GERMAN AND OTHER AUXILIARY MILITARY UNITS IN BNA

The Germans

As realisation dawned about the degree of colonial resentment in America, the British government decided it needed more troops. As the British army was already stretched additional troops could not come from the Army: they would have to be hired. Since Hanover had produced Britain's kings the troops would be first looked for in Germany, however, the Germans were expensive.[1] The Hesse-Kassel regiments were expensive, because they were well-trained and very experienced; however, there were 24,000 of them in Hesse Kassel and inevitably they formed the majority of the available Germans.

Legally, the Germans were under formal treaty obligations and contract to supply troops for the British government, for which the British paid. About 34,000 German soldiers were supplied to the British army from seven German states.[2] (Legalities apart, they were widely considered mercenaries.) The troops came from Hesse-Kassel, Hannover, Brunswick, Anspach-Bayreuth, Hesse-Hanau, Anhalt-Zerbst, and Waldeck. (Five battalions from Hanover were sent to guard Gibralter to free-up British regiments. The Hanoverians did not deploy to America.) Minus casualties and those who stayed c76% returned to Europe. About 7,000 stayed in America, or Canada; many Brunswickers stayed in Eastern Canada. The Germans were entirely under British command, albeit usually under their own officers. The catains and majors in the Alt von Lossberg regiment had an average 28 years of service. Many of the German officers were promoted as casualties took their toll: I have generally used the highest rank obtained during the period concerned.

German Commands

 The Germans, under British command, were formed in operational divisions and brigades, with some independent units.[3] Senior commanders were provided staff officers to help coordinate orders. In 1776 in New York and the Jerseys, the Hesse-Kassel division commander was Lieutenant General Leopold Philipp von Heister. The Hesse-Kassel brigade commanders were; Major General Werner von Mirbach, Major General Johann David von Stirn, Colonel Karl Emil Ulrich von Donop, Colonel (promoted Major General) von Lossberg.

In 1776 in Canada, the Brunswick division commander was Major General Baron Friederich von Riedesel. The Brunswick brigade commanders were; Brigadier General Johann Friederich Specht, A/Brigadier General WR Gall, and Lieutenant Colonel von Breymann. Lieutenant General Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen arrived at New York in October with a second draft of Germans from Hesse and Waldeck. Knyphausen led the main British attack at Fort Washington with an ad hoc command. The suprise German loss 26 December 1776 at Trenton was blamed on the Germans and Knyphausen replaced Heister as Hessian division commander in 1777.

On short notice ad-hoc commands were formed at unit and higher levels, dependent on the senior officers and units available. The German units were assigned British tasks by, f General Burgoyne on the advance to Saratoga and by Clinton and Howe in the New York area and the south. The Hesse-Kassel Garrison regiments kept the German fighting units mobile. The Germans provided the most complex units to the British and the following table illustrates the German command structures.

Examples of German Operational Commands

New York, 22 Aug 1776, Sir Wm Howe New Jersey, 25 Dec 1776, Sir Wm Howe Rhode Island, 25 Dec 1776, Sir Wm Howe
Hessen Division, Lt Gen L von Heister   Brit Division, Maj Gen J Grant   Brit Division, Lt Gen H Clinton  
  Brigade Maj General W von Mirbach   Grens at Brunswick Comd 1st Bn Grens?   Hessen
Brigade
Maj Gen F von Lossberg & Brig Gen J von Huyne
    Knyphausen Regt     1st Bn Grens     Wutginau Regt
    Rall Regt     2nd Bn Grens     Bunau Regt
    Lossberg Regt  

Hessen
Brigade

Col J Rall     Huyne Regt
  Brigade Maj General JD von Stirn     Rall Regt     Lieb Regt
    Donop Regt     Knyphausen Regt     Ditfurth Regt
    Mirbach Regt     Lossberg Regt     Prinz Karl Regt
    Erb Prinz Regt   Hessen
Brigade
Col Karl Donop Saratoga, 17 Oct 1777, Sir J Burgoyne
  Brigade Col Karl Donop     Bloch Gren Bn Brunswick Division, Maj Gen F von Riedesel  
    Bloch Gren Bn     Minnigenrode Gren Bn   Brunswick Brigade Riedesel Regt
    Minnigenrode Gren Bn     Linsing Gren Bn     Specht Regt
    Linsing Gren Bn     Feldjäger Korps     Rhetz Regt
  Brigade Col AH von Lossberg           Hesse Hanau Erbprinz Regt
    Ditfurth Regt           Breyman Jäger Bn
    Trumbach Regt            
  Reserve Feldjäger Korps            

