A thought on what Cornwallis should have done 240 years ago

Build a wall.

As we’ve seen, Cornwallis’s actual plan January 1777 failed badly. Clearly, it was a bad mistake attacking Washington at Trenton. I’d asked what he should have done, and note that the British high command answer was that Cornwallis should have withdrawn from Trenton and hoped that Washington would have entered and allowed Cornwallis to trap him in the city. I don’t like this solution as it depends on Washington doing something very stupid.

After thinking a bit, I think Cornwallis should have left a detail of British soldiers, perhaps 2000-3000 and should have built a berm wall (an earthen wall) about the town. Cornwallis should have distributed guns to the Tory inhabitants, or encouraged the inhabitants to form a militia. Washington could still have shot in, but with far less precision than before. And he would now find he’s killing Americans. A likely result would have been the Trentonians shooting back at Washington’s men from Trenton’s rooftops. The combination of civil war and weather would have defeated Washington, or at least drawn him off. This is how we dealt with hostile Indians in the 1800s, and I suspect it could have worked here too.

Robert Buxbaum, December 27, 2016. Here, by the way is some odd Christmas music, and two odd Chanukkah songs. The strong defeated by the weak, the many by the few. In those days, at this time of year.

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