Morning Must-Read: Michael Joyce et al.: The Portfolio Balance Effect of QE
Weekend Reading: John Cassidy's Interview with James Heckman: Selections

Liveblogging the American Revolution: January 3, 1777: Battle of Princeton

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Wikipedia: Battle of Princeton:

In response to the loss at Trenton, General Lord Cornwallis left New York City and reassembled a British force of more than 9,000 at Princeton to oppose Washington. Leaving 1,200 men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood at Princeton, Cornwallis left Princeton on January 2 in command of 8,000 men to attack Washington's army of 6,000 troops.... It was almost nightfall by the time the British reached Trenton. After three failed attempts to cross the bridge over the Assunpink Creek, beyond which were the primary American defenses, Cornwallis called off the attack until the next day....

Washington left 500 men behind with two cannon to patrol, keep the fires burning, and to work with picks and shovels to make the British think that they were digging in. Before dawn, these men were to join up with the main army. By 2:00 AM the entire army was in motion roughly along Quaker Bridge Road through what is now Hamilton Township. The men were ordered to march with absolute silence.... By the time dawn broke he was still two miles from the town....

Cornwallis had sent orders to Mawhood to bring the 17th and 55th British regiments to join his army in the morning. Mawhood had moved out from Princeton to fulfill these orders when his troops climbed the hill south of Stony Brook and sighted the main American army.... Mawhood ordered his light troops to delay Mercer, while he brought up the other detachments.... The Americans took up a position behind a fence at the upper end of the orchard. However, Mawhood had brought up his troops and his artillery.... Mawhood ordered a bayonet charge and because many of the Americans had rifles, which could not be equipped with bayonets, they were overrun. Both of the Americans' cannons were captured, and the British turned them on the fleeing troops....

Fifty light infantrymen were in pursuit of Mercer's men when a fresh brigade of 1,100 militiamen under the command of Cadwalader appeared.... Cadwalader attempted to move his men into a battle line but they had no combat experience and did not know even the most basic military maneuvers. When his men reached the top of the hill and saw Mercer's men fleeing from the British, most of the militia turned around and ran back down the hill.

As Cadwalader's men began to flee... Washington arrived with the Virginia Continentals and Edward Hand's riflemen. Washington ordered the riflemen and the Virginians to take up a position on the right hand side of the hill and then Washington quickly rode over to Cadwalader's fleeing men. Washington shouted, 'Parade with us my brave fellows! There is but a handful of the enemy and we shall have them directly!'. Cadwalader's men formed into battle formation at Washington's direction. When Daniel Hitchcock's New England Continentals arrived, Washington sent them to the right, where he had put the riflemen and the Virginians.

Washington, with his hat in his hand, rode forward and waved the Americans forward, while he rode ahead on his horse.... Washington gave orders not to fire until he gave them the signal, and when they were thirty yards away, he turned around on his horse, facing his men and said 'Halt!' and then 'Fire!'. At this moment, the British also fired, obscuring the field in a cloud of smoke. One of Washington's officers, John Fitzgerald, pulled his hat over his eyes to avoid seeing Washington killed, but when the smoke cleared, Washington appeared, unharmed, waving his men forward....

On the right, Hitchcock's New Englanders fired a volley and then advanced again, threatening to turn the British flank. The riflemen were slowly picking off British soldiers while the American artillery was firing grapeshot at the British lines. At this point, Hitchcock ordered his men to charge, and the British began to flee.... towards the Post Road followed by the Americans and Washington, still angry from the foxhunt call from Harlem Heights, shouted 'It's a fine fox chase my boys!'....

After entering Princeton, the Americans began to loot the abandoned British supply wagons and the town itself. With news that Cornwallis was approaching, Washington knew he had to leave Princeton.... Washington moved his army to Somerset Courthouse on the night of January 3, then marched to Pluckemin by January 5, and arrived at Morristown, by sunset the next day, for winter encampment...

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