Irish, Swiss, and Others

Additional men were required both during the Revolution and the later War of 1812. The British were hard-pressed to field an army in America during the Revolution and the British army remained short-handed in many of the Caribbean campaigns. It was not uncommon after the crusades for an ambitious man to form a regiment and sell his services to the highest bidder. The concept of state was only created as a consequence of the 30-Year War (1618-1648), so nationalism was no impediment. (The Irish hired out to the Spanish, French, and British.) The Spanish, French, Russian, and British, governments all hired mercenary regiments.

I have only shown those units relevant to North America: there were many others in British Service during the same period. (The British continued to hire German units, for example at the Battle of Waterloo (1815) and both Swiss and German regiments were on the Canadian frontier during the War of 1812.)

The Swiss regiments deployed into North America under contract. Legally, the Swiss were like the Germans, but they were contracted directly under British auspices. The two regiments below were hired for the specific period of service in Canada, although they had both been previously used by Britain in Europe. About 600 Swiss soldiers stayed in Canada.[4]

German and Other Hired Military Units in BNA

The Germans (Hessians)

German Military Regiments
The British were also fighting the French during the American Revolution and resorted to hiring an additional 34,218 Germans to fill out their army in America. They were not all from Hesse. It was still not enough men and the government hired additional Irish, Swiss, Dutch and others. That too was not enough as both French and Spanish distractions in Louisiana, Florida, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean sapped considerable British manpower. These professional units had their own officers, tactics, and equipment. These Germans fought in America by treaty contract.

Unit Name

Service

Cavalry

Anspach-Bayreuth, Chasseurs

1782-1783, Garrisoned Nova Scotia.

Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinzen Ludwig Ernst

1776, British Foreign Establishment (served dismounted)

Commanders: Generalmajor Baron Friedrich Adolphus von Riedesel, Oberstleutnants Friedrich Baum (1777, killed at Bennington), Major J Christoph von Meibom, Hauptmann Adolf von Schlagenteuffel

1776, Dragoner-Regiment Prinzen Ludwig Ernst

American Revolution. 6 June 1776, Québec Garrison; 16 August 1777, Defeated and Surrendered at Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Hesse-Kassel Chasseurs

Hesse-Kassel Chasseurs

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 6 August 1777, Battle of Oriskany; 16 August 1777, Battle of Bennington;12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston;

Hesse-Kassel Jäger Korps

Fought throughout the War in small detachments in all theatres - some noted here. Elements of Anspach Jägers added

Commanders: Obersts Karl Emil Ulrich von Donop,[5] - (1777, killed at Fort Mercer), 1778, Kospoth, 1779 Oberstleutnant von Wumb

Mounted Zu Pferd Detachment. American Revolution. June 1776, Battle of Trois Rivièrs; 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 6 August 1777, Battle of Oriskany; 16 August 1777, Battle of Bennington; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 26 September 1777, Occupy Philadelphia, 29 December 1778, Battle of Savannah; 12 April-11 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston; 15 March 1781, Battle of Guilford Courthouse; 28 September-19 October 1781, Battle and Surrendered at Yorktown.

Hauptmann Geyso's Jäger Company. American Revolution. 16 August 1777, Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Württemberg Chasseurs

c1750, Württemberg Chasseurs

American Revolution. 6 August 1777, Battle of Oriskany.

Artillery

Anhalt-Zerbst Artillery Korps

Detachment of four 6-pounders

Commander: Bombardier Hauptmann N.F. Hoffman.

American Revolution. 28 September-19 October 1781, Battle and Surrendered at Yorktown.

Hessen-Hanau Artillery Korps der Erb Prinz

Detachment six 6 pdrs and two 3 pdrs. Detachment four 6 pdrs

Commanders: Hauptmanns Georg Päusch, Bombardier Conrad Wall

American Revolution. 16 August 1777, Defeated at Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Defeated with guns Captured at Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Hesse-Kassel Artillery Korps

Two field artillery batteries supported all regiments. Had 6-8 three pdr guns.

American Revolution. After initial battles Garrisoned New York.

