History is an important part of any country. George Santayana once
said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
As we all know history today is not always written the way it should
be. Political correctness should not be the prime concern, the truth
should be the all important factor. As we all know this is not the
case, the winner writes the history. This is why in this newsletter
we want to help to improve the picture of the German Troops defending
Canada from 1776 to 1783 and serving in North America. In the case of
the German troops defending Canada they played a very important role,
without their help there would be no Canada the way we know it today.
The province of Quebec would not have kept their language and culture
because the Americans would have incorporated Quebec into their country.
A point to often forgotten and not very often honoured especially in
the province of Quebec.
Landgraf Friedrich II von Hessen-Kassel (1760 - 1785)
When landgrave Friedrich II of Hessen Kassel so suddenly died of a stroke on the lunchtable on 31 October 1785 - not even the people beside him innially noticed he was gone - nobody in the German states and especially not in Hessen would have accepted, that in the following 200 years, in often imprecise representations and evaluation of the history of Hessen Kassel, his name would be provided with the devaluing additive, Soldatenverkaufer ".
However with this evaluation of the princely house of Hessen and especially the landgrave Friedrich II, who would not have done anything, what he and its princely contemporaries would have regarded as their right, bitter injustice done. With this stamp of the devaluing evaluation of its person and reign, which we partly even find today, one did not only want to disgrace the hessian army, but thereby at the same time also devalued his initiatives in all other areas. (1).
Perhaps the memory, on the occasion of the anniversary of the 200 year of his death can be adjust, although this article will deal mostly with the military-history aspect.
Historians, who are researching today the reign of the landgrave Friedrich II, come anyhow to a much more positive evaluation of his regency: , "The landgrave as a whole was a (pflichtbewusster) conscientious regent. (2).
His youth and military education years.
Prince Friedrich was born on 14 August 1720 as a son of the later landgrave Wilhelm VIII and his wife Dorothea Dorothea-Wilhelmine of Sachsen-Zeitz. At a time, when landgrave Carl almost had finished the development of a standing army in Hessen, which should not fall after 1730 below a total strength of 12.000 men.
Prince Friedrich grew up in a time, in which landgrave Friedrich I (1730 - 1751)
in personnel union was king of Sweden. His father Wilhelm VIII,, landgrave from 1751 on, administrated Hessen.
According to the usual rules of the pricely houses of the times, prince Friedrich experienced a comprehensive education, first by his private teacher, professor of philosophy and mathematics Jean Pierre de Crousaz (1663 - 1748) from Lausanne, and later a university training in Geneva and educated by its personal educator major J. D von
Schmerfeld and Colonel von Donop. As a grandchild of the landgrave Carl and only hessian erbfolger he was educated very early in the military
tradition of the princly house.
The early military education was to prepare him for his leadership role. With 20 years he became a major general, with 24 lieutenant-general and with 27 years general of infantry and at the war of the Austrian succession war he took part of the campaign in Bavaria and tell and lead the hessian Subsidientruppen against the rebellious Scots 3.
In 1749 prince Friedrich converted to the catholic faith, which he kept secret until 1754.
His father quickly took precautions to secure the rights of the protestants in Hessen, and Friedrich had to sign the so-called Assekutationsakte which garanted the rights which were observed by the protestant powers. (4)
Friedrichs rights were severely restricted and because of that his later government activities were not insignificant obstruced.
In his time one catholic officer per regiment could serve in the army.
His wished following Friedrich the Great took him into the service of the Prussian Army in 1756. On May 31 1756 he was promoted to Lieutenant-General and vice-governor of Wesel and in 1759 was promoted to general of infantry and the vice-governor of Magdeburg.
During Seven Years War Friedrich was without an actual command with the Prussian Army in Bohemia and Silesia. When he took over the reign, after the death of the landgrave in 1760, French soldiers occupied Hessen and his troops were with the Hanover observation army on the weser River.
When count Lehndorff writes about Friedrichs private life (6) he was not always very flattering in his comments "he was very exited to play the NCO on the paradeground". This can be also seen as Friedrichs ability to concern himself with military details.
That we could see in the improvement of the infantry manual and his comments concerning the training of the grenadier company of the Regt. Erbprinz (7).
Probably in order to remind him of the connections to Prussia, Friedrich der Grosse appointed him on March 9, 1760 to general field marshal in the Prussian Army.
His term in office, reorganization of the army and employment of the Subsidientruppen in America, began in 1760 in the headquarters of the allied army in Brunswick. He ws not directly involved in military decisions in the west..
We know from the correspondence with the lieutenant general von Gilsa and the war diary of general of Wutginau (8) how purposefully he reorganized the army and adapted the clothing and equipment patterns of the Prussian Army, (new infantry regulations already in December 1761). Firstly he newly formed the I. Guard Regiment and the Garde du Corps..
During the reorganization of the hessian army he was influenced by some of the most efficient Prussian officers, like its earlier Adjudant in his Prussian regiment, Friedrich C.A. von Jungkenn (1732 - 1806) and certainly men like Martin Ernst von Schlieffen (1732 - 1825) and Dietrich William of Wakenitz (1728 - 1805).
They had in his life time the confidence and affection of the landgrave, but did not just enjoyed the rise to the most important public offices (v. Schlieffen - foreign and cultural affairs, v. Jungkenn - minister of war, v. Wakenitz - finances).
The relatively calm times after the war between 1763-76 the landgrave used for the reconstruction of the country and undertook reforms:
Reduction of the army in peacetime with a strength of 12.000 men (the cavallerie delivered their horses to the farmers to improve life of the farmers).
- first time publishing of the printed collections of the hessian national orders (1767)
- improved guidance of the army and government by publishing the hessian state and address calender (1764)
- establishment of the hessian fire insurance office (1767)
- - reform of the currency and the justice system
- - establishment of the Kasseler orphanage
- - reform of the Collegium Carolinum (university reform)
- - reform of the army discipline system
are only a few of some of the most important initiatives.
Peace time was used to adopt to the new tactics adopted in the war.
Thus the new regulations (infantry 1767, cavalry 1769) and a new military administration system which brought in particular the re-organization of the recruiting and Kanton system.
Beginning in 1775 v. Schlieffen negotiated with a delegation of the British crown about supplying a Subsidiencorps of 12000 men for America. The contract, which brought, including the personnel replacements about 19000 hessian soldiers to America (besides 13000 soldiers from Brunswick, Anspach Bayreuth, Hessen-Hanau, Waldeck and Anhalt-Zerbst), marked altogether a new crucial time in hessian army history. - the work of German historians such as Heinrich of Treitschke, which only saw Prussia as a starting point to a German nation, and national liberals such as Friedrich Kapp which prevented even up today a complete research of the understanding of the facts between the military, enlightened absolutism and basic conditions of industry and trade in Hessen-Kassel. Prussia did consciously nothing after the annexation of 1866 to correct the false picture of the sold soldiers and the alleged decadence of the hessian princly house after landgrave Wilhelm VIII.
The subsidien money was of great benefit to Hessen in the last third of the century. Between 1775 - 1783 Hessen received about 20 mill. Talers, 8 mill Talers were disbursed for wages and salaries (until 1779 hessian soldiers had already send 600.000 Talers to there families) and 1.2 mill Talers were paid for clothing and equipment for the army (trade and industry in Hessen were the main benefactors of the treaty system), the remaining 11 mill Taler went to the administration of the country.
It is certain that no money from the subsidien contract went to the landgrave Friedrich II.
The landgrave as Chief of the army was involved in the many decision making regarding the hessian corps in America.
All promotions of officers were decided in Kassel. Deviation from the valid uniform regulation - e.g. feathers at the hats of the grenadiers (their missing grenadier caps could be longer replaced) or also wearing the red British uniform by hessian aides with the British commander in chief in New York - he decided
Or in the case of a hessian commander in America who changed the tactical deployment of his units Friedrich cancelled the order.
He decided on complaints from officers, he decided on requests for a transfer back to Hessen and he made sure that promotions of NCO's to officers were upheld.
He tried to improve the logistics. He looked after the request of sending replacement infantry swords to America. Especially after he heard from America that the missing swords put down the moral of his soldiers.
He personel decorated 25 officers with the medal Pour la Vertu militaire for bravery, even Lieutenant v. Andresen of the Regt Erbprinz who surrendered with his unit at Yorcktown was decorated.
In addition, he pursued the complete military investigation dealing with the capture of the Brigade Rall in Trenton.
He requested tough punishment for hessian officers who had gambling depts, but he showed understanding when Brirish customs officials complained to him that in some barrels and crates labeled equipment for the hessian corps, liqour was found which was ilegally ship to America. He simply answered that they must have been wrongly labelled.
He granted permission for officers in America to marry, in the case of Major v. d. Walsburg he granted permission because of the positive feedback of the regimental commander and comander in chief.
Reports were received in Kassel every two weeks and the landgrave answered once a month. If mail was lost the reports had to be done again (12).
The landgrave could count on a loyal officers corps in America, which contrary to Prussia was only made up of half of them coming from the nobility. Only two cases of officers derseting in America are known and one of them a second Lieutenant wrote to the landgrave for permission to come back to the army. The permission was rejected.
In Kassel the landgrave watched daily, except Sundays, between 9 and 11 o'clock the parade and drill of the troops of the city garrison.
Military justice was based on the traditional articles of war, in todays view it was a very brutal discipline but the landgrave brought improvements and the deliquent in the Gassen laufen now had his runs counted in both directions.
Home coming of the troops to the America and end of the term of office of the landgrave.
From the 19,000 hessian soldiers approximately 11,000 returned in 1783/84. 530 were killed in action in the seven years of war. About 4,300 died of diseases and on wounds, and about 3,200 remained partly with permission (Nova Scotia) but most of them stayed without permission in North America .
The returning troops, before they were dismissed into their garrisons at Rheinfels (St. Goar), Ziegenhain, Marburg, Rinteln, Hensfeld, Spangenberg, Frankenberg, Wolfhagen, Allendorf, Eschwege and Kassel were welcomed personally by the landgrave. In the case of the Regt Erbprinz even hereditary prince Wilhelm rode out to greet the unit and than rode back to Kassel in front of his unit..
The units who lost their flags in Yorktown and in Trenton, received new colors by the landgrave, some units received new uniforms and muskets. Some farms in Hessen became at that time depth-free.
The great economic improvements in industry, especially with the weavers, dyer's, sheep breeders, shoemakers, hat-makers and stocking-makers, just to mention some of the industry, is very well documented. (13)
When the landgrave Friedrich II died on October 31, he left his son a public treasure of about 10 mill. Talers for approximately 386,000 population (in comparison when Friedrich der Grosse died the left 51 mill Taler in the public treasurey with a population of 5.75 inhabitants).
He left a well trained and experienced army of 11 Infantry regiments;
7 Garrison regiments, whereby two were already considered as quasi field regiments (Grenadier Regt v. Bischhausen, former Regt Rall and the Kreis Regt. Wilke);
4 cavallery regiments (incl. Garde du Corps); 3 Dragoon regiments; 1 Husar Corps;
1 Jaeger Conps;
1 Artillery Corps.
Like for his ancestors, the army had played a special role in his 25 year reign. The reputation was very good.
Many, which are occupied today with his person, are viewing the landgraves military virtues, his hardness against himself and the denying devotion of his service and obligation - which one often attributes to his model Friedrich the Great - was less developed, but he cared for his soldiers, and he felt it as naturally to look after their welfare. It is confirmed in the many letters he has written to the hessian generals.
The former leading historian of the Staatsarchives Marburg Dr. Hans Phillppi writes in his book, "Landgrave Carl", It is wrong to perhorreszieren about the absolute princes to show them as Gods and as violent perpetrators, who were united in only one goal the repres their subjects. The fact was opposite: the princely administration was carried from a personal responsibility before God and the entrusted national population. These were not objects of arbitrary authoritarian decisions or moods, on the contrary all administrative and political measures from material emergency, from political positions of constraint were born by the goal to overcome the tightness the environment, the hardness of the living conditions and to promote the welfare of his subjects".
