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The Battles of Trenton and Princeton

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In August when he was made a brigadier general he was called to Washington's army then in his well managed retreat before General Howe across New Jersey. He was now for the first time under the eye and direct command of the Great Chief and fought under him at White Plains. He was with the army on the stormy night in December when they cross ed the Delaware on their march to Trenton and in conjunc tion with General Sullivan, commanded the division of the army which took the river road from the crossing to Tren ton, Washington and General Nathanael Greene leading the other division. He shared, in no small degree, the victory over the Hessians and no battle in the Revolution did as much to strengthen the cause of the colonies as this.

It is claimed by all of St. Clair's biographers and also by St. Clair himself that he suggested to Washington the move ment of the army which culminated in the victory at Prince ton a few days later. The great historian, George Bancroft, labors vainly to prove that this claim is without foundation, and without apparent reason, save to glorify Washington.

Like many writers he seems partial to the Great Chief. He bases the theory that Washington conceived this movement, on the report of the march, but the report does not cover the origin of the plan and there is no authority to refute St. Clair's positive statement which is corroborated by a number of the staff officers. It is not denied, however, that General St. Clair directed the details of the march and that his bri composed of New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massa chusetts troops, with two six pounders, marched at the head of the advancing army with Washington. For St. Clair's part in these two battles lie was made a major general on February 19th, following, on the recommendation of Washington. It may be mentioned in this connection that he was the only officer from Pennsylvania who became a major general during the Revolution ; others were brevetted when the war closed hut to him alone came this honor during its continuance.