British Colonel William Harcourt to his father Earl Harcourt
Brunswick, March 17th, 1777
The public papers have hitherto given you a fair account enough of our operations; in what light they may state the affairs of Trenton and Prince Town I cannot so easily guess, for, however we may blame the scandalous negligence and cowardice of the Hessian brigade, there certainly was a fault in the original arrangement of the winter quarters, which were much too extensive for an army of our numbers, and the position of Trenton in itself extremely faulty.
...However Government may have been flattered by the representations of a few interested individuals, you may depend upon it, as a fact, that we have not yet met with ten, I believe I have said two, disinterested friends to the supremacy of Great Britain; that from the want of intelligence we frequently, nay generally, lose the favourable opportunity for striking a decisive stroke, that in general we ought to avoid attacking any considerable body of them (suppose two or three hundred), unless we can pursue our advantage, or at least take post; for though we may carry our point, nevertheless, whenever we attempt to return to our quarters we may be assured of their harassing us upon our retreat; that detached corps should never march without artillery, of which the rebels are extremely apprehensive; lastly, that, though they seem to be ignorant of the precision and order, and even of the principles, by which large bodies are moved, yet they possess some of the requisites for making good troops, such as extreme cunning, great industry in moving ground and felling of wood, activity and a spirit of enterprise upon any advantage.
Having said thus much, I have no occasion to add that, though it was once the fashion of this army to treat them in the most contemptible light, they are now become a formidable enemy. Formidable, as they may be, I flatter myself we are a good deal more so, and I have therefore little doubt that, provided affairs continue quiet in Europe, and the expected reinforcements arrive in good time, we shall soon bring this business to a happy conclusion.
From "The Battles of Trenton and Princeton" by William S. Stryker