Temporary Infantry

Braunschweig Regiment von Ehrenkrook

Commander: Oberstleutnant Carl Friedrich von Ehrenkrook

1777-1778, Formed in Canada with 600 men from von Riedesel, von Specht, von Rhetz regiments

American Revolution. 1777 Garrisoned Québec.

Combined Regiment von Loos

1777, Formed from Rahl's remnants

Commander: 1777-1778, Oberst Johann August von Loos

1777, Combined Regiment von Loos

 

Brigade Grenadiere

1776, Formed from 3 Grenadiere regiments, 1778, 4 Grenadiere regiments

Commanders: Obersts Karl Emil Ulrich von Donop, 1777, Oberst von Kospoth

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Long Island; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 11 September 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 4 October 1777-1778, Captured and Occupied Philadelphia; 22 October 1777, Battle of Redbank; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse; 1778-1783, Garrisoned New York; 12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston.

Infantry

Prinzessin von Anhalt-Zerbst Infanterie Regiment

2 x bns

Commander: 1777, Oberst Rauschenplatt

c1775, Anhalt-Zerbst Regiment

1st Bn. American Revolution. 1778-1783, Garrisoned Québec.

2nd Bn. American Revolution. 1780-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Anhalt-Zerbst Jägers

Nuppenau's Jäger Company

American Revolution. 1777

Anspach-Beureuth 1st Regiment von Volt

600 men

Commander: 1777, Oberst von Voit Salzburg

1777, Anspach-Beureuth 1st Regiment, 1779, Regiment von Volt, 1783, Anspach 1st Bn.

American Revolution. 1777, Garrisoned New York; 28 September-19 October 1781, Battle and Surrendered at Yorktown.

Anspach-Beureuth 2nd Regiment Seybothen

600 men

Commander: 1777, Oberst von Seybothen

1777, Anspach-Beureuth 2nd Regiment , 1779, Regiment von Seybothen, 1783, Anspach 2nd Bn.

American Revolution. 1777, Garrisoned New York; 20 June 1779, Battle of Stono Ferry; 28 September-19 October 1781, Battle and Surrendered at Yorktown.

Anspach-Beureuth Jäger Korps

1777, 101-man coy + 5 x coys later

Commanders: 1777, Hauptmanns Cramon, 1779, Roder, 1781, von Reitzenstein, 1782, von Flkenstein, 1782, Wurm, 1783 von Konitz

Light infantry s harpshooter riflemen

American Revolution.

Braunschweig-Lüneburg Grenadiere Bataillon von Breymann[6]

1776, British Foreign Establishment, 526 men

Commanders: Oberstleutnants 1776-1777, Heinrich Christoph von Breymann (1777, killed Freeman's Farm), 1777, von Mengen, Hauptmann Albrecht Daniel von Löhneisen

American Revolution. 8-9 June 1776, Clashed near Trois Rivières; 13-15 June 1776, Defeated Americans at Montréal; 16 June 1776, Clashed at Fort Chambly; 2 July 1777, Battle and Captured Fort Independence-Ticonderoga; 7 July 1777, Battle of Hubbardton; 16 August 1777, Defeated at 2nd Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Defeated at Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Braunschweig-Lüneburg Licht Infanterie (Jäger) Bataillon von Bärner

1776, British Foreign Establishment, 622 men

Commanders: Oberstleutnant von Barner, Hauptmanns Gottlieb Joachim von Gleissenberg, Johann Gottfried Kotte (killed 1777), Maximillian Christian Schottelius

American Revolution. 2 July 1777, Battle and Captured Fort Independence-Ticonderoga; 7 July 1777, Battle of Hubbardton; 16 August 1777, Defeated at 2nd Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Braunschweig-Lüneburg Regiment Prinzen Friedrich

1776, British Foreign Establishment, 1777, 639 men

Commanders: Oberstleutnants von Ehrenkrook, Christian Julius Praetorius, Major Friedrich Wilhelm von Hille, Hauptmanns Friedrich Albrecht Rosenberg, GE von Zielberg

c1750, 1 Bn Prinzen Friedrich Regiment, 1776, Musketeer Regiment Prinzen Friedrich

American Revolution. 10 July 1777, Garrisoned Fort Independence and Fort Ticonderoga.

