POLITICS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gingrich Re-Enacts The Battle Of Trenton On Twitter

Twitter is clearly changing the scope of political communication, allowing pols to alter the course of debates in real time -- provided that they can do it in under 140 characters -- and creating a powerful new vehicle for self-promotion.

On Monday morning, Newt Gingrich's Twitter account, with more than 1.13 million followers, became something a bit different. The former House Speaker hosted a forum for the virtual re-enactment of the Battle of Trenton.

Calling the thread a "twitteractment," the posts (which began on Sunday) are meant to promote Gingrich's new book -- "To Try Men's Souls" -- a novel based on George Washington's role in the Revolution. And in order to "authentically" play out the historical event, the brains behind the operation created three accounts: @genwashington76, @colonelrall, and @pvtvandornNJ

Colonel Johann Rall is a "commander of the [pro-British] Hessian troops" while Pvt. Jonathan Van Dorn is "a private in the colonial army" who is from New Jersey and is "ashamed of my loyalist family."

Truly, the whole thing is worth a read, if simply to see just how far the spectrum of Twitter use extends. The tweets are in the following chronological order:

RT @genwashington76: Ordered The Crisis to be read out loud as the men get onto the boats. It will remind the men of what is at stake. #1776
about 15 hours ago from web

RT @pvtvandornNJ Instructed to get some rest Sleeping is hard in this cold, harder still with my lungs on fire. www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 14 hours ago from web

RT @colonelrall Alarm! Rebels attacking outpost north of town. Order men to turn out. www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 13 hours ago from web

RT @GenWashington76 Knox interrupts my thoughts, saying it is time for me to cross. Finally. www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 11 hours ago from web

RT @pvtvandornNJ Colonel Glover has asked for volunteers to get out, lighten the load, and pull the boat to the dock. #1776
about 10 hours ago from web

RT @colonelrall Damn rebel raiders! Cowards! Maybe thirty to forty. Fired some shots at outpost and ran off. www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 6 hours ago from web

RT @GenWashington76 Column has stopped! What is going on? Why the holdup? www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 5 hours ago from web

RT @pvtvandornNJ Peter and I now across. Most horses have been moved, but only a few artillery pieces thus far. www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 4 hours ago from web

RT @pvtvandornNJ The good: The artillery wheels are breaking up the ice, making traction easier as we continue. www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 4 hours ago from web

RT @pvtvandornNJ The bad: Our feet are sinking halfway to the knee into the mud with each step. Less slippery now, but harder to walk. #1776
about 4 hours ago from web

RT @GenWashington76 "Forward men, forward! Victory or death. Now forward!" www.totrymenssouls.com #1776
about 4 hours ago from web

RT @pvtvandornNJ What is happening? Some Virginia militiamen have met up with us. @genwashington76 seems upset with them. #1776
about 2 hours ago from web

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