Victory or Death – Crossing Our Delaware in 2021

On Christmas night, 1776, General George Washington led an audacious military assault on Hessian mercenaries fighting for the despotic British monarchy. The assault required General Washington’s ragtag band of underfed, badly clothed, and poorly trained soldiers to cross the frozen Delaware River in the dead of night, march nineteen miles in a blizzard, and attack professional, well-supplied Hessian soldiers. The plan was improbable at best and General Washington knew it was a do-or-die situation not only for his men, but for the American Revolution. As he set out to attack the enemy in Trenton that Christmas Day in 1776, the General issued a countersign, a challenge, and a command to his men: “Victory or Death.”

“Victory or Death” was no exaggeration. It was a dire situation for Washington and the fledgling American nation. In his phenomenal book The Making of America, W. Cleon Skousen described the condition of the Continental Army as Christmas 1776 approached:

“With December drawing to a close, Washington found that he had not only been deserted by Congress, but 6,000 of his soldiers were anxious to leave for home in two weeks when their enlistments ran out. Meanwhile, General Howe, who had chased Washington across New Jersey, had so little regard for what was left of the ragtag American army that he retired to New York to enjoy his new honor of being knighted for capturing New York. He left Lord Cornwallis at Princeton and assigned approximately 1,200 Hessians to guard Trenton. Howe felt any new action could wait until spring.

“But Washington could not wait for even two weeks. His troops were not only demoralized, hungry, and ill-equipped, but most of them would soon be leaving.

“On December 23 Washington formed his bedraggled Americans into ranks and had them listen to a stirring message written by Thomas Paine. It included the famous words which have been recited by Americans from that day to this:

““These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman”” (W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, 79).

Paine’s patriotic message roused Washington’s beleaguered troops to a degree and the General staked the Revolution on a daring attack on the invading enemy which sat encamped across the river in Trenton. On the same day, December 23, General Washington wrote to Colonel Joseph Reed of his battle plan:

“Christmas day at Night, one hour before day is the time fixed upon for our Attempt on Trenton. For heaven’s sake keep this to yourself, as the discovery of it may prove fatal to us, our numbers, sorry I am to say, being less than I had any conception of—but necessity, dire necessity will—nay must justify any [attack]” (George Washington to Joseph Reed, December 23, 1776).

“Dire necessity” and sheer desperation compelled Washington to strike. With Thomas Paine’s words in his mind, the General issued his “Victory or Death” password to his men. Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the Founding Fathers, visited the General on Christmas Eve. He described what happened during their conversation:

“[General Washington] appeared much depressed, and lamented the ragged and dissolving state of his army in affecting terms. I gave him assurance of the disposition of Congress to support him, and while I was talking to him, I observed him to play with his pen and ink upon several small pieces of paper. One fell upon the floor near my feet. I was struck with the inscription upon it; it was ‘Victory or Death’. The next day I had reason to believe, that in my interview with Washington that he had been meditating his attack on the Hessians for I found that the countersign of his troops at Trenton was Victory or Death.”

To prepare for his triumph or demise, General Washington devised a three-pronged attack on Trenton. His force of 2,400 men was to attack Trenton directly, supported by two additional groups totaling 2,600 soldiers. The General, ever a master of deception and strategy, had hidden boats painted black along the river which would be used for the crossing. So, as Christmas Day came to a close, the patriot army moved out with “Victory or Death” weighing heavily on their minds.

Setting off at 11 P.M., the men struggled to row their boats across the frozen river as the wind howled and sleet hit. An article describes the feat as follows:

“Henry Knox, Washington’s chief of artillery, had organized the crossing, which would be imperiled by floating ice. Men who got wet faced grave risks of frostbite and freezing to death. Because of the ice and bad weather, the crossing, which was to be complete at midnight, was not finished until early the next morning.”

