December 1776: Just six months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, George Washington and the new American Army sit on the verge of utter destruction by the banks of the Delaware River. The despondent and demoralized group of men had endured repeated defeats and now were on the edge of giving up hope. Washington feared “the game is pretty near up.”
Rather than submit to defeat, Washington and his small band of soldiers crossed the ice-choked Delaware River and attacked the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey on the day after Christmas. He followed up the surprise attack with successful actions along the Assunpink Creek and at Princeton. In a stunning military campaign, Washington had turned the tables, and breathed life into the dying cause for liberty during the Revolutionary War.
The campaign has led many historians to deem it as one of the most significant military campaigns in American history. One British historian even declared that “it may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater or more lasting results upon the history of the world.”
In Victory or Death, historian Mark Maloy not only recounts these epic events, he takes you along to the places where they occurred. He shows where Washington stood on the banks of the Delaware and contemplated defeat, the city streets that his exhausted men charged through, and the open fields where Washington himself rode into the thick of battle. Victory or Death is a must for anyone interested in learning how George Washington and his brave soldiers grasped victory from the jaws of defeat.