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After defeats in the New York area during the summer and fall of 1776, George Washington’s Continental Army retreated across New Jersey to find shelter for the coming winter months on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. During the evening of December 25, 1776, Washington and his troops crossed the river to surprise Hessian soldiers at Trenton the next day. Over the next ten days, known as the Ten Crucial Days, the Continental Army defeated British troops at the battles of Trenton, Second Trenton, and Princeton. With these victories, faith in the Continental Army's ability to fight the British grew and morale increased across the United States.