Largest offering of Hessian Information on the internet.
German auxiliary soldiers of King George III,
who settled in America after the American Revolution (1776-1783).
Johannes Helmut Merz
creator of this List
is retired but reads and answers some messages
American colonies revolted against British rule, in 1775, rebel forces
vastly outnumbered the troops of King George III. After some heavy
losses, the British forces withdrew from their strongholds of Boston and
New York to the safe area of Halifax. This left the whole North American
continent firmly in the hands of the revolutionary forces, with the
exception of Canada and Nova Scotia.
Late in 1775 two
American armies invaded Canada from the south and occupied Montreal and
tried to storm the fortress of Quebec, and only the resistance organized
by Governor Carleton deprived the attackers of final victory.
In the meantime,
King George III of England, also being the Elector of Hanover, enlisted
the help of his former allies of the Seven Years War, his German
relatives, in order to recruit a sufficiently large army of regular
troops. In the spring of 1776 an armada of ships assembled in British
harbors, loaded with Regiments of German soldiers from the
principalities of Brunswick and Hessen-Hanau. Together with regiments of
British, Irish and Scots, they were soon on their way to Quebec,
arriving there between the end of May and early June of 1776. In this
fleet were almost 3,000 German soldiers who first stepped on Canadian
soil from the shores of the St. Lawrence River.
A second fleet left England, in June, with troops from Hessen-Kassel
and arrived at New York harbour in August of 1776. Together with British
troops, they stormed on land and recaptured Staten Island and Long
Island, establishing a stronghold for the duration of the entire
American Revolution. The lands were handed over to American forces in
October of 1783. Before returning the occupied territory, there was an
evacuation of all British, German and Loyalist troops, together with
tens of thousands of Loyalist troops and their families. An estimated
3000 Hessian soldiers stayed behind in the new U.S.A., either properly
discharged or deserting before departure of troops.
German soldiers from six principalities served for King George III in
the American Revolution. Most of them were never stationed in Canada,
but between five and six thousand were here for a considerable length of
time and were very well acquainted with the land, its climate and
people. At the end of hostilities and the signing of peace, most British
and all German troops were transported back to Europe during the summer
of 1783, returning to their homeland.
estimated six thousand of these, so called "Hessians" did not
return home. Three thousand five hundred of them, reportedly, remained
in the United States and the remaining two thousand five hundred, are
said to have settled in Canada. Most of these discharged soldiers
settled in the Province of Quebec, a few hundred more in Nova Scotia as
well as a very few who settled New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and
Upper Canada (now Ontario). Many came late from the United States to
take advantage of the offer of land grants made by Lt. Governor Simcoe,
of Upper Canada to any former soldiers of the King. Three such
individuals were the Hessians Almas, Dickhaut, Schnur, all who came with
their families between 1788 and 1796.
In addition to the Hessian Regiments, serving throughout the
American Revolution, there were a number of other German Corps that were
established, on orders from the King, by signing up volunteers, which
were in effect the "mercenaries".
As the Elector of Hanover, King George III asked his Lt. Col.
Scheiter, to recruit up to 2,000 men in Hanover, but his efforts
resulted only in the signing up of 250 volunteers, who, dressed in
English uniforms, landed in Quebec in 1776 and were later distributed to
British regiments. However, Lt. Col. Scheiter's recruiters managed to
sign up another approximately 1800 new recruits in other areas along the
River Rhein, and those men were distributed in groups of 30 to 50 to
British Regiments who served in America, such as the 60th and 84th. Many
of those were discharged in New York or Canada in 1783 and remained in
the New World.
Captain Von Diemar, a German from Hanover, who had also served in the
60th Royal American Regiment, raised a company of Hussars recruited
mostly from German soldiers who had escaped from American prison camps.
This corps was known as the Diemar's Hussars.
The Emmerich Free Corps, raised by Lt. Col. Andreas Emmerich in New
York, with volunteers from New York and Germany, fought in the attacks
on Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery, and also participated in other
actions, had a strength of 250 men and was finally discharged in 1783 at
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GEORGE III (r.
1760-1820) King of England during the war
George III was born on 4 June 1738 in London, the
eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of
He became heir to the throne on the death of his father in 1751,
succeeding his grandfather, George II, in 1760. He was the third
Hanoverian monarch and the first one to be born in England and to use
English as his first language.
is widely remembered for two things: losing the American colonies and
going mad. This is far from the whole truth.
George's direct responsibility for the loss of the colonies is not
great. He opposed their bid for independence to the end, but he did not
develop the policies (such as the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend
duties of 1767 on tea, paper and other products) which led to war in
1775-76 and which had the support of Parliament.
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Last updated: March 27, 2006