Because of the severe winter weather, only General Washington’s assault force managed to cross the Delaware that night, upending the three-pronged attack plan. Once across the river, Washington’s freezing men began a long march through snow toward Trenton. An officer close to General Washington during these events, James Wikinson, made a famous remark about the sacrifices made by the troops that decisive night:

“I received the necessary directions, and proceeded in quest of the troops, whose route was easily traced, as there was a little snow on the ground, which was tinged here and there with blood from the feet of the men who wore broken shoes” (James Wikinson, Memoirs of My Own Times, Vol. 1, 127).

Tired, wet, cold, and bleeding, Washington’s ill-prepared men arrived on the outskirts of Trenton around 8 A.M. They immediately attacked the surprised Hessians with cannon and bayonets, pushing them back into, and then out of, the town. Washington’s warriors killed 22 Hessian mercenaries, wounded 92 more, and captured 918. Four hundred escaped and fled to their British employers. On our side, only two men lost their lives due to the frozen weather. Not one soul died in the battle. It was a total, sweeping victory for forces of the Revolution!

The Battle of Trenton, and the precarious river crossing that made it possible, lit a fire that fueled the dwindling Revolution. It breathed fresh air into the patriots’ lungs. It gave them confidence that yes, victory was indeed an option. And, for many, it fossilized confidence in General Washington’s capacity to snatch victory from the jaws of looming defeat. In short, Washington’s Crossing saved the War for Independence.

The Constitution Daily has written:

“An inspired Washington and his troops, who adopted the motto “Victory or Death,” crossed the Delaware River during a Nor’easter on Christmas Day and routed the Hessian garrison at Trenton.

“The much-needed victory galvanized the Revolutionary forces and the Continental Congress. Troops decided to re-enlist as Washington’s forces won a second battle at Trenton and a key engagement at Princeton.”

Though we could devote many pages to discussing the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, the two additional Delaware crossings that took place during the famous campaign, and the many ins and outs of the whole affair, the preceding information is sufficient to impress the reader with the great importance of Washington’s victory. The General’s resolute determination to win or fall, to claim victory or suffer death at Trenton, is an enduring part of the American story.

Against all odds, the American “rebels,” as their enemies called them, routed the invading British and their homegrown Tory supporters and planted the standard of Liberty on this continent. They established a Constitution which is unrivaled still today and which, when properly followed, secures our God-given rights unlike any form of government known to man. The blood that flowed in these good patriots’ veins flows in ours. The same spirit which animated them and urged them to fight for their Faith, Families, and Freedom is the same which inspires all patriots today to stand against the combined forces of tyranny.

As 2020 draws to a close, every sincere soul knows that our national situation is becoming dire. Those of us who love Freedom, God, and the Republic, have figuratively been pushed across the Delaware and the enemy is encamped on the other side preparing for their final assault. Many in our ranks are demoralized and frustrated. The deck seems stacked against us. Our supply lines have grown thin. We face a better-organized, better-trained, better-positioned internal enemy aided by mercenaries from foreign nations. The storm is howling, the ice is blocking our path, and many of our allies have fallen by the wayside and are either unwilling or unable to help us. Yet, notwithstanding the hardship and the odds, we are led in the front by the spirit of General Washington and his timeless motto: Victory or Death.

This is our time, fellow patriots. 2021 is our time to do the unexpected and cross our own Delaware. It might seem improbable, insane, or potentially fatal to face down the Establishment and fight such an entrenched enemy, but what other option do we have? We can surrender and sink into boot-licking serfdom or we can fight. We can slavishly submit to four years of an illegitimate presidency packed with the worst degenerates ever to enter American politics or we can resist. We can watch as usurpers take a chainsaw to our remaining Liberties or we can do what the men of 1776 did and say “Victory or Death.”