 

Braunschweig-Lüneburg Musketeer Regiment von Rhetz

1776, British Foreign Establishment, 1777, 639 men

Commanders: Oberstleutnant Johann Gustav von Ehrenkrook (1783, killed Trois Riviers), Major Balthasar Bogislaus von Lucke, Hauptmanns Heinrich Urban Cleve, Wilhelm Ludwig Fredersdorff (1777, killed Freeman's Farm)

c1750, 1 Bn von Rhetz Regiment, 1776, Brunswick Musketeer Regiment von Rhetz

American Revolution. 2 July 1777, Battle and Captured Fort Independence-Ticonderoga; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Braunschweig-Lüneburg Musketeer Regiment von Riedesel

1776, British Foreign Establishment, 1777, 639 men

Commanders: 1776, Oberstleutnant Ernst Ludwig Wilhelm von Speth, Major Otto Carl Anton von Mengen, Hauptmanns Christian Friedrich von Bartling, Morgenstern, von Pollnitz

c1750, 2 Bn Prinzen Friedrich Regiment, 1776, Brunswick Musketeer Regiment von Riedesel.

American Revolution. 8-9 June 1776, Clashed near Trois Rivières; 13-15 June 1776, Defeated Americans at Montréal; 16 June 1776, Clashed at Fort Chambly; 2 July 1777, Battle and Captured Fort Independence-Ticonderoga; 7 July 1777, Battle of Hubbardton, 16 August 1777, Skirmished at Fort Chambly; Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Braunschweig-Lüneburg Musketeer Regiment von Specht

1776, British Foreign Establishment, 635 men

Commanders: Generalbrigade Johann Friedrich Specht, Major Carl Friedrich von Ehrenkrook, Hauptmanns Heinrich Jaeger, Georg von Schlagenteuffel

American Revolution. 2 July 1777, Battle and Captured Fort Independence-Ticonderoga; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Hesse-Hanau Jäger Korps

Commander: Oberstleutnant von Creuzbourg

American Revolution. 8-9 June 1776, Clashed near Trois Rivières; 13-15 June 1776, Defeated Americans at Montréal; 16 August 1777, Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Hesse-Hanau FreiKorps

Commander: Oberstleutnant Janecke

 

American Revolution. 8-9 June 1776, Clashed near Trois Rivières; 13-15 June 1776, Defeated Americans at Montréal; 16 August 1777, Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Hesse Hanau Musketeer Regiment Erbprinz,[7]

Commander: 1775-1783, Oberst Wilhelm Rudolph von Gall

American Revolution. 8-9 June 1776, Clashed near Trois Rivières; 13-15 June 1776, Defeated Americans at Montréal; 16 June 1776, Clashed at Fort Chambly; 3-22 August 1777, Failed Siege of Fort Stanwix, 6 August 1777, Battle of Oriskany (with Sir John Johnson); 18 September 1777, Captured Fort Ticonderoga; 1777-1778, Garrisoned Canada and raided into New York.

Hesse-Kassel Fusilier Regiment von Ditfurth

Commander: 1776, Oberst Karl von Bose, Oberstleutnant von Schuler, Majors von Borke, du Puy

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston; 1780-1783, Garrisoned Charleston and New York.

Hesse-Kassel Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz

Commanders: 1776, Generalmajor Stein, Oberst von Hachenberg, Oberstleutnant Mattias Fuchs

1776, Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz, 1780, Musketeer Regiment Erbprinz

American Revolution. May 1777, Embarked on Burgoyne Expedition; 16 August 1777, Battle of Bennington; 17-19 September 1777, Battle of Freeman's Farm; 7 October 1777, Battle of Bemis Heights; 11-17 October 1777, Battle and Surrendered at Saratoga.

Hesse-Kassel Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen

1777, After heavy casualties was temporarily reformed as part of 'Combined Bataillon', although later reconstituted

Commanders: 1776, Generalmajor Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen (detached), Oberst HC von Borck

1776, Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 16th September 1776, Battle of Harlem Heights New York; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 1777-1778, Garrisoned Philadelphia; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, 1778-1779, Garrisoned New York; 1779-1781, Garrisoned Prince Edward Island & Québec, 1781-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel Fusilier Regiment Alt-Lossberg

Commanders: Obersts 1776, HA von Heringen, Oberstleutnant Francis Scheffer

1777, After heavy casualties was temporarily reformed as part of 'Combined Bataillon', although later reconstituted.

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 16th September 1776, Battle of Harlem Heights New York; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 1777-1778, Garrisoned Philadelphia; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse,. 1779-1783, Garrisoned Québec.

