General George Washington heads north to Morristown, New Jersey after achieving two important victories against the British in Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey. Once arriving, he will create winter headquarters for the soldiers of the Continental Army and himself on January 6th, 1777. The camp is surrounded by hills which gave Washington a perfect vantage point in order to be able to keep a lookout for the British army.
The headquarters was located across the Hudson River in New York City. The Morristown location offered Washington another purpose as its position enabled him to guard the paths leading from the strongholds of the British in New Jersey to New England as well as the paths going to Philadelphia; this is where the American Revolution commanders were located at.
Although Washington was relishing over his prior wins, there was still much that he needed to do; this was not the time to partake in celebrations. While being able to look for the British, much of the time that was used by Washington in Morristown was allocated in reorganizing the Continental Army; their numbers had started to decrease as a result of the wins at Princeton and Trenton. The reasons for their rank slowly vanishing varied besides the loss of life during battle. Some of the men made the choice that it was better of becoming a deserter than facing another freezing winter without having adequate supplies; others chose when their enlistment reached its end not to reenlist and head back to their homes.
This became one of those historic moments that would change the course of the American Revolution. Without the ability to either keep the remaining men motivated enough to stay and fight as well as persuading others to become part of the fight; there would be no other victories for America as it would be the British who would be the winners of the American Revolution. The Americans were fortunate in that Washington’s commanding abilities on the field of battle did more than simply putting notches in his belt for each battle won. His popularity throughout the country started to increase and with that assisted in new recruits wanting to join the field of battle; adding to this was Washington being able to craft new changes to take the recruits who had recently enlisted and make them into soldiers that were very effective.
One of the changes had to do with instilling discipline within in troop as anyone who is subjected to maximum punishment would see soldiers being lashed not 39 times as before but now totaled 100! However, other changes made commitment to the army more tempting as the Continental Army guaranteed any individual a cash bonus for enlisting for three years; anyone who agreed to enlist until the conclusion of the war could look forward to being awarded a land bounty. The early months of 1777 saw the benefits of these promises as they allowed Washington to maintain and train a force that was seasoned; however, the army would be haunted later on by all that they had promised. Nevertheless, when the time came to resume battle, his immediate number of personnel totaled 11,000 men which included militia. Additionally, 17,000 Patriots had signed to fight in the cause and were waiting in New York.