One-way trip across the
Delaware River by Steve Payne
says: what if the first Battle of Trenton had been a catastrophe for the
Continental Army and George Washington had been killed? Please note that the
opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the
In 1776, during a howling
nor-easter Colonel Johann Rall and his Hessian mercenaries repelled a bold
American attack on Trenton that left Commander George Washington and many of
his troops from the decimated Continental Army dead or dying in the freezing
Delaware River on this bitterest of Christmas Days.
Since the heady days of the summer, Washington had lost ninety percent of
his command and had already admitted both to his diary and in confidence
to his colleagues that "I think the game is pretty near up".
And yet his successors would carry the germ of an idea that Washington had
conceived on the eve of Battle. That concept was a breakthrough in
organisational planning for irregular forces, that "a people unused to
restraint must be led, they will not be drove". In effect, Washington had
blended the best ideas of the American revolution with the War of
Independence. Because his advocacy of open councils in a proletariat army
was his gift to the future.
Sharing his dead comrade's "full persuasion of the Justice of our
cause" Thomas Paine returned to Great Britain after the so-called "black
times of '76". The War of Independence might have ended in defeat, at
least for now, but the Revolution had not, and Paine would ensure that it
spread across the fertile ground of his homeland, Great Britain itself.
says the idea for this story originated from the source article "The
Black Times of '76", by David Hackett Fischer, published in Winter 2010
Edition of American Heritage Magazine
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting