his fleet of 37 ships including 28 ships-of-the-line, (large battleships), 7 frigates and 2 cutters, headed to the Chesapeake Bay. De Grasse took a dangerous route through the straits of the Bahamas to avoid the British fleets of Admiral George Rodney and Admiral Samuel Hood, who were protecting British interests and commerce in the West Indies.

            When General Washington received news on August 14 that De Grasse was sailing to the Chesapeake Bay instead of New York, he quickly changed his plan.Four days later he began moving the American and French armies to Yorktown, Virginia to surround Cornwallis's army that had just two weeks earlier begun setting up a British naval base there, but the success of Washington's daring plan depended on De Grasses' fleet controlling the Chesapeake Bay.

            Once British Admiral Rodney learned the French fleet was sailing north, he sent Admiral Hood with a fleet of 14 ships-of-the-line to intercept it.Though Admiral Hood left the West Indies several days after the French fleet, he took a direct route to the Chesapeake Bay and passed the French fleet without spotting them.Hood arrived at the bay on August 25.Not seeing any French ships, he raced his fleet to New York City.Four days later, the French fleet arrived at the Bay, anchored and began off loading French troops near Jamestown to join the army of General Lafayette at Williamsburg, 12 miles from Yorktown.

            Admiral Hood arrived at New York City on August 28 and informed British Admiral Thomas Graves, Commander-in-Chief of the North American fleet, that De Grasse's fleet was in American waters. Admiral Graves also learned that another French fleet of eight ships-of-the-line under the command of Admiral Louis Jacques Comte de Barras, had left Newport, Rhode Island, sailing south.With two French fleets on the move, the two British admirals combined their fleets and with Graves in command, left New York on August 31 with 19 ships-of-the-line.The British fleet reached the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay around 9:00 am on September 5, 1781 and soon received word from a scouting frigate of a large French fleet in the bay. Graves directed his ships-of-the-line to begin the slow process of moving into battle formation.

            Admiral De Grasse, unaware of the British Fleet's approach, continued offloading supplies from his ships; many of his ships' officers were ashore. When the British fleet was first spotted, the French believed it was De Barras arriving, but as the British fleet sailed closer, the French realized it was a large British fleet. Admiral De Grasse chaotically rushed his fleet out of the bay. Admiral Graves failed to take advantage attacking the French in such a vulnerable position. This gave De Grasse time to organize his fleet into a line of battle.

            The British and French fleets slowly maneuvered to engage each other. The wind direction and confusing flag signals sent by Admiral Graves prevented the back half of the British battle line from getting close enough to fire on the French ships. At 4:15 PM, the action finally began with a deadly volley of cannon fire from the leading ships of both fleets.The battle lasted over two hours. The British fleet suffered six ships damaged and 90 sailors killed and 246 wounded.The French faired better with 209 causalities and only 2 ships damaged.

            When the sun set at 6:30PM, the two fleets disengaged to evaluate and repair damage.Admiral Graves, realizing his fleet was heavily damaged, was reluctant to renew the battle. Admiral De Grasse waited to see what Graves would do.The fleets drifted south within view of each other for several days without further engagement. On September 9, De Grasse slipped out of the sight of the British and sailed back to the Chesapeake Bay, arriving there the next day. De Barras' fleet had arrived in the bay during the battle and now the French had 36 ships-of-the-line.

            The British fleet turned for the Chesapeake Bay the evening of the 10th, arriving outside the bay on September 13. Graves realized his fleet was in no condition to take on so many French ships. He sailed his fleet to New York, leaving the French in control of the Chesapeake Bay.When Admiral Graves reached New York, he raced to repair the fleet to get troop reinforcements to Cornwallis at Yorktown. Contrary winds, difficulties in securing replacement parts, and slow repairs delayed the departure of the fleet until October 19th, too late to be of any help. That same day, Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown

            The success of the French fleet in gaining control of the Chesapeake Bay prevented Cornwallis from receiving reinforcements and helped ensure that Washington could use the bay to transport troops and supplies to Yorktown.Without De Grasse's fleet gaining control of the Chesapeake Bay from the British, victory by the American and French armies at Yorktown would have been impossible.Without the French victory at the Battle of the Capes, American independence from Great Britain might never have been achieved.

            Larrabee, Harold.Decision at the Chesapeake.Clarkson N Potter Inc, 1969.
            Landers, H. L.The Virginia Campaign and the Blockade and Siege of Yorktown 1781.U.S. Printing Office, Washington DC, 1931.
            Crawford, Michael J.The Real Story of the American Revolution.Naval Historical Center, 2005.
            Hatch, Charles E Jr.Yorktown and the Siege of 1781.National Park Service Historical Handbook Series.No. 14 Washington DC, 1957.
            Last edited by Lou Newton; March 30, 2016, 04:56 PM.


            • #7
              This is all really interesting and a fun read. Thanks, everyone.


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Knight View Post
                This is all really interesting and a fun read. Thanks, everyone.

                Thanks for your reply Karl.