Washington Crossing the Delaware
By: Will C, Mikey M, Trevor C and Tristan J
George Washington Crossing the Delaware
Artist Biography - By: Trevor Cole
Art Critique - By: Will Callaway
Story Truth - By: Mikey McNamara
The air was cold and crisp as Washington single handedly loaded every boat with artillery, horses, and soldiers too afraid to carry themselves. His bravery radiating from within him seemed to give him extra warmth in addition to his heavy blue coat, maybe it would even help melt the huge blocks of floating ice on the river that we would soon have to conquer in order to get across. Washington was the only one that day who had it together. He was the only one who seemed to have the hope of actually making it across and proceeding with a successful mission. As they embarked, Washington had to quietly but sternly bark orders at the freezing soldiers who kept forgetting to paddle. Some soldiers contracted hypothermia, and even some fingers and toes were lost to frostbite. Washington paid no attention to the suffering soldiers, he seemed to believe that they had to pay the price for their own freedom. Some soldiers even built up the courage to exit their boats onto ice blocks to help push the boats along. although the journey seemed to last a lifetime, The thought of freedom existed in all our minds, most of all in Washington’s, who didn’t take his eyes off the coast of New Jersey until we arrived there.
Happening Truth: - By: Mikey McNamara
On the morning of December 25th, 1776 Washington ordered his men to prepare 3 day’s food and treat their muskets with fresh flint. He was preparing for that night, the crossing of the half- frozen Delaware river into New Jersey, to launch the first surprise attack of the revolutionary war on British troops. Even though the painting depicts Washington as a very broad and confident figure, he was actually quite worried and paranoid, because of the fact that it was the most logistically challenging mission Washington had ever attempted, due to weather that was increasingly getting worse as him and his men traveled across the river.Also, they only left when it was dark enough to conceal their movements on the river, and the soldiers were told to be as quiet as possible, being informed that they were going on a “secret mission”. Henry Knox, Washington’s chief of artillery informed Washington of the “infinite difficulty” of crossing due to floating ice on the Delaware, and the fact that most of the soldiers did not know how to swim. The ice floating on the river proved so tedious to deal with, that the large artillery boats fell behind and did not make it to the coast until 4 am December 26th, many hours after the soldiers had arrived.
War Story - By: Tristan Jackson
This is true.
Christmas Day,1776, Washington and his men spent the brisk day traversing the vast sea. See, in a letter written the following day, Washington wrote his wife recounting the events that happened atop the water off the coast. The number small ships were in the hundreds, men in the thousands. He told of the time when the horses were simply unconsolable. For nearly an hour, the steeds were in a state of panic, much to our chagrin, his men hadn’t realized in time what the cause was. The long fabled Kraken was among us. The wooden hulls ached and moaned as the waves heightened, at one point, men were falling off of the Durham boats. Emanuel Leutze forgot mention most of these events in his 1851 painting. The 45 foot long tentacles made the water near impossible to traverse without hurling up your rations. You can only see a few boats arriving at the coast, that is no lie. The rest of the ships were claimed by nature’s biggest savage, the Kraken. Among the few ships to survive, General Washington’s was the first to arrive. The new world would have been the British had the Kraken gotten to him and his fellow officers. Undoubtedly, Washington admits to his wife how afraid he really was for his life and the wellbeing of the survivors. But you couldn't tell because of his stoically brave face that was burned into his persona.
This is not true.
As much as George loved to tell a story, he unfortunately was crossing the Delaware, safely, without any threat of any Kraken…he saved that for another noble officer, Captain Sparrow.
Instead, Washington, was headed to New Jersey for a surprise attack on the British troops. Infact, all 5,400 troops that crossed the icy and treacherous river survived to tell the tale.