John Cadwalader Challenge Coin Now Available

December 19th, 2022 News and Events

Washington Crossing Historic Park’s 2022 Challenge Coin is now available in the gift shop or in our online store. This year’s coin features Colonel John Cadwalader, a senior officer of the Philadelphia Association – a volunteer militia founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1747.

Each year through 2026, the park will release a new challenge coin to commemorate the lead-up to the 250th anniversary of Washington’s crossing. Each coin features an important figure from the crossing on one side and a rendition of the famous Leutze painting on the other. Each year features a different person. Cost is $17.76 + shipping.

About Colonel John Cadwalader

In December 1776, Cadwalader and the Associators were positioned about 10 miles south of Trenton on the west side of the Delaware River at the ferry between Bristol and Burlington. Cadwalader had received orders to send his column across the river on the night of December 25–26 and march to Trenton from the south. Meanwhile, Washington’s column would cross the river to the north of Trenton and attack the city from that direction.

After successfully crossing his light forces, Cadwalader discovered that river ice prevented crossing his artillery. He then returned his column to the Pennsylvania side, leaving Washington’s forces to fight the Hessians alone. In spite of that, Washington was successful in his surprise attack on the morning of December 26 against the Hessian garrison in Trenton. Cadwalader and his column did cross the river the next day. On December 31, from his vantage point in New Jersey, he was able to gather intelligence about the British troops in Princeton. Sending a spy map of the town to Washington, Cadwalader pushed for the Americans to strike. After conferring with his other officers, Washington planned to attack the British in Princeton.  After the battle on January 3, 1777 the victorious American army moved into its winter encampment in Morristown, New Jersey.

He subsequently took part in the further actions in New Jersey, which forced the British commander General William Howe and his principal subordinate, Lord Cornwallis, to surrender the colony to the Americans.