Leutze’s depiction of a critical moment during the American revolution has become one of the best known and most extensively published images in American history. He portrays George Washington, accompanied by some 2,500 of his troops, crossing the Delaware River about nine miles above Trenton, New Jersey, in a surprise attack on the Hessians. The strategic crossing took place after midnight on December 25, 1776; ice floes and a heavy snowstorm kept the American soldiers and their allies from reaching shore until daybreak, which Leutze captured with the morning star overhead.
Crossing of the Delaware: http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/crossing-of-the-delaware/
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze…German-born American historical painter whose picture Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) numbers among the most popular and widely reproduced images of an American historical event.