Victory or Death

Victory or Death

Workout Date:





OneCall, Geno, Lil Nob, Boxcar, Lombardi, Cheesy Biscuit, Hoser, Meatball, Weedeater, Jingles (respect)) Fia was represented by Cosmo, Bean, and WeGo.

The Thang:

December 26, 2018.  December 26, 1776.

242 years ago this morning, and thru the earlier night, General George Washington conducted one of the most secretive and daring attacks in our nations history.  So this was an easy Q for me to handle, growing up in the town of Washington’s Crossing on the banks of the Delaware River.

Fia, our all girls workout group, had requested more info on GoRuck as a few wanted to sign up for a Light in May….AWESOME!  3 of them were on board. Nice try with the cookies WeGo….  #treason

weather- 38 and clear.  great morning to get up early and lug heavy crap around for 90 minutes.  One Call picked me up with a few items in his car (no trash to report….) and we drove to Warthog.  #togetheragain.  0430 rolled around, PAX gathered around the coupons, 14 in total.  Wanted to spend a few minutes going over GoRuck standards, hints, expectations, etc in the usual “formation” of 2 rows.  this was to be a learning experience for Fia, but also a solid push to the “vets” in the group…..and Geno….

Grab the coupons (I had Bean and WeGo grab the 2-woman log 1st!), stay in formation, and ruck march down Forbus in 2’s.  I was preparing my history lesson for the workout as the 13 PAX strutted down the road.  (I have the printout pasted below as well as to not take up too much time in the BB)

December 25-26 1776, Washington crossed the Delaware River in a sneak attack on the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton.  2400 militia and 18 pieces of artillery and horses made their way across the icy Delaware- taking over 10 hours to complete.  this being the 242nd Anniversary of that 1776 freezing evening/morning, we stop at the corner, drop the coupons, and did in pairs 242 Flutter kicks holding the rucks above head.  (121 per PAX).  Keep rucks above head while I finish my reading on the attack.  “Victory or Death” was the password used by the troops as they entered New Jersey and waiting on all to cross the river- as a team!  (as we do these GoRuck events, and even our own Waverucker beatdowns amongst us, we constantly find this theme in US Military History- battles and wars fought together, man and woman side by side fighting for 1 cause- freedom.  Especially during the Revolution, when we WERE fighting for a new country of our own.  All inspiring to say the least.

Back to the workout- at the corner of the lake, I gave the troops 6 minutes to haul all the coupons to the top of the parking deck- so away we went.  solid switching and formation as we made it to the 2nd level before my timer went off.  6 minutes up and time has failed.  drop the coupons and back on our 6 for 242 more flutter kicks (121 per) as a penalty for missing the hac.  explained during the work that Cadre make hacs impossible to achieve, and some too easy, all in the “mind” when it comes to events.  be prepared.

grab the coupons and complete the trip to the top of the deck- coupons dropped at the stairs- mentally prepare for the next movement.

Only 3 Americans were killed in the Battle of Trenton, hard to believe out of 2400, but the early morning surprise was a total success, adding to the legend of Washington as Commander in Chief.  So, DORA we go.

partner #1- 3 sets of stairs (down and up is 1) to honor the 3 fallen

partner #2 AMRAP shoulder presses with the ruck.  keep track of total presses as you switch with partner so each complete the 3 stair sets.

at the end of the DORA, I added up everyones totals.  I wanted to reach 2400 for the total militia crossing the river that morning, we hit 2132, or 268 short of the goal.  So, we had the pay the price as a team to complete the goal.  on 6, rucks in the air, as a team we all did 20 crunches in Cadence (I watched in wonder!).  Nice work men and women.

Walked to the end of the top deck and went over our next movement.  Washington had only 6 militia injured during the attack, and captured 1000 Hessians (and took them back across the river to PA later).  so we honor the injured.  6 stations with 1000 total reps.  Broken down between the 14 of us, we had 15 reps at each station, making our way down the garage to the ground floor.  I had a new PAX lead the group on each level/exercise to promote leadership.  Mosey in between.

1- Cosmo led Sumo Squats IC

2- WEGo led CDD IC

3- Bean led ruck curls IC

4- Lil Nob led Tri Ext with ruck IC

5- Meatball led Shoulder taps IC

6- Cheesy led merkins IC

great push- made it to the bottom together- 0530 on the timer.  Assigned WeGo and Cosmo as TL’s to get us back to the AO safely.  30 minutes to march back to the top, grab the coupons, and go back down the stairs to the AO.  Great leadership ladies as the movement and switching was done smoothly (due to the fact that we had some studs carrying and marching!). got back to the flag (Hoser?) at 5:48, gave us a few minutes to discuss, rehash, question, etc.

I asked a few PAX to remember names, dates, etc- with penalty of holding rucks overhead until we got it perfect…..#boxcar and bean!!  Gave some neat facts I had just learned as well

Announcements and prayers- TIME.  Always honored to lead, especially this morning.  thank you all


George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River, which occurred on the night of December 25–26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, was the first move in a surprise attack organized by George Washington against the Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey, on the morning of December 26. Planned in partial secrecy, Washington led a column of Continental Army troops across the icy Delaware River in a logistically challenging and dangerous operation. Other planned crossings in support of the operation were either called off or ineffective, but this did not prevent Washington from surprising and defeating the troops of Johann Rall quartered in Trenton. The army crossed the river back to Pennsylvania, this time laden with prisoners and military stores taken as a result of the battle.

