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The Hessians

The German auxiliary soldiers of King George III,
who settled in America after the American Revolution (1776-1783).

 

 

By Johannes Helmut Merz

Also creator of this List

John is retired but reads and answers some messages

 

When the 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.

However, an 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.

 

Other German Corps

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 Quebec.


The Hessians and the American Revolution

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Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999,2000, 2002, 2003,2004, 2005 Johannes Helmut Merz

copied to this site via permission given in an email to list subject John's Hessian Website dated 29 July 2005

This does not release John's copyrights on his material,  permission to copy any information other then facts must be received from John.

write him via this lists

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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 Saxe-Gotha.

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.

George III 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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This is the plaque

He only has pendants left, please contact direct Robert at:

fetters@bright.net 

Robert A. Fetters is the designer, creator, and formost promoter of 

the 'HESSIAN SOLDIER' and "HESSIAN DESCENDANT' plaque.

Robert also created the Hessian pins and pendants, and as

 I recall he has some pendants left for Hessian descendants. 

Thank You, Robert, for your great contribution. 

Yours John Helmut Merz

 

For Plaque information search the archives

but please do not discuss pricing on the list make contact, then take it off list!

 

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The Bayreuther Zeitung Newspaper
No. 58, 23 March, 1802.

Ansbach Regiment

Marie Rasnick Fetzer

Bob Brooks

Ansbach - Bayreuth Troops

Jochen Seidel

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