1. H. D. Sdhmidt ,,The Hessian Mercenaries, the career of a political cliché"
2) v. Both / Vogel LG Fr. II v. Hessen-Kassel, Deutscher Kunstverband Münnchen 1973, S. 12.
3) milit. Korrespondenz LG Fr. II. Bestand 4-3741. Staatsarchiv Marburg.
4) zitiert bei Wegner, Karl-Hermann Landrnaf Fr. II ein Regent der
Aufklaerung + Klassizismus in Hessen-Kassel, Kassel 1979.
5) Staatsarchiv Marburg 4-Nr. 3450 Nachlass OTL Lange 1776.
6) zitiert bei v. Both LG Fr. II Seite 18.
7) Staatsarchiv Marburg 4-Nn. 2801 und 4192.
6) Staatsarchiv Marburg 4-4105 und 4121; sowie Briefe STAM 4-3090.
Ordres LG Fr. II an die hess. Generale im 7-jaehrigen-Krieg.
9) SIAM 4-4203.
10) Demandt, Geschichte Hessen Kassel, Seite 140/1972, 1959.
11) v. Both LG Fr. II S. 110.
12) Korrespondenz LG Fr. II mit General v. Heister und spaeter
General v. Knyphausen bzw. v. Lossberg. 4-3097 und 4-3101/02 STAMarburg.
13) 0. Dascher Textilgewerbe Hessen-Kassel, Marburg
Translation of a treaty between his Majesty and the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel
15 January 1776
His Britannic Majesty being desirous of employing in his service a body of twelve thousand men of the troops of his most Serene Highness the reigning Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, and that prince full of attachment for his Majesty, desiring nothing more than to give him proofs of it, his Majesty, in order to settle the objects, relative to this alliance has thought proper to send to Cassel the Sieur William Faucitt his minister plenipotentiary and colonel in his service, and his most Serene Highness has named, in his part for the same purpose, the Baron Martin Ernest de Schlieffen his minister of state, lieutenant general and knight of his orders, who being furnished with requisite full powers, have agreed that the treaties formerly concluded between Great Britain and Hesse, shall be made the basis of the present treaty, and to adopt as much of them as shall be applicable to the present circumstances, or to determine by new articles such points as must be settled otherwise, every thing shall not be differently regulated, shall be deemed to subsist in full force, as it shall appear to be declared in the abovementioned treaties, and as it is not possible to specify each particular case, every thing that shall not be found regulated in a precise manner, neither in the present treaty nor in the former treaties, ought to be settled with equity and good faith, conformably to the same principles which were agreed on each part to be pursued for regulating all such cases, whether during or after the last war.
I. There shall be therefore, by virtue of this treaty between his Majesty the King of Great Britain and his most Serene Highness the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, their successors and heirs, a strict friendship, and a sincere, firm and constant union, in so much that the one shall consider the interests of the other as his own, and shall apply himself with good faith to advance them to the utmost, and to prevent and avert mutually all trouble and loss.
II. To this end is agreed, that all former treaties principally of guaranty, be deemed to be renewed and confirmed by the present treaty in all their points, articles and clauses, and shall be of the same force as if they were herein inserted, word for word, so far as it not derogated from them by the present treaty.
III. This body of twelve thousand men, of the troops of Hesse, which is to be employed in his Britannic Majesty's service, shall consist of four battalions of grenadiers, of four companies each, fifteen battalions of Infantry of five companies each, and two companies of chasseurs, the whole provided with general and other necessary officers. This corps shall be compleatly equipped and provided with tents, and all accountrements of which it may stand in need; in a word shall be put upon the best footing possible, and none shall be admitted into it but men fit for service, and acknowledged for such by His Britannic Majesty's commissary. Formerly the signature of the treaties has usually preceded, by some time, the term of the requisition for the march of the troops, but as in the present circumstances there is no time to be lost, the day of signature of the present treaty is deemed to be also the term of the requisition, and three battalions of grenadiers, six battalions of Infantry, with one company of chasseurs, shall be in a condition to pass in review before his Britannic Majesty's commissary on the fourteenth of February, and shall begin to march on the day following the fifteenth of February, for the place of embarkation. The rest shall be ready in four weeks after, if possible and march in like manner.This body of troops shall not be separated, unless reasons of war require it, but shall remain under the orders of the general to whom his most Serene Highness has entrusted the command, and the second division shall be conducted to the same places only where the first shall actually be, if not contrary to the plan of operations.
IV. Each battalion of this body of troops shall be provided with two pieces of field artillery, with the officers, gunners and other persons, and the train thereunto belonging, if his Majesty is desirous of it.
V. Toward defraying the expence in which the most Serene Landgrave shall be engaged, for the arming and putting in condition the said corps of twelve thousand men, his Majesty the King of Great Britain promises to pay to his most Serene Highness, for each foot soldier thirty crowns banco levy money, as well for the Infantry as for the chasseurs, or artillery, if there should be any, the sum total of which shall be ascertained according to the number of men composing this corps, and as they have been reckoned in former alliances.The sum of one hundred and eighty thousand crowns banco valued as in the following article, shall be paid on account of this levy money on the tenth of February, and the residue shall be paid when the second division of this corps shall begin their march.
VI. In all the former treaties a certain number of years is stipulated for their duration, but in the present his Britannic Majesty choosing rather not to engage himself for any longer time than he shall have occassion for these troops, consents instead thereof that the subsidy shall be double from the day of the signature of this treaty to its expiration, that is to say, that it shall amount for this body of twelve thousand men to the sum of four hundred and fifty thousand crowns banco per annum, the crown reckoned at fifty three sols of Holland, or at four shilling and nine pence three farthings English money, and that the subsidy shall continue upon this foot during all the time that this body of troops shall remain in British pay. His Britannic Majesty engages also to give notice to the most Serene Landgrave of its termination twelve months or a whole year before it shall take place, which notice shall not even given before this body of troops is returned, and actually is arrived in the dominions of the said prince, namely in Hesse, properly so called. His Majesty shall continue equally to this corps the pay and other emoluments for the remainder of the month in which it shall repass the frontiers of Hesse, and his most Serene Highness reserves to himself on his side the liberty of recaling his troops at the end of four years, if they are not sent back before, or to agree with his Britannic Majesty at the end to that time for another term.
VII. With regard to the pay and treatment, as well ordinary as extraordinary, of the said troops, they shall be put on the same foot, in all respects, with the national British troops, and his Majesty's departement of war shall deliver without delay to that of his most Serene Highness, an exact and faithful state of the pay and treatment enjoyed by those troops, which pay and treatment, in consideration that his most Serene Highness could not put this corps in a condition to march in so short a time without extraordinary expence shall commence for tile first division on the first February, and for the second, seven days before it shall begin the march, and shall be paid into the military chest of Hesse, without any abatement or deduction, to be distributed according to the arrangements which shall be made for that purpose, and the sum of twenty thousand pounds sterling shall be advanced immediately on account of the said pay.
VIII. If it should happen unfortunately that any regiment or company of the said corps should be ruined or distroyed either by accidents on the sea or otherwise, in the whole or in part, or that the pieces of artillery or other effects with they shall be provided, should be taken by the enemy, or lost on the sea, His Majesty the King of Great Britain shall cause to paid the expences of the necessary recruits, as well as the price of the said field pieces and effects, in order forthwith to reinstate the artillery or the said regiments and companies, and the said recruits shall be settled likewise on the foot of those which were furnished to the Hessian officers by virtue of the treaty of 1702, article the fifth, to the end that the corps may be always preserved and sent back in as good state as it was delivered in, the recruits annually necessary shall be sent to the English Commissary, disciplined and completly equipped, at the place of embarkation, at such time as his Britannic Majesty shall appoint.
IX. In Europe his Majesty shall make use of this body of troops by land wherever he shall judge proper, but North America is the only country of the other parts of the globe where this body of troops shall he employed. They shall not serve on the sea, and they shall enjoy, in all things, without any restriction what soever, the same pay and emoluments as are enjoyed by the English troops.
X. In case the Most Serene Landgrave should be attacked or disturbed in the possession of his dominions, his Britannic Majesty promises and engages to give all the succour that it shall be in power to afford (in the Original: de donner) which succour shall be continued to him until he shall have obtained an entire security and just indemnification: as the Most Serene Landgrave promises likewise on his part, that in case his Majesty the King of Great Britain is attacked or disturbed in his kingdoms, dominions, lands, provinces or towns, he will give him (in the Original: lui pr?tera) in like manner all the succour that it shall be in his power to afford (in the Original: de donner) which succour shall likewise be continued to him, until he shall have obtained a good and advantageous peace.
XI. In order to render this alliance and union the more perfect and to leave no doubt with the parties about the certainly of the succour which they have expect by virtue of this treaty, it is expressly agreed, that to judge for the future whether the case of this alliance and the stipulated succour existe or not, it shall suffice, that either of the parties is actually attacked by force of arms, without his having first used open force against him who attackes him.
XII. The sick of the Hessian corps shall remain under the care of their physicians, surgeons, and other persons appointed for that purpose, under the orders of the general commanding the corps of that nation, and everything shall be allowed them, that his Majesty allows to his own troops.
XIII. All the Hessians deserters shall be faithfully given up wherever the shall be discovered in the places dependent on his Britannic Majesty, and above all as far as it is possible, no person whatever of that nation shall be permitted to establish himself in America, without the consent of his sovereign.
XIV. All the transports of the troops, as well for the men as for the effects, shall be at the expence of this Britannic Majesty, and none belonging to the said corps shall pay any postage of letters, in consideration of the distance of the places.
XV. This treaty shall be ratified by the high contracting parties, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged as soon as possible.In witness whereof, we the undersigned, furnished with the full power of his Majesty the King of Great Britain, on one part, and of his most Serene Highness the reigning Landgrave of Hesse Cassel an the other part, have signed the present treaty and have caused the seals of our arms to be put thereto.
Done at Cassel the fifteenth of January in the year 1776.
(L. S.) William Faucitt (L. S. M.) de Schlieffen
Brunswick Newsletter February 2011
The Lidgerwood Collection is an very important research resource for anyone interested in the German troops during the American Revolution. The collection consists of over 300 fiches of documents translated into both modern German and English.
Items in the collection are assigned a letter (ex Letter “Q”) and a title. The collection also includes correspondence written by several commanders in Canada that General von Riedesel kept after the war.
