Soft acrylic scarf with George Washington’s signature and the words, “Victory or Death” on one end and December 25 – 26, 1776 on the other. “Victory or Death” was the countersign used by the Continental Army the night they crossed the Delaware to attack the Hessian garrison at Trenton. The stars on the flag are from George Washington’s headquarters flag used during the Revolutionary War.
Size: 59″ x 7
The historic event behind the design
He appeared much depressed and lamented the ragged and dissolving state of his army in affecting terms. I gave him assurances of the disposition of Congress to support him, under his present difficulties and distresses. While I was talking to him I observed him to play with his pen and ink upon several pieces of paper. One of them by accident fell upon the floor near my feet. I was struck with the inscription upon it. It was “victory or death.”
— Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia physician, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, recounting his visit to General Washington in December four miles from the Delaware River.
The countersign for the troops for the attack on Trenton was “Victory or Death.” More than 2,400 soldiers,18 cannons, and 75-100 horses crossed the Delaware during a “violent storm of rain, hail, and snow.”
The Americans captured 896 Hessians and killed 22. Three Americans were killed and six wounded, including a near-fatal wound to future president James Monroe. Enlistment for most men was to expire December 31st.
A map of the Delaware River area depicting the route George Washington and his Army made during the crossing, by William Faden, an English cartographer and a publisher of maps. He printed the North American Atlas in 1777, and “. . . it became the most important atlas chronicling the Revolution’s battles.” There were 29 maps in the atlas, and they included detailed battle maps drawn by eyewitnesses.