Every year between now and 2026 — the 250th anniversary of the crossing of the Delaware River — Washington Crossing Historic Park will release a new challenge coin.
The back of each year’s coin will feature a different officer in the Continental army, while the front features the crossing as depicted in Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” painting (pictured above).
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Captain Alexander Hamilton was a young officer and commander of the New York Provincial Artillery Company.
Hamilton’s battery was present at the First Battle of Trenton, and Battle of Princeton, his Battery’s effective fire helped ensure American victory.
Colonel John Cadwalader (2022)
Colonel John Cadwalader was a senior officer of the Philadelphia Association, a volunteer militia founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1747.
After leading his forces across the Delaware, Cadwalader gathered intelligence about the British troops in Princeton and pushed for the Americans to strike, resulting in the victorious Battle of Princeton.
Major General John Sullivan (2021)
After being taken as a British prisoner, Major General John Sullivan joined General George Washington and his troops for the Christmas day crossing of the Delaware River in 1776.
His attack on Trenton from the south prevented the Hessians from escaping over the Assunpink Creek bridge, helping to secure a key victory for the Continental Army.
Major General Nathanael Greene (2020)
Major General Nathanael Greene was considered to be George Washington’s most trusted military subordinate.
On December 19, 1776, Greene acted as an extension of Washington, writing to General James Ewing to request that he bring 16 Durham boats and four ferries to McConkey’s Ferry for the Christmas night crossing.
Brigadier General Hugh Mercer was mortally wounded during the Ten Crucial Days at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777.
The coin’s design is based on a pencil sketch drawn in 1781 by John Trumbull, who used Mercer’s son, Hugh Jr., as a model.
The Continental Congress appointed Mercer a Brigadier General in June 1776. Like other officers, he watched his militia command evaporate thanks to term expirations and desertions. He led a brigade at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, where he was wounded after a larger force overwhelmed him.
Henry Knox was a Revolutionary War general who helped to develop the Continental Army. He served as Chief Artillery Officer, General, and ultimately Secretary of War under President Washington.
As the chief of the Continental army’s artillery, Knox aimed to build “a well-regulated and numerous body of Artillery” that could transform his so-called “receptacle for ragamuffins” into a strong army. Knox’s work with the army’s artillery arsenal helped to secure the crucial victories at the Battle of Trenton and Princeton in the winter of 1776-77.
Early in the Revolutionary War, Brigadier General John Glover served as a colonel of the 14th Continental Regiment of “Marbleheaders.” This integrated unit was comprised of seafaring men from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who manned the boats during the crossing on December 25, 1776.