Locations of the Lidgerwood Collection:
Saratoga National Historic Park, Saratoga NY
Morristown National Historic Park, Morristown NJ
Library of Virginia, Richmond VA
Harvard University Library, Boston MA
National Archives Canada, Ottawa CAN
University of New Brunswick, New Brunswick CAN
City of San Antonio Library, San Antonio TX
Smithsonian Institution Library, Washington DC
Texas A&M University, College Station TX
National Library of Scotland
Items in the Collection:
AA Pt. 1 Journal of the Hessian Corps under Gen. Von Heister 1776-77
AA Pt. 2 Account of the North American War 1776-1778
AZ Transport 1781 and March of the Invalids 1782-83
B Reports of the North American War General von Heister 1776-77
BZ Matters Concerning the Garrison Regiment von Wissenbach 1780-83
C Journal of Colonel von Donop 1782-83
CZ Reports of Colonel Hatzfeld 1782-83
D Reports of Grenadier Regiment von Woellwarth 1777-83
DZ Order Book of the Regiment von Mirbach 1777-80
E Journal of the Regiment von Donop 1776-84
FZ Journal of General von Heister
G Correspondence of General von Knyphausen 1776-Sept. 1779
GG Pt. 1 Correspondence of General von Knyphausen Oct. 1779-1780
GG Pt. 2 Correspondence of General von Knyphausen 1781-83
GZ Journal of Major Baurmeister 1776-1783
H Journal of the First Brigade of the von Heister Corps 1776-83
HH Journal of the Infantry Regiment Prinz Friedrich 1776-83
HZ-1 Pt. 1 Correspondence of General Riedesel 1776-87
HZ-1 Pt. 2 Correspondence of General Riedesel 1776-87
HZ-1 Pt. 3 Correspondence of General Riedesel 1776-87
HZ-1 Pt. 4 Correspondence of General Riedesel 1776-87
HZ-1 Pt. 5 Correspondence of General Riedesel with Barry St. Leger 1776-83
HZ-2 General Orders of Major General von Riedesel 1776-83
HZ-3 Riedesel Papers on Prisonder Exchange 1777-79
HZ-4 Order Book of the Hesse Hanau FeldJager Corps 1777-83
HZ-5 Journal of Brunswick Troops Under Major General von Riedesel 1776-79
HZ-6 Pt. 1 Sundry Journals of Brunswick Troops 1776-83
HZ-6 Pt. 2 Sundry Journals of Brunswick Troops 1776-83
HZZ Brunswick Order Book 1776-83
K Journal of the Grenadier Battalion von Minnegerode 1776-84
KB Reports of Various Commanders of Hessian Regiments 1776-84
KZ Journal of the Grenadier Regiment von Bischhausen 1776-83
L Journal of the Hesse Cassel FeldJager Corps 1777-83
M Journal of the Regiment Alt von Lossberg 1776-83
ML The Affair at Trenton Dec. 26 1776
N Journal of the Grenadier Battalion von Block 1776-84
O Journal of the Hesse Hanau Jager Corps 1777-82
P Journal of the Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen 1776-83
– Order Book of the Hesse Hanau Regiment April-Sept 1777
Q Reports of the Hesse Hanau Jager Corps 1777-83
R Journal of the Grenadier Battalion von Platte 1776-84
S Journal of the Regiment von Bose 1776-83
T Journal of the Garrison Regiment von Huyn 1776-83
U Reports of the Hesse Hanau Infantry Regiment von Gall 1776-82
V Journal of the Leib Infantry Regiment 1776-84
W Journal of the Garrison Regiment von Knoblauch 1776-84
X Journal of the Infantry Regiment von Wutginau 1779-84
Y Troop Depots in Ziegenhain May-Dec 1777
Z Military Reports and Accounts Concerning the Hessian Corps 1777-80
Band V Reports of the War Under General von Lossberg 1782-84
Tom VI Journals and Reports of the Campaign in America 1778-83
Tom VII Letters and Reports from Capt. Pausch Hesse Hanau Artillery 1776-83
Tom VIII Letters and Reports from Hesse Hanau Officers 1776-80
Tom IX Pt. 1 Journal and Reports of Col. Lenz 1777-84
Tom IX Pt. 2 Order Book of General von Gall 1776-77
Dragoon Regiment Prinz Ludwig
General Staff and 66 dragoons
Parish of Trois Riviere
Prinz Ludwig Escadron
5/6 Cap Madalene
Major von Meiboms Escadron
Lt. Colonel’s Escadron
1/3 Champlain (Village of Champlain)
Major von Ehrenkrooks Comapagnie
¼ Grande Riviere Batiscant
½ Petit Riviere Batscant
¼ St. Anne and St. Marie
Capt. Dahlstierna’s Compagnie
Petit Riviere Batiscant
General Staff and Leibcompagnie
Capt. von Plessen’s Compagnie
2/3 St. Pierre
1/3 St. Jean
Capt. von Luetzows Compagnie
Regt. von Rhetz
Capt. Ahler’s Compagnie
Staff and Lt. Colonels Compagnie
Cap Santé and some small villages around
Major von Lucke’s Compagnie
¾ Cap Santé
¼ St. Joseph
Capt. von Schlagenteufel’s Compagnie
St. Croix au Sud
Papet diary continues
1 November - Our baggage finally arrived at noon today. Our quarters were dose to the Ste.
Anne River, and seemed quite satisfactory for the winter, but as they lie nearly two hours
from the main road to Quebec, we never see anyone and we find ourselves in a true wilderness,
completely surrounded by a thick forest through which no white man can move. So little is
said here that it seems to me as if we were banished to Siberia, and here this is called
4 November - I visited the quarters of all the companies. I found most of them in poor
condition and I could almost say it was impossible for our troops to survive here in these
in part dens of assassins during such hard winters. I had taken my host's rifle along and
shot a wild duck on the way. However, as it fell in the middle of the river and I had no
dog, I could not get it.
23 November - We were originally told that there were absolutely no fish here in the
winter time and yet today we were offered the chance to buy a very nice fourteen-pound
salmon trout. We paid two and one-half shillings for it. This evening my servant Camsel
returned from a visit to my brother. I had sent him to buy food in Quebec. As my brother,
in his parish, had the opportunity to read the gazette from Quebec, he sent the information
that it contained a report of 13 October. General [William] Howe had totally defeated the
rebels. It continued that General [George] Washington now found himself at General
Howe's headquarters. The rebels immediately thereafter surrendered and requested permission
to hold a general congress and this was granted. It stated further that the Americans desired
to make peace if the King would only grant certain conditions. In this newspaper there was
also an address extended to General Carleton from all Canadians, upon his arrival at Quebec.
This contained the dearest proof as well as love and the best wishes of the Canadians for
Brunswick Newsletter October 2010
News and Projects
Last year we attended the flag raising ceremony at Queens Park on Pioneer Day. This year
we wanted to attend again, but most of our members could not get the time off work.
Really a shame because events like that have to be supported.
Sorel – Tracy
We are still working on our most important, as well as the most frustrating project, to put
a display dealing with the Brunswick Troops and the settling of many of these soldiers
after the war in the Sorel region. A project that seems to be not really going forward at
all. At a meeting with the Mayor of Sorel roughly 8 or 9 years ago we received the go
ahead for a display at the Maison des Gouverneurs
After that meeting nothing was heard from the city anymore. We have to remember that
the building in Sorel is a very important building. It served as headquarter of General
Riedesel, was the home of the first Christmas Tree in North America and is the only
structure in the world in existence constructed by the Brunswick Troops. Now it houses
the Musée québécois de la radio. Sure that is also a very important museum, but such a historical
building should be used for a display dealing with the history of the building and the
town. Again we stress the point that such a display could be housed on the top floor of
the Maison. Now the top floor only houses a collection of some furniture from the
Victorian time period, nothing to do with the building. I am sure that the Commission
des sites et monuments historiques du Québec would love to see such a display in the
historic building. Without any question it could also be very important to bring
tourists into the town and region.
We are happy to report that we support, now the Loyalist Project of the University of
New Brunswick with material. Again such a project should be supported in the future. Our
support will continue to supply material to the project.
Lieutenant von Papet's diary October 1776 1 October - General march was beaten at seven-thirty. We then crossed two rivers, both of which were named Chevretier, and passed the small parish of Grondines. After we had marched fifteen miles [six lieue - a French lieue equals two and one-half English miles or four kilometers], we entered quarters in the parish of Ste. Anne. The further we go from Quebec, the more beautiful and fertile the land seems to be, I have never seen such beautiful, comfortable, and welJ-furnished quarters outside of Quebec, as I found in our quarters today.
2 October - At eight o'clock in the morning, after we received our carts, we departed. We had marched two hours when we arrived at the parish church, which was well-built. Just beyond the church we passed the Ste. Anne River, which is exceptionally large and wide. The baggage and the troops were taken across once again, in the same manner as at the Jacques Cartier River, except that it proceeded more quickly here because the boats were larger. From there we continued to the parish of Batiscan, which is also not very big and where we were again transferred in the previous manner across the river which flows nearby and has the same name. This one was larger than the previous one and therefore the transfer took two hours longer. Al four o'clock in the afternoon we reached the third river, Champlain, which was nothing compared with the two others, and we were carried across on a raft. All three of these rivers emptied into the St. Lawrence River and the higher we go up the river, the more noticeably it narrows. Not far from the place where we made our last crossing, we entered quarters in the parish of Champlain. All the inhabitants are excellent marksmen. We bought six wild ducks from them for three shillings. There was a man at our quarters who had only one arm, having lost the right arm while hunting. Despite that, he brought two fat ducks which he had shot with only his left arm.
3 October - We marched away at eight o'clock. The wind, mixed with hail, began to blow very hard, so that we had to cover our faces.
Several hours later this wind changed to a steady, uninterrupted, heavy rain, and we had a difficult march. At three-thirty we arrived at the Genoux River, which formed three small islands where it flowed into the St. Lawrence River, and from which the nearby small city of Trois Rivieres gets its name. We were transferred across the river by the same slow process as happened at the previously mentioned one. It took so long that we only arrived at our night quarters in Trois Rivieres at six-thirty. The baggage arrived later because the limited facilities encountered meant that at the end there were no carts available, and our company was always the last one. Near this river, several savages had built their huts. I have personally looked into one for the first time and can honestly say that I have never seen a more miserable dwelling for a human being. These huts are made of poles set together at the top in a pyramid. Over the poles they lay the bark of birch trees, which are woven together, piece by piece, with strips of hide. In one of these huts lay two women, four small children, and several dogs. The women were removing insects from themselves, even looking under their breasts, and the children picked at entrails which were hanging in the hut. One such sight took away the desire to look into the other huts. God! How miserably these creatures live! ~ In the summer they put these huts near the river; in the winter they go deeper into the forests with the huts. They live by hunting and fishing. to accomplish the latter purpose, we saw them placing several boats in the river, which were also made of bark and so skilliully worked together and so light, that such a boat can be carried without effort by one person. Above all, these savages live like animals compared with us, whose residences are kept cleaner than those of the savages which I have found. Our troops are situated very badly in this small city, which consists of about 300 houses, because they are quartered in a house which is called a barracks here. The company which was in the lower level could have a fire. Ours was in the upper level and had as little heat as straw. Trois Rivieres is an open and terrible place, lying close to the St Lawrence River, and I have not seen the least sign of defenses.
4 October - As it was difficult to bring the carts together, we could not march away until nine o'clock in the morning. The weather had cleared. After we had passed the small parish of Pointe du Lac and had marched fifteen miles, we arrived at our quarters in the parish of Machine at three o'clock. This parish supposedly is one of the most vigorous and richest. This could be seen already by the very well-tended fields. It reportedly has nearly 300 inhabitants. Our company had only four houses and, considering the wealth of this parish, was quartered very badly.
5 October - We marched away at eight o'clock with beautiful weather. At eleven o'clock we passed a woods in which a great many large trees had been cut down and burned. They lay so intertwined that they looked very much like an abatis, and I understood later from the accounts by the inhabitants that in the previous year they had been used for that purpose against the provincials by the English. Toward noon it was very hot. The air in the woods and the swamps was therefore very foul and rotten. Several times I felt sick therein. At eleven-thirty we passed the parish of St Antoine, and half an hour later we reached the small de Loup River, which we were transferred across on a very large raft. This crossing went more quickly than all the previous ones. Each time the raft carried a loaded cart and fifteen men from the company. At three o'clock we entered the parish of Maskinonge which a small river of the same name divided into two parts. Our quarters were on the far side and therefore we had once again to be carried across on a raft.
6 October - Today was a day of rest. At one o'clock all company chiefs had to report in person to Colonel Specht, whereupon it was decided that this winter the soldiers should have long overalls, mittens, and hooded capes made. This is how people protect themselves against the cold here, and because of a shortage of blue cloth, brown cloth will be used instead.
7 October - Because the carts arrived so late again today, we could not march on until ten-thirty. We have not had a worse road during our entire march. After we had marched for two hours we reached a woods, which was exactly like the woods in Europe, which are otherwise quite different. Next we marched along a large river called Chenailtre du Nord and on that route crossed two small rivers, which entered it, on rafts. About seven-thirty we reached the border of the parish of Berthier. Other times our company always was assigned the first houses and formed the left flank. Today this was different and we were placed in the middle, among Colonel Specht's Regiment and therefore had to march the length of the parish, until seven-thirty, before we arrived at our quarters. From what we hear, we are to be transported from here in boats coming from Sorel.