Hesse-Kassel Regiment von Bunau

Commander: 1776, Oberst Rudolph Bunau, Oberstleutnant von Borbeck, Major Mathias

American Revolution. 16 November 1776, Captured Fort Washington; 1776-1779, Garrisoned Newport, 1779-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel Regiment von Huyne

Commanders: 1776, Oberst (Generalbrigade) Johann Christophe von Huyne, Oberstleutnant Kurtz, Major Hildebrandt, 1780, Oberst von Benning

American Revolution. 16 November 1776, Captured Fort Washington; 1776-1779, Garrisoned Newport, 1780-1782, Garrisoned Charleston; 1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel Garrison Regiment von Stern

Commanders: 1776, Oberst Franz Karl Erdmann von Seitz, Oberstleutnants Schlemmer, von Schreyroel, Major Greiff, 1783, Oberst Friedrich von Porbeck.

American Revolution. 16 November 1776, Captured Fort Washington; 1776-1778, Garrisoned New York; 1778-1783, Garrisoned Halifax.

Hesse-Kassel Garrison Regiment von Wissenbach

Commanders: 1776, Obersts Ludwig von Horn, Oberstleutnant Lange, Major Schaeffer, 1780, Generalmajor Hans von Knoblauch

American Revolution. 1776-1778, Garrisoned New York; 29 December 1778, Battle of Savannah; 19 October, 1779, Second Battle of Savannah; 1 April-12 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston, 1780-1782, Garrisoned Charleston; 1782-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel 1st Grenadiere Bataillon von Linsing

Hessian Grenadiere Brigade

Commander: 1776, Oberstleutnant Otto von Linsingen.

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 2 January 1777, Second Battle of Trenton; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 26 September 1777, Captured Philadelphia, 22 October 1777, Captured Fort Mercer; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse; 12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston; 1778-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel 2nd Grenadiere Bataillon von Bloch

Part of Hessian Grenadiere Brigade

Commander: 1776, Oberstleutnants Justus von Bloch, 1777, von Lengerke

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 2 January 1777, Second Battle of Trenton; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 26 September 1777, Captured Philadelphia, 22 October 1777, Captured Fort Mercer; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse; 12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston; 1778-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel 3rd Grenadiere Bataillon von Minnigerode,[8]

Part of Hessian Grenadiere Brigade

Commander: 1776, Oberstleutnants Friedrich von Minnigerode, 1779, von Loewenstein

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 2 January 1777, Second Battle of Trenton; 25 June 1777, Battle at Bonhamtown,11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 26 September 1777, Captured Philadelphia, 22 October 1777, Captured Fort Mercer; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse; 12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston; 1778-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel 4th Grenadiere Bataillon von Köehler

Commander: 1776, Oberstleutnants von Köehler, 1779, Wilhelm von Graf, 1781, Friedrich Platte

American Revolution. 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 1776-1777, Garrisoned New Jersey; 12 April-9 May 1780, Siege and Captured Charleston; 1777-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel Grenadiere Regiment von Rahl (Rall)

1777, Amalgamated to form Combined Bataillon

Commanders: 1776, Oberst Johann Gottlieb Rahl, (1776, killed at Trenton), Oberstleutnant Bretthauer, Major Machäus, 1777, Obersts Wolfgang Friedrich von Woellwarth, 1778, von Trumbach, 1780, d'Angelleli

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 16th September 1776, Battle of Harlem Heights New York; 16 November 1776, Captured Forts Lee and Washington; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 25 December 1776, Defeated at Battle of Trenton; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 6 October 1777, Captured Forts Montgomery & Clinton; 1777-1778, Garrisoned Philadelphia; 29 December 1778, Battle of Savannah; 11 May 1779, Siege and Captured Charleston; 20 June, 1779, Battle of Stono Ferry, 19 October, 1779, Battle of Savannah; 1780-1782, Garrisoned Charleston; 1782-1783, Garrisoned New York;

Hesse-Kassel Lieb Infantry Regiment

Commander: 1776, Oberst Friedrich Wilhelm von Wumb

American Revolution. 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 1776-1777, Garrisoned Newport; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 1777-1778, Garrisoned Philadelphia PA, 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse; 23 June 1780, Battle of Springfield; 1778-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel Musketeer Regiment von Donop

Commanders: 1776, Oberst DE von Gosen, Oberstleutnant Heimel, Major Hinthe, 1780, Oberst Jung von Lossburg

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 16 November 1776, Captured Fort Washington; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 1777-1778, Garrisoned Philadelphia; 28 June 1778, Battle of Monmouth Courthouse; 23 June 1780, Battle of Springfield; 1778-1783, Garrisoned New York.

