Knox Press

The Enemy Harassed: Washington’s New Jersey Campaign of 1777

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As few books regarding American history have achieved, Jim Stempel’s The Enemy Harassed brings a previously neglected period of the American Revolution to life.

In late December 1776, the American War of Independence appeared to be on its last legs. General George Washington’s continental forces had been reduced to a shadow of their former strength, the British Army had chased them across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, and enlistments for many of the rank and file would be up by month’s end. Desperate times call for desperate measures, however, and George Washington responded to this crisis with astonishing audacity. On Christmas night 1776, he recrossed the Delaware as a nor’easter churned up the coast, burying his small detachment under howling sheets of snow and ice. Undaunted, they attacked a Hessian brigade at Trenton, New Jersey, taking the German auxiliaries by complete surprise. Then, only three days later, Washington struck again, crossing the Delaware, slipping away from the British at Trenton, and attacking the Redcoats at Princeton—to their utter astonishment.

The British, now back on their heels, retreated toward New Brunswick as Washington’s reinvigorated force followed them north into Jersey. Over the next eight months, Washington’s continentals and the state militias of New Jersey would go head-to-head with the British in a multitude of small-scale actions and large-scale battles, eventually forcing the British to flea New Jersey by sea. In this captivating narrative of the American War of Independence, author Jim Stempel brings to life one of the most violent, courageous, yet virtually forgotten periods of the Revolutionary War. Sure to enthrall professional historians and book lovers of all stripes, The Enemy Harassed is scholarly history presented in an accessible style anyone can enjoy.