8 October - At eight o'clock we saw the boats arriving. One of those handling the boats reported to our and Captain von Plessen's Company that he had been sent with twelve boats by an English captain, to take the companies and their baggage to Sorel. However, because we had specific orders from the colonel to send all boats arriving here to his headquarters, we could not take them, and they had to double back. At twelve-thirty we finally received our boats, which we should have had at seven o'clock. In the meantime, between six and seven o'clock we heard heavy cannonading several times. Several days later we learned that a warship had saluted Commodore Douglas. The company received eleven boats, plus two for baggage. Our soldiers had to assist with the rowing. At three-thirty, after having proceeded for two hours on the water, we arrived at Sorel in rainy weather. We passed the St. Lawrence River where at least thirty three-masted ships lay, near Sorel. The baggage remained in the boats and all of it from all the companies was then loaded into four boats. Here the troops received bread for three days, and we received orders to march into quarters in the parish of St. Ours, which was seven and one-half miles from Sorel, The bad road, which can be imagined, and the continuous heavy rain made the march so difficult that even I found it nearly impossible to continue on. We had no carriages, nothing had been provided for us, and even if we had such, most of the time we would have had to proceed on foot. Then night set in and the rain steadily increased. We continued through a thick woods and we had to wade, up to our knees, in mud. Finally Colonel Specht passed us on his way from Sorel, and when he saw the impossible conditions through which the soldiers had to march on this dark and rainy night, he ordered us to take quarters in the first houses we would come to. We did that and received for our purpose, four small huts.
I and Ahrend found these unsatisfactory, and although he wanted to remain there, I convinced him to tell the host of those houses that he should take us, not far from his house, to a more spacious one. Therefore we set out. The road was so bad, that we soon regretted not having remained in our first quarters. It was not possible to see your hand before your face, and we were often in danger of sinking out of sight. Added to all that, the house he was taking us to was already occupied by Colonel Specht's Regiment. Therefore there was no other course of action, except that he take us on to the next one. A stick of wood, which he lit and which kept going out, took us directly back to one of the houses which was already occupied by our company. These were such poor people that they did not even have light nor [lamp] oil. In one room (which only had the name), among eight children, three cradles, and a broken stove, we made our straw [bed] with hay. A knapsack took the place of a pillow. I was so tired that I immediately fell asleep, as soon as I lay down. It must have been in the middle of my slumbers that I came too close to a cradle in which a large youth lay. That one began to pass his water out of the cradle and he nearly soaked me through and through. For my Ahrend things were even worse. Several children scrambled about on his body and not far from him deposited their bowel contents. Above all, it was a night that I will never, in my whole life, forget. The crying of the other children kept us from closing our eyes. We heartily wished for morning and on.
9 October - at six o'clock Ahrend already had general march beaten and then at seven o'clock we marched. At nine o'clock we entered the parish of St. Ours, where we should have been yesterday evening. Colonel Specht personally welcomed us and had the foresight to bring a carriage for us and to send a cart for the soldiers' knapsacks. We marched from there to the parish of St. Denis, where we arrived in quarters at one o'clock. In this parish we met a detachment of eighty men from our first division. It consisted of men from our Grenadier Battalion and the Hesse-Hanau Regiment. They lay in the lower part of the parish, in quarters near the church, had a watch of one officer and twenty men, and seemed primarily here to control the frequently encountered disaffected. This kind of occupation we had to assume for the upper part of the parish. True, we were alone in the best quarters. However, because all our baggage had been left behind in our four boats at Sorel, many of the most urgently required necessities were missing, which were necessary for eating as well as for dress. The latter was especially needed as today we still had many traces from yesterday's den of assassins.
10 October - Our baggage was still missing this morning. At eight o'clock Colonel Specht visited our quarters, with the intention to make arrangements [to replace] various Hems because of the shortage of baggage. I personally received the order also, upon his return from the English church of St. Denis, to be prepared to lead those boats on to Chambry. He returned at nine o'clock and I had to leave at once. One of the boats had arrived at Captain Plesseris quarters and the other three could be seen in the distance. In two hours they were all here. The company marched already at ten o'clock, and I had the most exact orders to first unload the meat for the company and then the officers' baggage (for each company two wagons) from eleven wagons. However, I received only seven wagons, and because three of them were needed for the meat, only four were available for the officers' baggage. With the rest of the baggage in the boats, I then started, and from that time was the commander of four boats. I ordered the other three to follow me. From the militia captain, who is to be found in each parish, I obtained two pilots for each boat, one of whom was to give directions and our soldiers had to row. In my boat, I also rowed. My boat went so swiftly up the Chambly River (because on that river the boats from Sorel were always rowed by us), that I caught up with my company at five o'clock at the parish of St. Charles, where it had to be transferred across. After marching two hours they entered quarters in the parish of Beloeil. As it was already the onset of night, I and my boats had to lay to as it is very dangerous to travel further on the Chambly River at night.
An hour and one-half later my other boats arrived and I quartered all the troops from the four boats in four houses, left a guard on each boat, and hope with daylight tomorrow to reach Chambly by evening, which is still six hours from Charles. We saw the parish of St. Denis today- Many inhabitants wished to go with us to the army in order to fight against the rebels. They were in their usual clothing which consists of a long, white, woolen waistcoat. They also carried a musket, as well as powder, horn, and balls. They were all handsome and determined individuals. They carried their baggage with them in small carts. The parish of Cariola provided forty men phis a captain, who led them and, as I later heard, the surrounding parishes provided the same number, or even more.
11 October - I sailed with my boats at five-thirty and reached the parish of Beloeil at eight-thirty. I acquired pilots there and it cost much difficulty. Instead of eight I got only four because all the people for the most part had been commandeered with their carts by the army and fifty of the young men had also gone to fight with the army. I reached the parish of Chambly at three o'clock. I allowed the boats, as much as possible, to sail to the quarters of the company commanders and departed at once in a coach along the road in order to report at the colonel's quarters. This took one and one-half hours. He was not in. He was visiting an English colonel, who commanded a detachment here at Fort Chambly, as a guest. It took me less than an hour to go there. En route I could see that there had been a camp here. I had to make a detour around a small lake made here by the Chambly River, on which was a fort built of stone. After making my report, I had to return the same way alone because the owner of the coach, as the result of the considerable jolting, developed a very strong color, and even lost the ability to speak. I left him behind at a house and drove away. The fort is of little consequence. Against an attack by savages, without cannons, it is probably strong enough, but certainly not against regular troops.
12 October - Today we had a day of rest. Tomorrow we will enter the camp at Fort Chambly. From alt appearances, that will be the place I saw earlier. We have orders to be there at ten o'clock tomorrow and the baggage will be delivered to the lake and the fort by the same boats which I commanded. Colonel von Ehrenkrook moved into the lowest part of the parish of Chambly today with the other four companies of our regiment in order to establish the camp together with us tomorrow. For the time being our company will remain with Colonel Specht's Regiment. Vriestand debarked at Quebec on the sixth. My brother remained there with the sick while the rest are now lying at Trois Rivieres.
13 October - At daybreak the baggage was loaded onto the same boats which I had commanded and brought to Fort Chambly. We moved it into camp. On our left wing the fort stood before us, on the right hand a woods, and behind us, the small lake. The tents were set up in a different manner than was practiced by our company in Germany, where the two rows otherwise stood in a depth behind one another. They now stand along the length of the front Today to my great joy, I received a letter from my dear brother from which, at least, I learned that his illness was nothing of consequence. Today I went on watch with the colors, at the age of nineteen, for the first time.
14 October - Today we received twice confirmed news that the rebels on Lake Champlain suffered a double loss. Previously they have always had a superiority in that against the approximately twenty frigates of their flotilla, we could only oppose them with small vessels. For the past week however, our side has fitted out a large swimming-battery and several frigates of thirty or more cannons. They have already captured a rebel frigate, shot two to pieces, and their great military adventurer, Colonel [Benedict] Arnold, had been captured.19 This evening I went on picket duty with a captain, two officers, and fifty men.
15 October - This morning I received the news from a noncommissioned officer who had been sent to the Montreal alms hospital with four sick individuals, that the Senior Cashier Goedecke considered it necessary to discuss such and to buy various things. Therefore, would I try to go to Montreal the next day. This afternoon a report was received to the affect that the rebels had lost three frigates and had run six aground. The rest of their fleet has been closed into the Bay of Cumberland.
16 October - Ahrend and I traveled in a carriage to Montreal. It is about twelve and one-half miles from Chambly. The road and the region, which we passed through, was bad. Not far from Montreal, not the least thing could be bought for money. I had such a disagreement with Ahrend about the purchase of lights and he opposed me in such a manner that I was nearly forced to forget he was my friend. An unusual apathy on my part kept me under control today.
25 October - We marched onward toward Sorel at seven o'clock today. However, the issuing of bread and meat for ten days delayed us so long that we did not leave until ten o'clock. The company received four boats with which to be taken over the St. Lawrence River, where we then entered quarters, where we had previously lain, in the parish ofBerthier. Our troops had to row themselves across.
26 October - We could not march away before ten o'clock because of the difficulty in getting the carts together. During our march we had such a thunderstorm at twelve o'clock as no one in Europe has seen, even on the hottest summer day. We marched into the parish of Maskinonge and the road for most of the way was worse than on 7 October. At seven o'clock we arrived in our former quarters and the baggage arrived at nine o'clock.
27 October - We marched onward to the parish of Yamachiche and our previously occupied quarters. Toward the end of our march it began to rain very hard and the road became exceptionally bad.
28 October - Our march continued to Trois Rivieres. One-third of a company of Colonel Specht's Regiment, which already occupied that place, marched out prior to our arrival, taking with them the heavy baggage which had been on board the ships Liable and Three Friends.
29 October - Colonel Specht with the rest of his regiment marched into winter quarters in the parishes of Champlain and Batiscan; our company remained in Trois Rivieres in order to rejoin our regiment, which is due here today. As a result, we also had a day of rest. Personally, I was ordered by the lieutenant colonel to go to the parish of Cape Madeleine to obtain carts for the next day's march. I set out and was carried across the Genoux River in a boat. From that point to the parish of Cape Madeleine I had to walk for an hour and one-half. I obtained no satisfaction from the militia captain, even to get one cart, as the Specht Regiment had taken all of them. He promised to send all of them to me tomorrow, if they were returned. I remained overnight with the captain. I found him to be a very polished gentleman, who gave me a cordial welcome.
30 October - Already at four-thirty I began my return on foot along the road to the parish of Champlain. No carts had as yet returned. I had been walking only a few hours when I met a coach and seven carts on their return. I took the first for my own use in order to continue my journey and ordered the latter to go to the Genoux River. In the parish of Champlain the militia lieutenant allowed me the pleasure of eighteen carts and gave me a ride in his own coach to the parish of Batiscan, to Colonel Specht, where I requested the use of the carts for the next day's march. The militia lieutenant had left his sick wife behind, and due to concern, returned after lending me his coach, which I had to drive. Colonel Specht was somewhat angered, but promised me the use of the carts for our regiment's march tomorrow. With an order from him to Colonel Speth I set out on my return as I wished to return the coach to the militia lieutenant. I fortunately met Captain O'Connell with a mail coach at Champlain, and he was so kind as to take me with him to Cape Madeleine. I delivered my order and after two hours arrived at my quarters with the company that night.
Back in history September 1779
Von Papet diary
At that time the troops of Captain von Plessen’s Company were at Cape Madeleine, with some at Trois Rivieres; von Schlagenteufel’s Company at Trois Rivieres, von Zielberg’s Company was at Point du Lac and Machine, Lieutenant Colonel von Ehrenkrook’s Company at Trois Rivieres; Lieutenant Colonel von Barner’s Company at Prairie du Loup; Captain Thomae’s Company at Maskinonge; and Captain von Rosenberg’s Company at St. Colbert.. Lieutenant Colonel von Creuzbourg’s Hessen-Hanau Jaeger Corps was at L’Assomption with Captain von Castendyck’s Jaeger Company in the parish of Repentigny, Major von Francken’s Company in Lachenay, and Count Wittgenstein’s Company in Terre Bonne. Captain von Schoell’s Detachment is on LaRoche Island; Captain Hambach’s Corps at Vaudreville, the Hessian Battalion in St.Jean, Captain Dietrich’s Company of Praetorius Regiment in Vercheres, and the other three companies of that regiment in and near St.Charles. Lieutenant Colonel von Hille is at St. Antoine, Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger in Sorel, and the headquarters and staff are at Trois Rivieres. At the moment none have entered camps.
