During the Revolutionary War, a loyalist spy appeared at the headquarters of Hessian
commander Colonel Johann Rall, carrying an urgent message. General George Washington and
his Continental army had secretly crossed the Delaware River that morning and were
advancing on Trenton, New Jersey where the Hessians were encamped. The spy was denied an
audience with the commander and instead wrote his message on a piece of paper. A porter
took the note to the Hessian colonel, but because Rall was involved in a poker game he
stuffed the unread note into his pocket. When the guards at the Hessian camp began firing
their muskets in a futile attempt to stop Washington's army, Rall was still playing cards.
Without time to organize, the Hessian army was captured. The battle occurred the day
after Christmas, 1776, giving the colonists a late present--their first major victory of
Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 21.
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