Princeton, Battle of
PRINCETON, BATTLE OF
PRINCETON, BATTLE OF (3 January 1777). Leaving three regiments at Princeton, New Jersey, the British general Charles Cornwallis arrived at the Delaware River near sunset on 2 January 1777 to avenge George Washington's defeat of the Hessians at Trenton. Cornwallis found Washington's army of five thousand men occupying a precarious position along Assunpink Creek. Ignoring Sir William Erskine's counsel to attack immediately, Cornwallis decided to "bag" Washington in the morning.
Advised by General Arthur St. Clair, Washington executed a brilliant military maneuver. At midnight, leaving his campfires burning, he quietly withdrew the main body of his army along an unpicketed road and gained the British rear. Approaching Princeton at daybreak, the Americans encountered a force, under Colonel Charles Mawhood, just leaving the village to join Cornwallis. General Hugh Mercer's brigade engaged Mawhood's troops but was driven back. Rallied by Washington and joined by new arrivals, the continental patriots drove the British from the field and village. British losses were between four hundred and six hundred killed, wounded, or captured. Cornwallis, outmaneuvered, withdrew his entire army in feverish haste to New Brunswick to save a £70,000 war chest. Washington, his army wearied, took up a strong position at Morristown, having freed most of New Jersey and infused new hope into a cause that appeared all but lost.
Bill, Alfred Hoyt. Campaign of Princeton, 1776–1777. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1948.
Stryker, William S. The Battles of Trenton and Princeton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1898. Reprint, New Jersey Heritage Series, no. 3. Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Company, 1967.
"Princeton, Battle of." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/princeton-battle
"Princeton, Battle of." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved November 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/princeton-battle
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.