8 September – Again here are rumours that 7,000 rebels are on the move against Niagara. This much is certain, 800 have been sent to that post.
10 September – His Excellence continually speaks of staying in the field, but nothing is decided.
11 September – An order has been circulated to frighten deserters, that the Indians have received orders from His Excellence to scalp all deserters encountered on their way to the revels.
17 September – On orders of His Excellence, Captain Hugget’s Jaeger Company is to march from Beauport to Sorel on 18 September.
20 September – Today tents and field equipment were issued to both battalions. (click here for picture, List Brunswick Troops 1779)
Brunswick Newsletter August 2010
A first again
I am very happy to report that for the first time in over 227 years the regimental colors of the Regt. Riedesel flew over Canadian soil. They flew not over Sorel, Montreal of Toronto, they flew near the town of Picton, Prince Edward County, Onatrio. Not by person of German decent, or by an ancestor of one of the Brunswick soldiers, no it was flown by a Canadian who wanted to honour the Brunswick troops who did so much to preserve Canada. Many thanks to Alan for raising the colors.
I am happy to report that the Rose House Museum near Picton now flies the Duke's colours of the Regiment Riedesel. Many thanks have to go to Mr. Max Bork who donated the colours. That I think is a good start in portraying a part in Canadian history.
Another piece of Canadian history
In 1788 under Lord Dorchester Canada was divided into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada. (Ontario). Upper Canada was made up of four districts with German names to honour the many Germans who had to leave there homes in the USA and settled here. Dorchester also did not forget the many German soldiers who after the war was over stayed in Canada.
(click here for picture, German districts)
Brunswick Newsletter February 2010
Rare Brunswick Troop Diary
The following journal describes the distribution of the British Army along the
St. Lawrence River, the life of the soldier in winter quarters, and the activities
of the French Canadians in eighteenth¬ century Quebec. It also describes the expedition
in the spring of 1777 of the British Army under General Burgoyne as far south as Fort
Ticonderoga, which the Americans abandoned to the initially victorious English and
Brunswick troops. The first entry was made on 6 November 1776, and the final one on
10 July 1777.
The manuscript was sent to Baron von Jungkenn, war minister of Hessen-Cassel, and is among
his papers in the Clements Library. How he obtained the journal is not known. In all
probability it was sent to him by Captain von Geismar, a Hessian who was a liaison
officer with the Brunswick corps.
JOURNAL OF THE BRUNSWICK CORPS IN AMERICA
………………. at daybreak it was discovered to our great amazement that the enemy had abandoned
its entire position. Gen. v. Riedesel went immediately to Lt. Col. Breymann's corps and
had them as well as the entire left wing embark and occupy Fort Independent immediately.
Brigadier Fraser, on the other hand, already had Fort Carillon and the retrenchment
occupied. In all the enemy left between seventy and eighty cannons; we found over 5,000
barrels of flour and meat, 15,000 rifles, a large number of barrels with powder, many
bombs and bullets, more than 200 oxen and a large number of other edibles, equipment and
Gen. Burgoyne also came to Fort Independent and issued the following order: Brigadier
Fraser was to take twenty companies of English Grenadiers and light infantry by land along
the route to Caselton and Skenesborough to attack the portion of the enemy which had made
their retreat by land. Gen. v. Riedesel with the Reserve Corps von Breymann and the Riedesel
Infantry Reg. was to follow Fraser's corps and support him in case of an attack.
The fleet and the rest of the entire army was to make its way along the route to
Skenesborough by water, to pursue and attack the Rebel fleet and the portion of the enemy
army which had made its way to said town by water. Our German soldiers made considerable
booty in the Rebel camp. In order not to lose any time Gen. v. Riedesel took the company
of rifleman and an advanced guard of eighty men from Breymann's corps ahead with him and
ordered Breymann's corps and his own regiment to follow after him. After a march of
fourteen English miles Gen. v. Riedesel reached Brigadier Fraser and his corps and they
agreed that Brig. Fraser should move up three more English miles today and then bivouac
for the night; Gen. v. Riedesel would remain at the place where he met Brig. Fraser and
bivouac for the night; on the following morn¬ing at three o'clock both corps should leave
their respective areas and continue the march to Skenesborough. If Brigadier Fraser should
meet the enemy in force either on route or at the aforemen¬tioned town, he would stop and
wait for Gen. v. Riedesel so that they could attack the enemy with united strength.
Brigadier Fraser would send reports from time to time about whatever he could learn of the
7th. At exactly 3 A,M. Gen. v. Riedesel broke camp; after a march of four English miles
he met Capt. Makay who reported in the name of Brigadier Fraser that the Brigadier was on
the m? and would wait at a house [sic] called Hubertstown [Hubbardton]. Gen. v. Riedesel
hastened therefore with the advanced guard in order to reach Fraser's corps, but the
battalions themselves continued at their ordinary pace. After a good half hour
Gen. v. Riedesel heard very lively firing and concluded that Brigadier Fraser must have
engaged the enemy. He therefore moved the advanced guard forward almost at a run and sent
Capt. v. Polniz back to order Lt. Col. Breymann to make his march as fast as possible.
Brigadier Fraser sent an officer to Gen. v. Riedesel and informed him that he was exchanging
fire with the enemy and had met them in such strength that he was afraid his twenty
companies were not sufficient and requested therefore some support. Gen. v. Riedesel
answered that he would do everything possible to support him as soon as he could.
After a quarter of an hour Gen. v. Riedesel came with the advance guard to a hill from
whose top he could clearly see both engaged corps. He noticed that the enemy was always
moving to the right in order to win Brigadier Fraser's left flank; therefore, he had
the company of riflemen attack the enemy's right wing from this hill and to the left of
the riflemen a detachment of the first company and eighty men attempt to turn the right
flank of the enemy.
In order to frighten the enemy still more the advance guard had to
attack making loud noises. Just as the attack began, Brig. Fraser reported that he was
afraid of being turned at the left flank, thereupon Gen. v. Riedesel informed hint that
he was in the process of attacking the enemy's right wing and that this would certainly
bring him relief. Scarcely had the riflemen moved up, when they were welcomed by a troop
of 400 Rebels with astonishing fire power. The riflemen endured this fire with great
steadfastness and answered it with continuous fire from their own muskets. The advance
guard, commanded by Capt. v. Geyso, moved up with drums sounding the march and attacked
the enemy's right flank. In less than twelve minutes the enemy were in confusion and the
riflemen and the detachment brought in up to fifty prisoners. Brig. Fraser could not
express enough gratitude for this prompt aid; also Gen. v. Riedesel could not avoid
praising the steadfastness and bravery of the riflemen and the detachment of 80 men,
and Capt. Schottelius as well as Capt. von Geyso together with all officers who were
involved acted with much bravery and good sense.
In spite of the fact that Gen. v. Riedesel
sent all his adjutants, one after the other, to speed up the movement of the regiments,
they were unable to arrive before the firing had stopped because of the great distance.
Gen. v. Riedesel posted Battalion v. Barner to the English left wing to relieve the
riflemen and the detachment. The Grenadier Bn. and Reg. v. Riedesel were placed on the
English right wing to cover the route to Skenesborough which was actually the direction
of our march, and the two corps remained in this position. The dead and wounded were
gathered, and the troops sent after the enemy brought in many prisoners. The list of'
our losses, English as well as German, and what we have captured, will follow. In order
to give a general idea of what caused this entire affair, a short description of the
whole situation is in order.
According to all reports which have come in, only 500 men of the enemy force are alleged
to have traveled by land. The rest of the army went by water toward Skenesborough.
Brigadier Fraser had an advance guard of one officer and thirty men, plus some savages;
these were followed by five companies under the command of Major Grant and behind them
the Brigadier himself with the remaining fifteen companies of Grenadiers and light
infantry followed. The savages were the first to notice the enemy outpost and reported it.
The Brigadier ordered a halt and, accompanied by Major Grant, reconnoitered the enemy
himself. He could only catch sight of from four to five hundred of the enemy, which
confirmed for him the accuracy of the report that had come in. To be sure, he did not
wish to attack until Gen. v. Riedesel had arrived with his corps. But Major Grant, full
of passion and desire to attack the enemy, assured him that they were strong enough to
beat the enemy alone. The attack was thus immediately decided upon and the following
disposition was made.
Major Grant was to make a frontal attack upon the enemy, half of
the light infantry to attack their right and the other half their left wing. The Grenadier Bn.
was to serve as support of this line. Scarcely had this corps come out of the woods,
when they found more than 1,000 enemy against them, who welcomed them with terrible fire,
so that Brigadier Fraser was forced to lengthen the line with the grenadiers. In spite of
the strong enemy position, they were driven from the first hill by the English. Brave
Major Grant was killed in this attack. The enemy moved left to the second hill, and Mylord
Bellcarys, who commanded the English grenadiers [LI?] attacked the enemy's left wing,
while Brig. Fraser positioned the light infantry on the hill taken from the enemy.
Mylord Bellcarys likewise defeated the enemy’s left wing, but since the Brigadier did not
have enough men to co(?) his own left wing, the enemy moved to the right and began to
attack Fraser's left wing. At this moment the riflemen and Gen. v. Riedesel's advance
guard arrived, and through their fire the third frontal attack of the English ended to
our advantage. The enemy we had engaged consisted of four regiments, commanded by a
Brigadier named Francis, who was killed in the third attack and buried by our side. This
corps was the rear guard of the enemy army, which had departed from Hubbardtown for
Castleton on the prior evening. This rear guard had been delayed because of their great
fatigue. The enemy army had not retreated to Skenes¬borough but to No. IV in the
direction of the Connecticut River and the remainder of the beaten regiments presumably
followed the route through the woods. Since we were now afraid of losing all of our
wounded, Gen. v. Riedesel decided with Brig. Fraser to remain at the site of the battle
and to await the further orders of Gen. Burgoyne, to whom a report of the battle was sent.
That evening we received the report that on the evening of the 6th Gen. Burgoyne arrrived
at Skenesborough with the fleet and the army, and after heavy cannonading our armed boats
destroyed the enemy fleet. The Rebels set three of them on fire themselves and two were
defeated by us. Gen. Burgoyne ordered the right wing of' the army to debark and intended
to attack Fort Skenesborough. The enemy had already abandoned it and retreated toward
St. Anne. In Skenesborough we again found a large stock of pro¬visions, munitions and
other war materials. On the following day the army made camp on the heights at
8th. Since Brig. Fraser's at and Gen. v. Riedesel's corps had not had any rations for
four clays and were cur off froth the bateaux by this expedition, it was agreed among
the respective commanders that General von Riedesel would march to Skenesborough, but
Brigadier Fraser would remain until General Burgoyne gave orders concerning the
disposition of the wounded. Thus Gen. v. Riedesel set out on his march to said town
toward noon and reached Buttney River by evening, where the corps had to bivouac. But
since Gen. Burgoyne wished to speak to Gen. v. Riedesel in person, he went ahead during
the night with a guide and one adjutant. Accidentally, he was led astray in the forest by
his guide and was forced to spend the night in the forest in violent rain and darkness
and to wait for daylight, so that he did not arrive at Skenesborough until the morning
of the 9th.
Coming in the next newsletter a short review of the book
Les Mercenaries allemands au Quebec 1776 - 1783>
by Jean - Pierre Wilhelmy
In this newsletter we would like to show you some information on the Anhalt - Zerbst Jaeger Company. As part of the Anhalt - Zerbst Infanterie Regiment under the command of Lieutenant - Colonel Georg von Rauschenblatt the unit was stationed in Quebec. The official troop return from 1782 lists 34 Jaegers.
Organization: Not unlike the organization of the infantry regiment, there are varying numbers and organizational structures given for the Jager detachment.
According to the treaty signed between Britain and Anhalt Zerbst, the so-called Chasseur detachment was to consist of 12 Jagers and 1 NCO. However, Max von Eelking places the strength of the Anhalt Jagers at 100 men, split into two detachments under Captain Zacharias Nuppenau (sometimes seen as Keppenau) and a Lieutenant Jaritz.