General Washington had been considering some sort of bold move since arriving in Pennsylvania. With the arrival of Sullivan’s and Gates’ forces and the influx of militia companies, he felt the time was finally right for some sort of action. He first considered an attack on the southernmost British positions near Mount Holly, where a militia force had gathered. He sent his adjutantJoseph Reed, to meet with Samuel Griffin, the militia commander. Reed arrived in Mount Holly on December 22, found Griffin to be ill, and his men in relatively poor condition, but willing to make some sort of diversion.[18] (This they did with the Battle of Iron Works Hill the next day, drawing the Hessians at Bordentown far enough south that they would be unable to come to the assistance of the Trenton garrison.)[19] The intelligence gathered by Reed and others led Washington to abandon the idea of attacking at Mount Holly, preferring instead to target the Trenton garrison. He announced this decision to his staff on December 23, saying the attack would take place just before daybreak on December 26.[20]


But the morale of the Patriot forces was boosted on December 19 when a new pamphlet titled The American Crisis written by Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense, was published.[12]

These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.


Within a day of its publication in Philadelphia, General Washington ordered it to be read to all of his troops. It encouraged the soldiers and improved their tolerance of their difficult conditions.[13]

On the morning of December 25, Washington ordered his army to prepare three days’ food, and issued orders that every soldier be outfitted with fresh flints for their muskets. [25] He was also somewhat worried by intelligence reports that the British were planning their own crossing once the Delaware was frozen over. At 4 pm Washington’s army turned out for its evening parade, where the troops were issued ammunition, and even the officers and musicians were ordered to carry muskets. They were told that they were departing on a secret mission.[26] Marching eight abreast in close formations, and ordered to be as quiet as possible, they left the camp for McKonkey’s Ferry.[16] Washington’s plan required the crossing to begin as soon as it was dark enough to conceal their movements on the river, but most of the troops did not reach the crossing point until about 6 pm, about ninety minutes after sunset.[27] The weather got progressively worse, turning from drizzle to rain to sleet and snow. “It blew a hurricane,” recalled one soldier.[28]


Washington had given charge of the crossing logistics to his chief of artillery, the portly Henry Knox. In addition to the crossing of large numbers of troops (most of whom could not swim), he had to safely transport horses and eighteen pieces of artillery over the river. Knox wrote that the crossing was accomplished “with almost infinite difficulty”, and that its most significant danger was “floating ice in the river”.[29] One observer noted that the whole operation might well have failed “but for the stentorian lungs of Colonel Knox”.[29]

Washington was among the first of the troops to cross, going with Virginia troops led by General Adam Stephen. These troops formed a sentry line around the landing area in New Jersey, with strict instructions that no one was to pass through. The password was “Victory or Death”.[31] The rest of the army crossed without significant incident, although a few men, including Delaware’s Colonel John Haslet, fell into the water.[32]

The amount of ice on the river prevented the artillery from finishing the crossing until 3 am on December 26. The troops were not ready to march until 4 am.[33]

On the morning of December 26, as soon as the army was ready, Washington ordered it split into two columns, one under the command of himself and General Greene, the second under General Sullivan. The Sullivan column would take River Road from Bear Tavern to Trenton while Washington’s column would follow Pennington Road, a parallel route that lay a few miles inland from the river. Only three Americans were killed and six wounded, while 22 Hessians were killed with 98 wounded.[35] The Americans captured 1,000 prisoners and seized muskets, powder, and artillery.[35][36]




Cool Facts


My father was part of the re-enactment every Christmas morning.


At the time of the crossing, Washington’s army included a significant number of people who played important roles in the formation and early days of the United States of America. These included future President James Monroe, future Chief Justice of the United States John MarshallAlexander Hamilton (a future Secretary of the Treasury), and Arthur St. Clair, who later served as President of the Continental Congress and Governor of the Northwest Territory.[45][46]


Conrad Heyer (1749–1856) was an American farmer and veteran of the Revolutionary War who is notable for possibly being the earliest-born American to have been photographed.[1]

Heyer was born in the village of WaldoboroMaine, then known as “Broad Bay” and part of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The settlement had been sacked and depopulatedby Wabanaki attacks and resettled with German immigrants recruited from the Rhineland. Among these settlers were the parents of Conrad Heyer, who also may have been the first white child born in the settlement.[2]

During the American Revolution, Heyer fought for the Continental Army under the command of George Washington and participated in Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware before the Battle of Trenton in December 1776.[2] He was discharged in December 1777.[3] After the war, he returned to Waldoboro, where he made a living as a farmer until his death in 1856. He was buried with full military honors.[3]

In 1852, at the age of 103, Heyer posed for a daguerreotype portrait. He thereby became the earliest-born person of whom a photograph is known to exist.[4] The claim is not without dispute, as the following men were also photographed: a shoemaker named John Adams, who claimed to be born in 1745; a Revolutionary War veteran named Baltus Stone, with a claim of 1744; and a slave named Caesar, with a claim of 1738.[5]

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