The public is invited to experience the annual winter reenactment during Trenton’s Patriots Week Celebration.
On Saturday, Dec. 28, visitors will be immersed in history as they are surrounded by reenactors portraying the soldiers who fought during the Battles of Trenton, which ultimately shaped the destiny of the Revolutionary War and the nation.
The community is invited to follow the troops through the streets and watch as they relive the events of these fateful battles; then come back to interact with the soldiers, take tours of the oldest free-standing military barracks in North America, and visit The Quartermaster’s Store.
Following the all-night crossing and 9-mile march from McKonkey’s Ferry with a sleet storm at their backs, Washington’s little army of 2,400 men and 18 cannons arrived in Trenton, N.J., around 8 a.m. Dec. 26, 1776.
Generals Washington and Greene surrounded the northern part of town while General Sullivan struck the town along what is now West State Street, cutting off escape to the south over the Assunpink Creek. After a running street fight lasting little more than an hour, there were over 90 casualties and the Hessian troops surrendered.
The Battle of Trenton reenactment will begin at the Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack St., Trenton, when the troops march off at 10:45 a.m. to the Battle of Trenton Monument at the intersection of Warren and Broad streets. The reenactment will begin at 11 a.m. at the Battle of Trenton Monument and proceed down Warren Street toward Mill Hill Park. Head back to the Old Barracks Museum for programming and a musket demonstration ($5 admission applies).
Having abandoned Trenton shortly after the battle on December 26, Washington re-crossed with a much larger army later in the week upon learning the British had not re-occupied Trenton.
On the morning of January 2, 1777, he dispatched a small brigade up what is now Route 206 to reconnoiter toward Princeton, N.J. They were met by a very strong column of British, Hessians and Highlanders under General Cornwallis and driven back along a bitterly contested, afternoon-long retreat into Trenton proper.
The Second Battle of Trenton (or the Battle of the Assunpink) is reenacted in Mill Hill Park at 3 p.m., when visitors can witness the action live.
Parking for the event is free, close, and plentiful, available in the small lot next to the museum as well as the lot next to The War Memorial. There is special reduced pricing for this event. The battles are free to the public, and entrance onto the museum grounds is $5 per person children 5 and under are free.
For information, call 609-396-1776 or visit barracks.org. This event is hosted by the Old Barracks Museum and is part of Patriots Week, a week long celebration of Trenton’s revolutionary history. Visit patriotsweek.com for information on this and other events.