However, the actual number of Jagers appears to be significantly lower than 100. Virginia DeMarce provides a roster of the Anhalt Zerbst contingent in her publication. While she does not break down the contingent according to organization, she does differentiate between infantry, artillery, and Jager (she calls them Rangers).
Compiling the list of individuals labeled as Ranger, we have a roster of 34 Jagers with 3 NCO's and 1 Bugler for a detachment of 38 men. This number also appears to agree with the number given by Lt. Colonel von Creuzbourg of the Hesse Hanau Jagers. Therefore, based off of one secondary and one primary source, it is highly likely that the Jager contingent consisted of anywhere between 30-40 men, at least in Canada. Anhalt Jagers could also have been in New York, but no direct evidence supporting this has yet to be found. If there were Anhalt Jagers in New York, then the actual number sent could conceivably be closer to 100. The returns from 1779 list only 7 Jaegers, in the 1782 list the strength has increased to 34 Jagers, included in that number is 1 sergeant and 1 corporal. No officers are listed.
The actual commander of the Jager detachment is still somewhat sketchy. As mentioned, von Eelking lists Captain Nuppenau as the Jager commander. However, DeMarce does not list Nuppenau as the Captain of the Jager detachment. Instead, an individual named Wilhelm de Zowadocky is listed as the senior NCO. The 1779 list shows that NCO von Zowadocky died Dec. 3rd 1778 in hospital in Quebec city. In 1782 Friedrich Nuernberger is listed as sergeant and Paul Bromme as corporal.
Not clear is how the jaeger unit operated. It is verry likely that the jaegers were assigned to trouble-spots and did not operate as a single unit, similar to the artillery attachment.
Uniform: The uniform worn by the Anhalt Jagers is completely unknown. The unit could have worn the traditional Jager uniform as worn by the other principalities, or it could have worn the same uniform as the infantry (white coats with red facings). The suggestion that the Jaegers might have worn austrian style Jaeger uniforms is wrong, because at the time-period the Austrian army did not have any Jaeger units in service. The only Austrian Jaeger unit was disbanded in 1763. New Jaeger units in the Austrian army were not formed before 1807. The suggestion is based on the fact that the Anhalt infantry is well documented as wearing Austrian inspired uniforms.
However, as previously mentioned, there is no evidence about the Anhalt Jager uniform, so the adoption of the Austrian pattern Jager uniform is merely supposition.
Service: As far as can be seen, the Anhalt Jagers never saw combat. They were however involved in a small expedition in September of 1780. The expedition was under the command of Lt. Colonel Carleton and consisted of the light company from the 44th Foot, Castendyk's Hanau Jager company, and a detachment of Anhalt Jagers consisting of 15 men and 1 NCO.
On September 14th the expedition departed Point Levi opposite Quebec and moved into the woods to scout the approach that Arnold took in 1775. The purpose of this scout is unclear, it was likely launched to scout the approaches to Quebec from Vermont along Hazen's Road. It appears that the expedition made no contact and returned to Quebec 12 days later on the 25th.
On July 1st, again in 1780, Lt. Colonel Creuzbourg wrote the following about the Anhalt Jagers: Among the Zerbst troops is a corps of Jagers, 32 men, who come as spectators and are astonished when they view our excellent target practice. Brigadier von Rauschenplatt asked me to teach his Jagers sharpshooting; consequently six of his men arrive daily to learn how to shoot and they are progressing very nicely. The Anhalt Jagers appear to have taken part in many exercises in and around Quebec, probably attached to the Anhalt Infantry regiment. According to a map drawn by Lt. Michael Bach of the Hanau Artillery of a maneuver at Point Levi in September of 1782, the Anhalt Jagers held an outpost on a wooded hill while maneuvers were conducted by the infantry and artillery.
In May of 1782, six Jager recruits were sent from Anhalt, possibly on board the HMS Jupiter. Also included on this ship were 48 recruits destined for the Hanau Frei Corps stationed in New York. Perhaps this is evidence that there were Anhalt Jagers also posted in New York? At any rate, all six recruits never made the voyage as they died of a fever that ravaged the convoy. The six Jagers that died on ship were: Sergeant Hens, Privates Bandel, Rash, Bernhard, Rohlfahrt, and Nies. These six Jagers were not the only men to die from the Jager detachment. In October of 1778, senior NCO Zowadocky and private Thuemens died in Quebec.
Roster (alphabetical order- last name/first name/age/city/principality/rank):
To all our friends and members. One of the most important events in a long time is over. We were invited to participate in the unveiling ceremony of a plaque of the Historic Sites and Monument Board of Canada commemorating the national historic significance of the contribution of German troops to the defence of Canada during the American Revolution.
The plaque reads: The contribution of German troops to Canada's defence during the American War of Independence is an event of national historic significance. This large corps of skilled troops, estimated to form one-third of the British forces in Canada in June 1776 and at least one-half from about 1777 to 1781, made it possible for the British to reconquer the territories taken by American rebels in 1775. In 1777, they took part in the attempted invasion of American-controlled territory led by General John Burgoyne. After 1778, until their demobilization in 1783, the German troops formed an essential component of the Canadian military defensive system, contributing in particular to the improvement of its system of fortifications. Of the 10,000 German soldiers who served in Canada, 2,400 settled in Canadian territory, including 1,400 in the province of Quebec. Their descendants number in the tens of thousands today.
Without any question a very important achievement. Mr. Aylmer Baker and his family were the people making everything possible. Many thanks to Aylmer, his wife and family, for their achievement, and for making our participation such a great and memorable occasion.
There were so many highlights at the event. The participation of officials from the German Embassy and the appearance of the German Heeresmusikkorps 300 playing both national anthems was very moving.
Just a great occasion. Thanks also to the lovely Lady who owns the hotel, Maison du Fort. Just a great place in the perfect surroundings. Also thanks to our guys for doing their best. Thanks also go to our drummer, William Hurley who did an excellent job beating the drum. The sad note was that one of our long-time members, Mr. John Hurl, retired from the unit. A great member lost for the unit.
The annual event in Thornhill is held in a complete different set-up. The event will be held on the 19 and 26 0f September. The annual parade is cancelled for this year and only a tactical will take place on the 26th.
Rose House Museum
A couple of month ago I checked out the museums website to find out if the event is still on. I did not see anything under the museums events listing. So I was left wondering what was happening. It was also very close to the Quebec City event. Now I find out the event is on but I have other commitments for the day.
I strongly believe that we should support the museum in the future. In what capacity will have to be decided. Maybe the way to go is to arrange a little event next year where we could do a show and tell. I appreciate every members feed-back on that.
Our participation at the Unionville Parade was very successful. The success was added to
by the participation of some members of Brant's Volunteers. A congratulation must go to the
youngest guy in the line. William you did very well.
On June 20, we participated at the event at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The weather was
just horrible. Luckily enough the rain stopped for a little to get the battle done. After
the show we were invited by Brant's Volunteers for a wonderful roast beef dinner. A thank
you goes to all the members of Brant’s Volunteers for the wonderful food and hospitality.
Click here to see picture Click here to see picture
Our other project, the Brunswick display at the historical society in Sorel will go ahead.
Again, I have to stress the point that this effort could only be undertaken with the great
help of the historical society in Sorel. The main goal will still be a permanent display
dealing with the Brunswick Troops in Canada at the old Riedesel headquarter in Sorel. With
the help of a permanent display, we surely will honour the many descendants of the
Brunswick soldiers living in North-America and in doing so creating a gathering point and
home for there ancestors. It also will help to draw tourists into the town. We should not
forget that these troops helped defend the country and many settled here in the province
The big event this year will be the unveiling of the plaque for the Brunswick troops in
We are preparing now for that very important event. It will be our goal to look our best
for that. Up-grades on uniforms and equipment have to be undertaken to look our best.
Soon our season will start again, with our first event of 2009. We will participate at the
Unionville Parade June 6th.
Also just to remind all our friends the important event will be the un-veilling
of the plaque to commemorate the German Troops defending Canada form 1776 to 1783 at Quebec
City of August 28th.
March of the Second Brunswick Division
The division was under the command of Col. Specht and was made up of the following units:
Regiment Specht, Regiment Rhetz, Light Batl. von Barner
May 15: The division left Wolfenbuettel at 5.30 in the morning. The division marched over
Maschrode, Riddaghausen, Gliesmarode to Fallersleben. After a 12 hour march
Fallersleben was reached.
The staff and 4 companies of the Batl. von Barner received quarters in Fallersleben,
the Jaegercompany stayed in close-by Sandkamp.
May 16: A 12 hour march from Fallersleben to Wittingen. The River Aller was crossed at
Stellfelde. The unit received quarters in Wittingen.
May 17: A 6 hour march to Wieren. Staff and one company were quartered in Wieren. Three
companies received quarters in Flinten, Emern and Ohstedt. The Jaeger company
received quarters in Lembke in the county of Bodenteich.
May 18: Day of rest.
May 19: March to Molzen. Except for the Jaeger company who received quarters in
Masendorf (Uelzen) in the county of Bodenteich, all other companies were quartered
May 20: March to Bienenbuettel and Stadorf.. Staff and one company were quartered in
Bienenbuettel. The other companies stayed in Hohenbostel, county of Winsen an
der Luhe, in Hohnstorf and Wichmannsburg. The Jaeger company stayed in Edendorf.
May 21: March to Wittorf and Bardowick, county of Winsen an der Luhe.
May 22: Day of rest.
May 23: March to Stoeckte, Hoya and Fliegenburg, county of Winsen an der Luhe.
May 24: March to the city of Haarburg. All companies were quartered in Haarburg.
May 25: City of Haarburg. Preparation for the inspection by the British Col. Faucitt.
May 26. Day of rest.
May 27: The light Batl. von Barner is inspected in Stade by Col. Faucitt. MBR>
After inspection of all the units the troops went on board of the transport vessels. Besides all
the equipment the second division had also 73 waggons and carts to take with them to North-America.
The city and harbour of Stade belonged to the Elector of Hanover, King of England.
The light Batl. was embarked on the following 3 ships.
The Dutch ship Leendert & Mathys under Capt. Gols Schelfisch.
The Dutch ship Zello Hellegonde Christiana under Capt. Mels Reling.
On board were 163 men of Capt. Thomae's company and part of Capt. Dommes company.
The British ship Charming Betsy
With 106 men of Capt. Dommes company on board.
On June 1, the ships left Stade at 1.30 in the afternoon. The commander of the little
fleet sailed on the war-ship "Lively". The "Lively" was to protect the slower transport
vessels. At Cuxhaven the little fleet assembled. First port of call was Portsmouth. Dover
was passed on June 10. Portsmouth was reached on June 12.
On June 26 the voyage continued. Nineten transport vessels and two frigates as escorts
made up the concoy. The frigate Amazon, (32 guns) under the command of Captain Jacobs.
The other escort was the Garland (24 guns) under Captain Beyersen.
Finally on August 16 the Grand Banks were reached. Newfoundland came in sight on the
The island of St. Pierre was passed on the 22 and Bonaventure Island was reached
on August 28.
On September 2 the True Friend made news again, but this time news of a happy occasion.
The wife of a musketeer of captain Dommes company had given birth to a baby-boy. The
child received the name Lawrence, because the concoy just had reached the mouth of the
The island of Bic was reached September 14. Here the ships of the convoy were waiting for
river pilots who were to guide the ships up-river through the dangerous waters of the
St. Lawrence River.
Ile de Orleans was in sight on September 16.
Most of the ships had reached Quebec City by September 18.
Two units of the Brunswick Corps stayed in garrison in quebec City. It was the Regiment
Prinz Friedrich and the Regiment of Dragoons. All the sick were removed from the ships
and were taken to the hospital.
Finally on the 25 orders were recived to disembark. After dis-embarking the Batl. von Barner begun its march into the
cantonments around Trois Riviere. After 8 days of marching Trois Riviere was reached.
On October 4 the second division marched to the parish of Machirte.
On the 5 the march continued, to the parish of Maskinonge.
