The holidays are upon us. I wanted to share an excerpt from my book “A Christmas Crossing”. It describes a night very long ago. A night filled with fear and promise. The night George Washington Crossed the Delaware, December 24th, 1776. I hope you enjoy it and I wish you all a Merry Christmas!
It was Christmas. The night was dark. Snow filled clouds blocked out the stars offering them little to no light. With the hopes of freedom in their hearts, the men pressed on.
Battered by sleet and snow, Sarah stood huddled on the Pennsylvania shore, with the other women, as she watched them go. She clutched a thin blanket around her frail shoulders even though it did little to block out the frozen wind. Nonetheless, she was one of the lucky ones.
Many of Washington’s soldiers had no coats, and some no shoes. Their bare feet were numb from the cold. A trail of bloody footprints marked their way as they marched across the icy ground.
Tears stung her eyes as she watched her brother Silas step into the last Durham Boat. The deep wooden sides seemed to swallow him up as he sat down for the arduous voyage. The boat was originally constructed to carry iron, not men. She could hear the sound of creaking wood and cracking ice as it was poled off into the river. She said a prayer as it disappeared into the darkness.
Silence remained and she barely noticed as the other women around her shuffled back to camp. They would wait, as they had so many times before, for their men to return. Her body was shivering to warm itself from the bitterness of winter. With a fearful heart she turned and walked back to camp as well.
The sleet had topped the snow with ice. It crunched beneath her feet as she walked. She desperately hoped that the river would not freeze this night.