After the Battle of Trenton, Washington and his troops returned briefly to Pennsylvania. From there Washington reported to Congress that he planned to pursue the British. On December 30th , Washington and his troops again crossed the Delaware, this time crossing solid ice. Cornwallis had left Princeton on the morning of January 2, and had sent his three regiments and a company of cavalry to Trenton. Washington had sent Generals Hand and Green to harass the British troops and to try to delay their arrival in Trenton. 

The combination of the American harassment plus the mud which had deepened as the weather had warmed, did slow the British. However, they did eventually arrive in Trenton, and when they did, Washington and his troops retreated, crossing the Broad Street Bridge over the Assunpink, where most of their fellow troops were entrenched on the hill. The British attacked the bridge three times, but three times they were repelled by musket fire. The fighting raged until darkness came, and it was then that Cornwallis uttered his famous line: "We'll bag the fox in the morning." In the morning, Washington, the fox, had hastily gone to Princeton, leaving behind men, bonfires, and wooden cannons as decoys. When the British finally located the Americans, they fought at what is known today as the Battlefield Park, and they clashed around Nassau Hall. Washington and his troops gained another victory in Princeton, and then went to Morristown for the winter. Behind them they left thirty dead or wounded Americans, including General Hugh Mercer, who died in the Thomas Clarke House on the Princeton Battlefield.

The story of Mercer County's involvement in the American Revolution is vast and amazing. Before its official dedication as a county, Mercer had already become the focal point of the most important events to take place in the American New World. Through the battles that took place on Mercer soil, to the many men and women who meant so much to American history, this region has been the center of change. The continuing saga of Mercer County after the revolution grows on this theme of epic change. But never to be forgotten is the role that Mercer County played in forming a country that President Abraham Lincoln called, "the last, best hope for mankind."

If you wish to learn more about the American Revolution, please visit the websites below, or feel free to visit your local Mercer County Library.