When the war first started the Colonists were losing and the British were winning most fights. During one fight they were losing pretty bad so Washington ordered his men to retreat back over the river.
After they were chased across the river the soldiers soon realized they were low on any supply they needed. Low on weapons, food, clothes and moral. They asked the Continental Congress for more supplies but were denied. Washington also realized that on December 31st the soldiers could go home meaning he had to make a plan and attack soon.
Crossing the River
Washington needed a plan and a good one. He couldn't find a good plan even after asking Colonel Glover, General Glover, Henry Knox and Hugh Mercer. His soldiers were going home in a couple of days and he still needed to attack. He decided that they could try to do a sneak attack on the Hessians. He and his soldiers would have a boat and go across the river and would attack the Hessians on Christmas night.
Washington announced this to his colleagues General Gates and Colonel Glover. Washington's plan might just work but they needed boats to travel across the river and they didn't have any. Washington knew there was a market for boats near by so he ordered his men to go over there and steal the boats from the shop.
It was cold and windy on this Christmas night and the colonists were behind schedule. The likelihood of them getting to shore was very slim and Washington decided to keep going even in daylight.
They ended up fighting in daylight and Washington was excited to know that him and his army had defeated the Hessians.