Inside Trenton’s Old Barracks Museum | NJTVIYN

You know we can’t gaze into Trenton’s
future without looking back at the past maybe George Washington didn’t sleep
here but against immense odds he sure fought here. Brenda Flanagan reports on
Trenton at the crossroads of American history. Hi my name is Dave
representing the soldier of the second New Jersey Regiment here at the old barracks Museum
they were raised here in 1775 and we’d like to welcome NJTV to our neighborhood
Trenton New Jersey if I say Trenton you probably don’t say the place where the
American Revolution almost died but West 8th Street used to be called River Road
and that’s where half an army about 1200 men came marching in the middle of the
night in the midst of a blinding snowstorm they’re carrying muskets which
don’t work well in snowstorms and they’re headed into battle it’s the day
after Christmas – I would easily say that Trenton is the most important battle of
the war. – Asher Luery assumes the role of a revolutionary soldier to interpret
this crucial point in history for visitors at the old barracks in Trenton
in December 1776 enemy soldiers controlled the city and the War of
Independence hung by a thread as Asher dramatically tells school kids George
Washington’s Continental Army was a bunch of losers. -Now put yourselves in
my shoes you’ve lost near every battle that you’ve fought. You’re not being paid
well, you’re not being fed well, your uniform your equipment is falling apart.
It’s bitterly cold, you haven’t seen your loved ones for quite some time, but in two weeks you
have the right to go home. -To keep his army committed Washington needed to win big
his bold plan to move his troops from Pennsylvania across the Delaware River
in the dead of night to attack the garrison of 1,400 Hessian troops that
hold Trenton. Washington and his mannered just crazy enough to try this
last-ditch effort to keep this campaign alive and keep this revolution alive
just one more night. A historical interpreter at the park that
marks where Washington literally launched everything he had
horses and cannon crossed the freezing River on flat bottomed barges like this
one and ran straight into a raging nor’easter. -Rain, sleet, hail, snow winds
that blew like a hurricane one soldier wrote it blew the perfect storm. -with the
storm as cover Washington’s troops advanced on Trenton and don’t believe
the old myth of hungover Hessians caught snoring in the old barracks. The enemy
soldiers were quite sober and quartered with local residents. Washington’s
frostbitten troops slogged nine miles to Trenton where the general got lucky
Hessian commanders had assumed nobody would attack in a storm as the enemy
struggled to form ranks Washington pitched a full-out urban
assault. It was house-to-house fighting, fighting on the streets, it was artillery firing cannonballs down the street things like that and the Hessians
weren’t really ready for that kind of warfare they were used to more
open-field warfare. -Historian William Kittor just published a new book
called Crossroads of the Revolution he says the Hessians fought well but they
were sick exhausted and poorly commanded most surrendered to Washington he was
trying to build another whole Continental Army at the same time
recruiting new troops and it was hard getting recruits and all you’ve
done is lose battles there before so he needed to inspire people to join the
army is pretty crucial -Now inspired by history interpreters at
the old barracks try to catch visitors imagination we have about 12,000 school
kids who come every year for me the Pass Program where they get recruited into
Washington’s army and we tell them all about the Battle of Trenton that happened
just a block away when interpreters welcome students to the old barracks
they show the kids how to handle a finicky musket. -Which points must
recharge your fire lock? Load it again, fire and load, fire and load,
We expect you to do that four times every minute, you think you can do that? -Kids
learn Washington had his troops inoculated against smallpox. To
prevent that scourge from decimating the ranks doctors used pus from active
smallpox sores. -Have any of you ever had the smallpox? The speckled monster? No? You get the terrible sores all over your body and the fever over the course of this
month they are going to grow and get bigger. Yes. -Historical interpreting is a
really great format for getting to kids it’s not like sitting in a classroom
where you’re reading it on a book and it’s all very flat sometimes these kids
get to come here and experience. -Barracks interpreters relish keeping that history
alive and accurate. -I have a greater appreciation for this building and I now
can tell people from experience how this actually feels because it’s one thing
saying yeah Washington marched from Trenton to Princeton, you have no clue
how long that takes what they went through. It takes them hours and hours by the
time they make it to Princeton it is already daybreak and they still have to
fight a battle. -So much history here in Trenton and the dynamic hasn’t changed
that much they still do battle but it’s over at
the Statehouse where lawmakers are liable to shoot off their mouth instead
of a musket.

1 thought on “Inside Trenton’s Old Barracks Museum | NJTVIYN

  1. I love the old barracks you know why i volunteer thers every Friday or when they deed me but I'm very happy and proud should Beautiful and historical building

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