Hesse-Kassel Musketeer Regiment von Mirbach

Commander: 1776, Major von Mirbach, Oberst von Lose, Oberstleutnant von Shieck, Major Biesenroth, 1780, Oberstleutnant (Generalmajor) Jung von Lossberg

American Revolution. 27 August 1776, Battle of Brooklyn; 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine; 4 October 1777, Battle of Germantown; 22 October 1777, Captured Fort Mercer; 1777-1780, Garrisoned Philadelphia and New York.

Hesse-Kassel Musketeer Regiment Prinz Karl

Commanders: 1775-1780, Generalmajors Martin Konrad Schmidt, 1775-1784, Ephraim von Gose, Obersts 1775-1784, Johann Wilhelm Schreiber, 1775-1784, Wilhelm von Loewenstein, 1776-1784, George Emanuel von Lengerke

American Revolution. 28 October 1776, Battle of White Plains; 12-18 September 1777, Advanced into the Jerseys, 1779, Raided Virginia; 1779-1782, Garrisoned Savannah Georgia; 1780-1783, Garrisoned Rhode Island and New York.

 

Hesse-Kassel Musketeer Regiment von Trumbach

Commander: 1775, Generalmajor von Trimbach, 1776, Oberst CE von Bischausen, Major von Münchhausen, 1778, Generalmajor von Bose

American Revolution. 1776, Garrisoned New York; 24 March 1777, Battle of Hudson Highlands; 15 November 1777, Battle of Kingsbridge; 1776-1780, Garrisoned New York; 29 December 1778, Battle of Savannah; 16 April 1780, Battle of Paramus; 15 March 1781, Battle of Guilford Courthouse; 6 July, 1781, Green springs, Virginia, 28 September-19 October 1781, Battle and Surrendered at Yorktown.

Hesse-Kassel Musketeer Regiment Wutgenau

Commanders: 1776, Oberst von Kospoth, Oberstleutnant von Romrod, Major von Haustein

1777, Regiment Wutgenau, 1783, Regiment Leib

American Revolution. 16 November 1776, Captured Fort Washington; 1776-1779, Garrisoned Newport; 1779-1783, Garrisoned New York;

Waldeck 3rd Regiment[9]

684 men

Commanders: 1776, Oberstleutnant Johann Ludwig Wilhelm von Hanxleden, Major Ludwig von Dalwigk

American Revolution. 1777, Garrisoned Amboy, New Jersey, 21 September 1779, Defeated at Battle of Baton Rouge; 1779-1781, Garrisoned West Florida; 9 March-8 May 1781, Besieged Defeated and Surrendered to Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez; 1783, Repatriated to Germany

Irish, German, and Swiss Hired Military Units (in British North America)

Foreign Hired Infantry Regiments
Prior to modern armies Europeans created an industry of building efficient fighting organisations and hiring them out to other states. The British and Germans alone were not enough and the British hired Irish, Swiss, Dutch and others. There were still not enough men as both French and Spainish distractions in Louisiana, Florida, and the Caribbean sapped considerable British manpower. These professional units below had their own officers, tactics, and equipment. Some Irish and Swiss regiments fought for both the French and the British.

Unit Name

Service

Infantry

101st Regiment of Foot

1780, Irishmen

Commander: Colonel the Honorable Henry Augustus Viscount Dillon of Costello-Gallen

1780, 101st Regiment of Foot, 1805, 101st Regiment of Foot (Duke of York's Irish), 1817, Disbanded.

Canada. 1807-1809, Garrisoned Halifax and Annapolis in Nova Scotia. Caribbean. c1810, Garrisoned the Antilles. War of 1812. 1813, Canadian frontier.

Regiment of The Hon Henry Dillon

1794, French to Irish Establishment

1653, Dillon's Regiment, 1690, Régiment de Dillon, 1791, 87e Régiment de Ligne, 1793, Régiment de Dillon, 1794, Hon. Henry Dillon's Regiment, 1797, Amalgamated with Viscomte Walsh's Regiment, 1798, Disbanded in Santo Domingo.