On the 7 the parish of Berthier was reached. From here boats took the troops to Sorel.
On Octobern 9 the parish of St. Ours was reached.
The march continued over St. Denis, the parish of Boleil and finally Fort Chambly was
reached. Here the division moved into camp.
On October 20 or 21 orders from General Carleton were received to move into winter quarters.
General Riedesel and his staff moved into quarters in Trois Riviere.
The Light Batl. von Barner was assigned the following winter quarters:
Staff was assigned to St. Francois, I'Isle de I'Eglise
The Jaeger-company under Captain Schottelius was quartered in Yamaska.
The Leib-company in Yamaska and St. Francois
Captain von Geyso's company 1/3 at St.Francois and the rest at Brule.
Captain Dommes company 1/2 at Brule the rest in Nicolet.
Captain Thomae's company 2/3 at Nicolet the rest in Beaucourt.
May 18, Burgpyne took over the command of the army
June 19, the army assembles at Cumberland Head
June 20, Fleet sails down Lake hamplain
June 26, Crown Point is reached. Troops dis-embark and continue on land
march to Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Indepemdence
July 1 - 6. Siege of Ticvonderoga and Mount Independence
July 7. March to Hubbardton and Battle of Hubbardton
July 23. Fort Anne and Fort Edwards are reached
August 11. march to Fort Miller
August 12. Baum is marching to Cambridge
August 13 Baum marches to Bennington
August 15. Breymann marches to support Baum
August 16. Baum is attacked at Bennington
Breymann is attacked
Sept. 13. near Fort Miller
Sept. 15. march on Saratoga
Sept. 19. army attacked at Freeman's Farm (First battle of Saratoga)
Oct. 7. second battle of Saratoga
Retreat to Saratoga
Oct 16. Signing of the Concention of Saratoga and surrender
List of events for 2009.
June 6th Unionville Parade, Unionville Ontario
June 13 - 14: Loyalist Days, Adolphustown ?
June 20 - 21: Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto
August 28 Quebec City. Our most important event of the year.
The unveiling of a plaque for the German soldiers defending Canada form 1776 to 1783.
Sept. 19 - 20: Rose House, Loyalist Days.
Here are some other very important news.
Together with the Societe historique Pierre-de-Saurel we are planninga smalldisplay of
Brunswick artifacts in the office of the societe.
It is our goal to work together with the societe to improve the general picture of our
Eventually the goal will be to help the societe to establish a permanent display dealing with
the Brunswick Troops in Canada at the old German Headquarter in Sorel. The lay-out will show
the important role these troops played in the history of the country. Shown will be not only the
military role but also great impact the soldiers played in settling in their new country, bringing many
of the much needed trades to their new home country.
I don't have to stress the fact that this would be a very important goal to achieve.
For these important events we have to look our best. I noticed at our last events that some improvements
on equipment is needed. Very important is the neckstock just work over the collar of the shirt. We have to
make sure that the neckstock sits in the proper way. The neckstock has to be tight enough so that he does
not move around. The easiest way is to put a small pieve of velcrow on the back of the neckstock and at the
front of the shirt. This will prevent the neckstock from moving and it will give the soldier the neat look.
For the history minded we publish here the accont of the "Battle of Bennington" from the Brunswick Journals:
Camp and head-Quarters at Douard's House
The army set out from Fort Eduard under Major-General v.Riedesel's orders, and took up its
new position at Douard's House.
It had been decided to throw a bridge across the river Hudson this side of the Saratogha Rapids, but as it
was not ready Brigadier Fraser, who was to take up a position near Saratogha on the other side of the river Hudson,
had to remain in his position today as well, and Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann moved into the camp about a gunshot
behind Brigadier Fraser's Corps.
Lt.Col.Baum is attacked and repulses the enemy on The 14th
Lt.Col.Breymann's Corps receives orders to Assist Lt.Col. Baum
Brig.Fraser's Advanced corps Crosses the Hudson Is attacked again On the 15th and repulses the enemy
At 6 o'clock this morning General Burgoyne received a report from Lieutenant-Colonel Baum dated yesterday, the 14th, in
which he notified that when he had wanted to march the whole way to Bennington on the 14th, his vanguard had been
attacked by a rebel corps about 700 strong; however, when he had fired a few shots with his big guns at them, the enemy
had made and some royalists who had come from Bennington, that another corps consisting of 1800 rebels was posted at
Bennington in a fortified camp that had an advantageous position. This corps was expecting a reinforcement from the rebel
army, and then intended attacking him in his position at Wolloms Coyk, which was close to Bennington on this side of the town.
So he asked for a reinforcement which could assist him in carrying out his instructions. On receipt of this report General
Burgoyne at once gave orders that General v.Riedesel should instruct Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann's Corps to set out to the
assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Baum. General v.Riedesel, who was much concerned about this move, begged General Burgoyne to
instruct Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann himself with respect to what he was to do, and General Burgoyne had this done in a few
words by means of his aide-de-camp, Sir Francis Clarck.
So Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann set out immediately with his reserve corps, and left his tents as well as the equipage and
ammunition his men could not carry themselves behind in the camp.
In order to arouse the suspicious fears of the enemy at Saratogha, Brigadier Fraser had to set out at the same time with the
advanced corps, whereupon he crossed the river Hudson by the swing bridge that had been thrown across the river on this side
of the Saratoga Rapids, and took up his position on the heights of Saratoga. The heavy rain we had had for several days, the
very bad roads resulting therefrom and the artillery to which worn out and exhausted horses were harnessed were the reasons
why Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann had to remain in bivouac on this side of Cambridge today; but he took the precaution to inform
Lieutenant-Colonel Baum of his approach, and the latter had moreover been informed of the departure of the Breymann Corps by a
letter from General Burgoyne himself.
Lieutenant-Colonel Baum was again attacked today, but the enemy did not gain anything whatever thereby, and had to retire again
after some shots had been fired at them from the big guns. The Lieutenant-colonel had great confidence in the position he had
taken up, and as he hoped the Breymann Corps would soon arrive he decided not to leave his post, but remained there quietly
during the night between the 15th and 16th.
Lt.Col.Baum's Unfortunate Affair
Lieutenant-Colonel Baum"s unfortunate affair took place on the morning of the 16th, but nobody is really in a position to give
an accurate account of it, as the different persons who were saved all give different report of the story. But after all the
information has been collected, it is supposed that the following is about what happened.
Towards 9 o'clock in the morning detached bands in waistcoats and shirts and provided with guns assembled on different sides
of his camp and in his rear. The Provincials and their leaders who were with the lieutenant-colonel assured him, that these were
all friendly disposed royalists, almost 200 men of whom had already arrived under a certain officer in the militia named Forester.
Colonel Skeenes, who was of the same opinion himself, is said to have assured Lieutenant-Colonel Baum of the same, and the
lieutenant-colonel was still more confirmed in this belief, as these small bands lay down quite quietly in his rear, and the men
wore the same badges on their hats as had been given to the Provincials in our army. Towards 10 o'clock the lieutenant-colonel
was attacked exactly in the same manner as the day before, and the enemy was repulsed in the same manner. But shortly afterwards
on a given signal the enemy attacked him on all sides and with the greatest vehemence, and now he plainly saw for the first time,
that the troops which he had been told were royalists were nothing but rebels. Lieutenant-Colonel Baum, who had posted his Indians,
Provincials and Canadians on various detached heights, was cut off from all these detached posts at the same time, and compelled
to defend himself quite alone with the Dragoon Regiment.(Prinz Ludwig Ernst)
He withstood the enemy's fire for more than 2 hours, but when he saw that his ammunition would soon be at an end, he considered it
more advisable to save himself by means of a retreat. He cut his way twice through rebel bands, who have been estimated at between
4-5,000 men, but as there were no more cartridges at hand he gave the men orders to hang the guns over their shoulders and draw
their swords, and then they forced their way through once more. Nothing more has ever been heard of him after this event, except
that it is known that he and the dragoons who were not killed on the spot were taken prisoners. Most of the Indians, Provincials
and Canadians who had been made over to this corps by our army saved themselves by escaping through the wood, and reached the
army again in safety.
Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann set out from his bivouac at daybreak, and reached the bridge at St. Coyk Mills at 3 o'clock in the
afternoon, where he met Governor Skeenes, who had probably left Lieutenant-Colonel Baum that morning before the engagement. The
said Governor Skeenes assured Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann, that he was only 2 English miles from Lieutenant-Colonel Baum's camp,
but never told him anything whatever either about what had happened to Lieutenant-Colonel Baum or that he had heard a single shot.
Ignorant of all that happened to Lieutenant-Colonel Baum's Corps Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann's great wish was to hasten on and join
forces with Lieutenant Baum. So he crossed the aforesaid bridge with his corps, and after advancing about 1400 steps he saw a large
troop of men in waistcoats and provided with guns, who were in possession of a hill to the left of him. The governor, Colonel Skeenes,
assured Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann that they were not rebels but all royalists. However, the lieutenant-colonel, who would not rely
on this assurance, sent off a patrol in that direction, in which Governor Skeenes took part and which was immediately greeted with
a volley of shot.
Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann ordered Major v.Barner to advance at once against the enemy with his battalion of Light Infantry, whilst he
marched to the right with the Battalion of Grenadiers and posted his big guns (6-pounders) between the two regiments so that they faced a block house
the enemy were occupying, and thus the attack on the enemy commenced. Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann drove the enemy away from 3 heights,
but as his munition for the big guns as well as for the troops had come to an end, he had to stop. The enemy, who had noticed this
deficiency, again recovered. The lieutenant-colonel assembled his men (who were stationed rather far apart in the straggling woods)
as well as he could, and remained facing the enemy until night cam on, when he considered it advisable to withdraw across the bridge,
so as not to be cut off from it. In spite of all the trouble he took he could not save his guns, all the horses of which had been killed
and the officer in command of the artillery mortally wounded and many artillerymen either killed or wounded, as they were within range of
the enemy's big and small guns, and he himself received a wound in the leg whilst engaged in the work of dragging the cannon back from
which he employed his company, and he also got some more of his company either killed or wounded whilst doing so. So he made up his mind
he would rather save the corps than sacrifice still more men in vain.
Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann did not lose more of his corps than the dead and wounded he had to leave behind on the champ de bataille, so
that no reliable report can be made of these men either as yet. The lieutenant-Colonel commenced his march back to Cambridge and from there
to the army again at midnight, and reached the Batten-Kill in the afternoon.
Gen. Burgoyne Advances as Far as the BattenKill on Receipt of the News of the 2 Unfortunate engagements Occupies his former camp At Douard's House.
General Burgoyne sent Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann and Baum the order yesterday afternoon, that they were to attack the enemy conjointly, if
circumstances mad this possible and if they believed they would be successful in their attack. But these orders could not reach the two
aforesaid commandants any more, as their unhappy fate had unfortunately been decided before same arrived.
General Burgoyne received the news of these 2 unfortunate events at 3 o'clock on the morning of the 17th, and as we had not been able to obtain
any accurate news of the condition the two corps were in as yet, he decided to set out with the whole army after talking the matter over with
Major-General v.Riedesel, so as to succor either the one or the other corps should this still be possible. Captain Gerlach was sent to give
Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann orders to join the army, should he still be able to reach same, and to inform him of the advance of the army and
that General Burgoyne would do everything to liberate him. General v.Riedesel had to lead the army, which set out at 6 o'clock in the morning.
General Burgoyne had meanwhile gone to Brigadier Fraser's Corps, who had also advanced against the enemy, as the latter had shown signs of
attacking him where he had been stationed. General v.Riedesel received orders from General Burgoyne to remain near the Batten-kill with the army,
and to take up his position there. At the same time the report came from Lieutenant-Colonel Breymann, that he had not only been saved, but that
he was not more that 6 miles away from the army. On receipt of this report, which was immediately made known to General Burgoyne, the latter
gave General v.Riedesel orders to lead the army back to its former camp at Duard's House, and to give orders to the von Breymann Corps to occupy
its old camp near the bridge on this side of the Saratogha Rapids.
