A Monument Forged in the Heat of Victory

When it comes to history, the city of Trenton is in no short supply. Historic monuments, statues, buildings and sights surround the city, which has seen its share of battles.

The Trenton Battle Monument celebrates the American victory at the first battle of Trenton, which took place on December 26th, 1776. The monument can be found in an area of the city, which is commonly referred to as ‘Five Points.’ It was here that the American artillery was placed and utilized to fight off invading Hessian forces. It was also from this vantage point that the artillery rocked the streets of Trenton, preventing the Hessian troops from mounting a destructive counterattack.

A victory for continental forces, the Battle of Trenton was won with hard thought strategy and military strength. It served as a morale boost to the dwindling and disheartened Continental Army as well as a rallying cry to all Americans who still believed in the war for independence. This victory was remembered for years to come by both Continental and British forces.

The Trenton Battle Monument was designed by John H. Duncan who was also the architect of President Grant’s Tomb. Standing 148 feet high and is an early demonstration of the Beaux Arts style, this Roman Doric column is completely made of granite and has a large base which Duncan decorated with acanthus leaves. According to destinationtrenton.com “The capital has a ring of stars crowned by an observation platform with a railing. Above the platform is a circle of 13 electric lights, representing the 13 original colonies.”

The two bronze statues of Continental soldiers which surround the entrance were constructed by William O’Donovan who was a famous 19th century sculptor of busts and monuments. For more information on the Trenton Battle Monument please visit the New Jersey State Museums website at https://www.state.nj.us/state/museum/.

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