Caribbean. September 1794-November 1796, Battled French for control in Spanish Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo); 16-17 April 1797, Captured Fort Guérin on Haiti (St Dominigue/Santo Domingo).

Régiment de Dillon

1793, French to Irish Establishment

1791, 87e Régiment de Ligne, 1793, Régiment de Dillon, 1793, Surrendered to British in Haiti (St Dominigue/Santo Domingo),

1796, Disbanded in Santo Domingo.

Caribbean. 19 September 1793, Captured Jérémie in Haiti (St Dominigue/Santo Domingo); 2 February-4 June 1794, Captured Dominican Republic; 6-19 September 1794, Battle and Captured St Marc in Haiti (St Dominigue/Santo Domingo); September 1794-November 1796, Battled French for control in Spanish Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo).

Regiment du Comte de Walsh-Serrant

1794, Irish Establishment

1642, Irish Guards, 1786, Régiment de Walsh, 1791, 92e Régiment de Ligne, 1794, Regiment of Le Comte de Walsh-Serrant, 1798, Disbanded.

Caribbean.

Regiment du Vicomte Walsh de Serrant

1794, Irish Establishment

1794, Regiment of Le Vicomte Walsh de Serrant, 1797, Disbanded.

Caribbean. Canada,

Hompesch's Regiment of Mounted Riflemen

1797, Germans on British Establishment

Commander: Generalmajor Freiherrn Ferdinand von Hompesch

1794, Hompesch's Hussars, 1798, Hompesch's Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, 1802, Disbanded.

Caribbean. May 1796-October 1797, Occupied Haiti (St Dominigue/Santo Domingo).

Le Régiment du Comte de Conway

1794, Irish Establishment

1794, Régiment de Le Comte de Conway, 1798, Disbanded.

Canada. November 1797-September 1798, Occupied Halifax.

Le Régiment de Karrer

Swiss in French employement

Commanders: 1918, Colonel Franz Adam Karrer, 1731, Captain Cailly, 1742, Gabriel Schonherr

1719, Le Régiment de Karrer

Colonial Defence. 1722-1745, Garrisoned Garrisoned Fort Louisbourg; 1745, Seige and Surrendered to British fleet and American colonial army.

Le Régiment de Meuron

1781, 1020 Swiss men on French Service, 1800, British Establishment, 1816, 343 men stayed in Canada and Lord Selkirk hired 80 men to protect Red River settlement

Commanders: 1781, Comte Charles de Meuron, 1812-1816, Major-General Sir George Townsend Walker (Colonel-in-Chief), Lieutenant Colonel Francois Henri de Meuron Bayard, Jacques Prevost, Colonels Henri Bouquiet, Frederick Holdimand

1781, Le Régiment de Meuron, 1795, Meuron's Regiment, 1816, Many disbanded in Canada.

War of 1812. 1813-1814, Garrisoned Montréal, St-Jean, & Fort Chambly; 4 September 1814, Battle of Chazy; 7-14 September 1814, Battle of Plattsburg.

Regiment de Le Comte de Walsh-Serrant

1698, in Franch Service, 1794, Irish Establishment

1662, Irish Foot Guards, 1689, Gardes Irlandaises, 1718, Régiment de Rooth, 1786, Régiment de Walsh, 1791, 92e Régiment d'Infantrie, 1794, Regiment of Le Comte de Walsh-Serrant, 1798, Disbanded.

Caribbean. February 1797, Garrisoned Barbados and Martinique; July 1797, Occupied Port Royal Jamaica; July 1797-3 October 1798, Occupied Haiti (St Dominigue/Santo Domingo); July 1797, 3 coys Occupied Belize ( British Honduras).

Regiment du Vicomte Walsh de Serrant

1794, Irish Establishment

1794, Regiment of Le Vicomte de Conway, 1796, Regiment of Le Vicomte Walsh de Serrant, 1797, Disbanded in Haiti.

Caribbean. March 1796-March 1797, Garrisoned Jamaica. Canada. 1797, Garrisoned Halifax.

Le Régiment de Watteville

1801, British Establishment, Poles Germans Swiss etc troops

1816, c250 men stayed in Canada and Lord Selkirk hired 20 men to protect Red River settlement

Commanders: 1812-1816, Major-General Louis de Watteville, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fischer

1801, De Watteville's Regiment of Foot, 1816, Disbanded in Canada.