After General Burgoyne’s designs on the magazine at Bennington had been frustrated, he could very well see that he could not advance with the
army until the provisions that were required had been brought to Fort George from Carillon, and that a much larger magazine would have to be
constructed close to the river Hudson by men from the fort. He decided therefore to remain at Duard's House with the army, and General v.Riedesel
received orders to post himself at John’s Ferme 7 English miles on the other side of Fort Eduard on the way to Fort Anne with the 47th English
Regiment and the v.Rhetz and Hesse-Hanau Regiments as well as the artillery belonging to 6 heavy guns, in order to guard the communication with
Fort Anne as well as with Fort George. So General v.Riedesel marched from Duard's House with the aforesaid troops on the 18th and encamped at
Plan Battle of Bennington (To view click here)
It was June 1st 1776 when the first contingent or Brunswich soldiers landed at Quebec City.
Now 232 years later the Brunswick soldiers have returned to Quebec City on July 3rd to celebrate the 400th year of its founding.
The recreated Brunswich Light Infantry Batl. von Barner left for Quebec on July 1st and stopped overnight in Montreal and arrived in Quebec City July 2nd.
There we were greeted by Elmer Baker, our member from that city. We spent the day on the Plains of Abraham doing some marching and drilling for the crowds that were there. That evening we had a nice meal on the patio of one of the many restaurants on a busy and crowded Quebec street.
Click here to see picture
The following day, July 3rd, was the official day of Quebec's founding. We were looking forward to the large Military parade with approximately 1900 participants of which we were to be a part.
The sky did not look very encouraging and as we formed up for the parade it started to rain. We stood in the rain for the next hour waiting to move on, which we finally did. The farther on we moved the harder the rain came down.
As we moved through old Quebec City the rain became soaking downpours with the water running through the narrow streets like turbulent streams.
The rain came down so hard that we were unable to see the dignitaries on the reviewing stand. They included Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, Premier Jean Charest of Quebec, the Prime Minister of Ireland, the President of France, just to name a few.
Click here to view picture
It was important for the recreated Brunswick Light Infantry Batl. von Barner to return to Quebec to represent those thousands of German soldiers who came to Canada those many years ago and protected our Country against the "rebels" of the American Colonies. They became an integral part in our Country's history.
Click here to view picture
Finally, in closing, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the City of Quebec, its people and all those involved, for their hospitality and generosity to us. We had a wonderful time.
Click here to view picture
A special thanks to Elmer Baker who took us under his wing, thank you.
Click here to view picture
June 7th: Unionville Parade. Local event in Unionville, Ontario
July 2nd and 3rd: Quebec City
This is the largest event in 2008 for the unit. Quebec City is celebrating its 400. birthday.
On July 2nd, we will participate in the celebration and we will be on the Plains of Abraham. For the purpose we will set-up two tents, practise the handling of the muskets and answer questions from the visitors.
Everybody is invited to see us.
July 3rd. Church parade and freedom of the city celebration.
After the church parade we will participate in the large military parade. After the parade we will again answer questions by the public.
The Quebec City event is a very important event to us all.
In the months ahead we like to improve our web-site. To achieve this we would like your in-put.
Firstly: We would like to list all the historical places (museum, historical parks), list there web-sites and post a short information about the place.
Secondly: We like to list web-sites and information about the family history of the Bruinswick soldiers. In doing so we hopefully get people with a Brunswick ancestry closer together.
I would appreciate to hear from all of you.
Thank you so much.
It looks like one big event is coming up this year. On July 3rd Quebec City will celebrate its 400. anniversary with a big parade through the old city. I am sure it will be a great and for us a very important event. Celebrations will be held all year round, put the parade will be the big one. We will keep everybody informed.
I would also tell you the story of Andreas Hasselmann. I hope you all will enjoy reading it.
The story of the deserter Andreas Hasselmann
At the night 20 of June 1776 a Musketeer of the Prince Friedrich Regiment deserted when he was on guard duty. It was the 34 years old Andreas Hasselmann, only with the Brunswick Army for six month from the village of Sommereschenburg near the city of Helmstedt.
A week later he was arrested and sentenced to death.
The punishment was so harsh because he deserted when on guard duty.
When the news about the case became known to the local residents a group of 18 Quebec residents of German descend approached General Riedesel to pardon Andreas Hasselmann.
What happened was written down by Ensign Julius Friedrich von Hille born 1763 in Brunswick, son of Mayor Friedrich Wilhelm von Hille serving with the Regiment Prinz Friedrich.
On the 25th of August was the death sentence announced to the musketeer Andreas Hasselmann who had deserted from his post at camp Pointe Levy and on the 3rd of September he was to be executed by firing squad at the glacier bastion, but he was pardoned at the last moment and because he had already feared death, no more punishment was to be administered.
The Musketeer Hasselmann of his Serene Highness Prinz Friedrich Regiment, of General-Major von Stammers Company, who in the night of the 20th to the 21st of July 1776 on guard at the most forward double post at Point Levy deserted, was on August 26th by auditor Wolpers and the regimental adjutant lieutenant du Roi according to the law of war the death sentenced announced and that he only had a few days left to live but they did not tell him how he was to be executed.
He was immediately brought to the highest room at the diamond garde du corps; a guard with drawn sword was guarding him in the room where the field chaplain visited him.
Every time he was visited by the chaplain the guard left the room.
On the 3rd of September at 8 o'clock in the morning on orders of Major von Hille, all officers, nco's, drummers and privates of the princely Regiment of Dragoons (on General Riedesels special orders) and of the Prinz Friedrich Regiment who were off duty to assemble on the parade ground.
One lieutenant (Wolgast sen.) 3 NCOs, 1 drummer and 30 privates of the Prinz Friedrich Regiment were ordered to march the prisoner from his room to the parade ground.
The detachment formed on the left wing in two platoons in two ranks, loaded the muskets and marched the closed way to Cap Diamont, formed a square on arrival, waited for orders with the place of execution close-by.
The dragoons and regiment Prinz Friedrich in the mean time formed a battalion in two ranks, marched to the Glacier bastion, and on arrival formed a half circle with the end against the wall.
On the side closest to Cap Diamont an opening was left where the prisoner and the guard detachment could pass through. At the moment NCOs closed the opening.
Nine appointed men of General-Major von Stammers Company, stepped in the middle of the circle in the first rank and unfixed there bayonets.
The auditor Wolpers made sure that a table and three chairs were brought to the place of execution and were placed in the circle to the right to read out the sentence. Captain Dieterichs and lieutenant Haars from the Prinz Friedrich regiment were ordered to sit on the table.
At the same time the company had to get a chair where the prisoner was seated for the execution, they had to get the coffin and a stretcher. The chair was placed in the middle of the circle and the stretcher was placed on the left side of the circle with 8 bearers around.
After the officer of the guard detachment received his orders to march off the chaplain brought the prisoner into the square of the detachment. The officer marched off in a very slow step, the 3 NCOs on the flanks.
As soon as the detachment marched into the circle the square opened up. The chaplain marched the prisoner to the front of the table. The detachment marched to the open spot of the circle.
When everybody was silent the auditor sitting in the chair made sure that everything was done according to the law and red the sentence standing up and than broke the staff.
The chaplain took the prisoner to the chair. One NCO took the prisoners coat and waistcoat off, his arms were tied to the chair, his eyes were covered and a black mark was put on his shirt were his heart was.
On orders of the major the first three soldiers with muskets ready and hammer cocked stepped forward. At this point lieutenant colonel Baum as the representative of General Riedesel called out the pardon and Major von Hille received the papers that General Riedesel had pardoned the soldier.
Musketeer Hasselmann who had fainted was immediately bled and after he came out of it was read by the auditor the letter of pardon. Parts of the letter red:
that the musketeer Hasselmann had suffered enough with death in front of his eyes, he knows how it feels to be scared, that is why he should be set free.
For a short time he was brought to the guardroom at Cap Diamont and than released.
As sad as all the people around were, soon the air was filed with the sound of joy, people clapped there hands and it was possible that the 18 people who had send the partition to General-Major Riedesel may have helped the case of musketeer Hasselmann.
The chaplains testified that Hasselmann since he know his sentence, behaved like a true Christian and he would have died with god on his mind.
If Hasselmann would not have been pardoned but executed the 8 soldiers from General Major Stammers Company would have put him after the excecution into the coffin, carried him to the cemetery and would have buried him there.
Order from General major Riedesel to Major von Barner.
To Major v. Barner.
On receipt of this order you will at once make arrangements for the company under Captain Thomae to leave the parcise Nicolet entirely, and after
handing over Nicolet you will quarter the company in that portion of the quarters that
remains available for your battalion, and as the two von Specht companies and the 2 von
Rhetz will occupy Beocancourt and Gentilli again, and ay company von Morgenstern must
therefore move into Captain Thomae’s quarters, you must arrange for the evacuation of
Nicolet as speedily as possible. In order that the changes among the other troops are not
delayed in any manner by the above, Captain Thomae will advise Captain Morgenstern
(who has orders to send his quartermaster-sergeants and riflemen to Nicolet forthwith to
arrange the new quarters) what day he leaves quarters.
Furthermore you will see to the arrangement of the more restricted quarters for your
battalion yourself, in accordance with the knowledge you have of the neighbourhood.
The company will take all its baggage, large and small, with it for the present. You
will give the order for Captain Thomae to get the parish to give him a certificate to the
affect that they have no complaints to make or anything to claim, and this order must be
constantly observed in the future when troops have been on detachment duty in any quarters,
namely, that they always provide themselves with such a certificate for their justification.
Now whenever the houses are too small in these more restricted quarters, the barns must
also be taken into use.
As soon as the above alteration has been made in your quarters. I shall expect your
Trois Riviere, May 26, 1777.
Newsletter August/September 2006
To all our Friends
The big historical event we will attend in Germany is coming closer and closer.
A lot of planning still has to be done. One of the highlights will be at least for
us the little ceremony in the village of Hassenhausen at the monument of the
Duke of Brunswick. He was mortally wounded at the battle. A wreath will be put
down on the monument and we hope that we could be there.
We also found an early list of all the officers of the Brunswick Corps who were
to go to North America. The list shows even officers who eventually did not
go to North America.
2.) Prinz Friedrich
A.) Leib Company Captain Rosenberg
Lieutenant de Roy
B.) Lieutenant Colonel Praetorius
Captain von Zielberg
Lieutenant von Koenig
C.) Major von Hille
Lieutenant Wolgart senior
D.) Captain Friedrichs
Lieutenant von Knesebeck
Lieutenant von Reitzenstein
E.) Capatain von Thunderfeld
Ensign von Adelsheim
3.) Major-General von Riedesel
A.) Leib Company Captain Harbort
Lieutenant von Pincier
Lieutenant Wolgart senior
B.) Lieutenat-Colonel von Speth
Captain von Bartling junior
Lieutenant von Burgstorf
Lieutenant von Meyern
Ensign von Meibom
C.) Major von Mengen
Captain von Girsewald
D.) Captain von Poellnitz
E.) Captain Morgenstern
Lieutenant von Cramm
4. Grenadier Corps
A.) Prinz Friedrich
Captain von Hambach
B.) von Riedesel
Captain von Lohneisen
C.) von Rhetz
Captain von Bartling senior
D.) Colonel Specht
Captain von Schieck
Lieutenant von Gebhard
Lieutenant de Annier
Lieutenant von Meyern
5.) Major-General von Rhetz
A.) Leib Company Captain Arendt
Lieutenant von Papet
Lieutenant von Moderack
Ensign von Bandel
B.) Lieutenant Colonel von Ehrenkrook
Lieutenant von Haseler
Lieutenant von Unger (Adjudant)
C.) Major von Lucke
Lieutenant von Dobeneck
D.) Captain von Schlagenteufel
Lieutenant Meyer (Regimental Quarter Master)
Lieutenant von Conradi
E.) Captain Ahlers
6. Colonel Specht
A. Leib Company Captain Lager?
Lieutenant von Unger
B.) Major von Ehrenkrook
Captain von Schlagenteufel
Lieutenant von Milkau
Lieutenant du Roi