December 1776, the British rapidly occupied most of northeastern New Jersey. Washington had lost two major forts on the lower Hudson River and had retreated across New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Hessian soldiers advanced as far as Bordentown, Columbus and Mount Holly. By deploying this extraordinary show of force, the British expected to crush the revolt. Instead, Washington won stunning victories at Trenton and Princeton, convincing the British to withdraw to bases on the Raritan River.