|American position from the left flank|
|Sullivan's militia brigade|
The British attack on the left made good progress. The first British volley sent the American skirmishers back in disorder. This was followed up by two volleys which forced the light infantry battalion to fall back to reform. In no time at all the forward slope of the ridge was empty of American troops. On the other flank Cornwallis was advancing more steadily, but the jaegers were beginning to fire to some effect against the flanking battalion of Green's command. It was in the centre that the British were having problems. Grant's units were hampered by the wooded terrain and took time to form up. However, they were far enough away from the American lines to be out of musketry range.
|Grey's brigade ready to advance|
|Greene reforms his flank|
|Grey's men attack the militia|
The crisis of the battle approached. Sullivan's command was nearing the end of it's tether. All the units had suffered losses and further casualties may well break the brigade. Grey increased the pressure by advancing his units up the slope of the ridge and fired volleys at closed range. Greene on the American left was also struggling due to heavy losses. Would Cornwallis prevail?
|The militia save the day|
With the December light fading and hope of a breakthrough receding, Howe called off the attack and ordered a withdrawal to Philadelphia. For his part, Washington breathed a huge sigh of relief; he had been within a whisker of losing both his flank brigades and with it the battle.