When: Christmas night, 1776
Where: Delaware River
Desperate for an early victory, Washington risked everything on one bold stroke set for Christmas night, 1776. In the face of a fierce storm, he led 2,400 men in small rowboats across the ice-choked Delaware River. They then marched to their objective—Trenton, New Jersey—and defeated a garrison of Hessians in a surprise attack. The British soon regrouped, however, and in September of 1777, they captured the American capital at Philadelphia.