The Battle of Princeton
A detail from an unsigned painting titled The Battle of Princeton depicts the moment during the January 3, 1777, battle when General George Washington rode onto the battlefield atop his steed Nelson and rallied the militia, which had been retreating under fire. At the center of the scene, General Hugh Mercer lies mortally wounded next to his horse. It is believed that Mercer had been mistaken for General Washington and attacked and bayonetted by the British. James Peale and his older brother, Charles Willson Peale, both fought in the Trenton-Princeton campaign during the war, and this painting may have been a collaborative effort. William Mercer, the son of the slain general, served as an apprentice in the Peale brothers' Philadelphia studio at that time. He could neither hear nor speak.