Canada War of 1812. 1813, Garrisoned Upper Canada; 6 May 1814, Battle and Captured Fort Oswego; 4 August-21 September 1814, Failed Siege of Fort Erie.

ENDNOTES

1                See David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing, pp.51-65, 390, 394-396, 405-406. Britain anticipated a need for additional troops and asked the Russians, Dutch, Prussians, Moroccans, and after rejections finally accepted the high cost of troops from the small German states. The Landgraf of Hesse-Kassel was the primary source of Hessians. See also Rodney Atwood, The Hessians; William L Stone, Memoirs and Letters and Journals of Major General Riedesel, During His Residence in America Vol I, pp. 296-297. Also Orderly Books of the Crown Forces in America at, http://www.revwar75.com/crown/index.htm; Reports: from Sir Henry Clinton's Raid up the Hudson River, October 1777 at, http://www.revwar75.com/battles/primarydocs/Britishreports.htm; The Battle of Saratoga 1777 at, http://britishbattles.com/battle-saratoga.htm; http://www.americanrevolution.org/hessapp.html; List of British units in the American Revolutionary War at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_Forces_in_the_American_Revolutionary_War; List of Continental Army units at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Continental_Army_units; MUSKETEER REGIMENT VON RIEDESEL, LIEBCOMPANY at, http://www.vonriedesel.org/history.htm; Bandera de Galvez at, http://www.sbthp.org/soldados//Aragon/banGalvez.htm; Battle of Hubbardton at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hubbardton; and John K. Robertson and Don Hagist, Biographies of Crown Forces Generals Commanding Troop Units at, http://www.revwar75.com/crown/bio.htm

2                Hesse provided 18,970 of the 34,218 German troops during the American Revolution 1776-1781 and all German troops became known as Hessians. In fact, General Howe formed two German divisions (Hesse-Kassel, and Brunswick) and the Hessian division spent 1756 with higher exposure than the other German contingents in the New York-Jerseys area. The Hessians also suffered 11,000 casualties.

3                See The First Foot Guards, at footguards.tripod.com/01ABOUT/01_order_o_battle; and John K. Robertson, Don Hagist, Todd Braisted, and Don Londahl-Smidt website at RevWar75.com.

4                Canadian Government web site, Regiments and Units Serving in Canada 1755-1871, at http//www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/en/page_538.asp?flash=1.

5               1776-1777, von Donop was detached as brigade commander of Donop's Hessian Brigade. He was killed at the 1777 Battle of Fort Mercer.

6                German-Canadian Museum of Applied History at, http://home.ica.net/~claus/PAGE2.HTM.

7                See THE SARATOGA CAMPAIGN OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR TABLES OF ORGANIZATION at, http://saratoganygenweb.com/Sarato.htm; German Auxiliary Troops At Yorktown, www. nps.gov/colo/Ythanout/germunits.htm;  theamericanrevolution.org/battles, RevWar75.com. See also individual regimental websites and histories, and the following abbreviated personal account by Lt. Col. Carl von Kreuzbourg. In late June 1777, the first company of Hesse Hanau Jagers arrived at Québec and was sent immediately to Montréal and later to Oswego to participate in St. Leger's campaign. The company of 89 men also took part in the Fort Stanwix siege and Oriskany battle (with Sir John Johnson). On August 26th the rest of the Jäger battalion arrived at Oswego, but was later dispatched to relieve Fort Ticonderoga, where it remained until Burgoyne's surrender. From Fort Ticonderoga, the bn was spread from Québec to Carlton Island on Lake Ontario for the winter of 1777-78. For the remainder of the war the battalion would spend the winters in towns and villages from Fort Niagara to Northern New Hampshire. Many winters were spent in Indian villages, with the Jägers on long-range snowshoe patrols. They participated in the raids into Cherry, Schoharie, Mohawk valley, and even a second campaign with St. Leger down Lake Champlain to Lake George in 1781.

8                Edmund G. Maul, My Cousin, NICOLAUS SCHILLING, A Hessian Grenadier in the American War Of Independence 1776-1783, 1997, /members.tripod.com/~Silvie/Schilling.html.

9                Bruce E Burgoyne, The 3rd English-Waldeck regiment in the American Revolutionary War, p. 4.

home · introduction · genealogy · background · maps · bibliography · search · contact