In his famous 1775 speech, Patrick Henry told his fellow countrymen who waffled and wondered whether it was prudent to fight against government tyranny that the war has already begun! The war, he noted, was not theoretical, but existed in actual fact, even if it did not yet exist in name. He asserted:

“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

America is at war. We are besieged by traitors within and enemies without. The homegrown traitors and the foreign enemies share a common goal – the destruction of American Freedom and the incorporation of our nation into a global dictatorship controlled by a sadistic socialistic Elite. This is the harsh reality. Ignoring it won’t make it go away and won’t lessen the severity of the struggle or save you from becoming a casualty.

This enemy has, over the course of many decades, infiltrated our government, press, and society, usurping tremendous power. On November 3, the cabal showed its power by blatantly stealing the election from President Donald Trump and handing it to a corrupt Chinese puppet, Joe Biden, and his gaggle of gangsters, Marxists, and thugs. The international conspiracy used its corrupt machinery of state to silence the voices of 75 million Americans who selected Donald Trump as their president. Instead, the conspiracy dictates that we shall march obediently into high-tech slavery patterned off of Soviet Russia and Red China.

Here’s the catch: Real Americans don’t obey tyrants; we shoot them. We cross frozen rivers, march in freezing rain, and attack on the holidays if need be. We use deception, guerrilla warfare, and don’t play fair. When our families are threatened with slavery; when our Freedom is hunted without mercy; and when our nation faces conquest by a murderous communist leviathan with an unrivaled track record of bloodshed and treachery, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to stop it.

Will we, as Americans, rally to stop the steal taking place so brazenly before our eyes? We’ve allowed so much of our Freedom and prosperity to be bartered away already. Are we willing to allow the rest to be stolen from us and, with it, any hope of ever reforming our country without bloody civil war? Now is our time. January 2021 is our do-or-die moment. It is now that we will decide whether we will reap victory or death. If we do not act like real men and face the freezing storms, bitter marches, and professional mercenaries, our Republic will be taken from us once and for all and only blood will win it back.

The same James Wilkinson quoted above made another comment worth remembering as we contemplate doing what needs to be done in 2021 to save our Republic. He wrote:

“Born with iron nerves, and an unbending dignity of port, which distinguished all his actions, and struck the most presumptuous with awe, General Washington amidst those those scenes which “tried men’s souls,” serene, tranquil, and self-possessed, excited the admiration of his followers, and exhibited the heroic example of a chief determined to brave danger and dare death in support of a just cause, and the defence of the most precious rights and interests of mankind; whilst the invincible firmness of Congress . . . exhibited to the world the rare example of a popular assembly, united in principle, inflexible in purpose, and regardless of consequences. Not to one man then, but to such a Congress and such a chief, supported by the handful of brave men who adhered to the cause of their country, are these United States indebted for the cheap purchase of their liberty; and I shall be acquitted of vanity when I acknowledge the sweet solace I derive from the consciousness, that I was one of the little band who faced the storm, when the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot hid their heads” (James Wilkinson, Memoirs of My Own Times, Vol. 1, 122).

Are you prepared to follow in the blood-stained footsteps of “the handful of brave men who adhered to the cause of their country” and fought the American Revolution so that we might be free? Are we prepared to “face the storm” even when the sunshine patriots and summer soldiers turn away, hide their faces, and cower in their homes? Are we prepared, truly and honestly, to brave the dark winter that we’ve been thrust into by our enemies and fight them by every means until either victory is ours or death carries us to our Maker?

General Washington may not be with us in the flesh, but his dauntless spirit rides before us. The standard of Liberty erected by faithful men in 1776 remains despite all attempts to topple it. The Constitution, written by inspired and wise men, still safeguards our rights whenever we hearken to its counsel. I pray that we may cross our own Delaware this coming January and show such as spirit of resistance that we stop the theft of the presidency by our eternal communist foes. If we do not rectify this situation and restore the ballot box, only the bullet box remains to secure our God-given Freedom. One way or the other, we will have victory or we will have death. There is no alternative.

Zack Strong,

December 26, 2020

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