inessential by Brent Simmons


Over the break I watched a cool movie -- The Crossing, starring Jeff Daniels as George Washington crossing the Delaware.

I had no idea, or had forgotten, in what bad shape the revolutionary army was in. They had had their asses kicked all the way from New York to Valley Forge. Their forces decimated, nearly out of provisions, facing defeat, they could surrender or try to attack the mercenary Hessians in Trenton -- truly a suicide mission against what they called the best soldiers in the world. (The Hessians were bad news, not to be tangled with.)

Washington insisted on crossing the icy Delaware River at night and attacking the Hessians, despite all the good reasons not to. The battle took place the morning after Christmas, when the Hessians were logy from celebrating the holiday.

It worked! And he didn't lose a single soldier.