Academic journal article Military Review

Hessians: Mercenaries, Rebels, and the War for British North America

Academic journal article Military Review

Hessians: Mercenaries, Rebels, and the War for British North America

Article excerpt

HESSIANS

Mercenaries, Rebels, and the War for British North America

Brady J. Crytzer, Westholme Publishing, Yardley, Pennsylvania, 2015, 296 pages

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In 1775, the British Empire was in a crisis. Open rebellion was occurring in the North American colonies. Years of conflict with France exhausted the British treasury and its armed forces, leaving few options to the Crown in addressing the rebellion. Faced with a nearly impossible decision, Britain elected to employ the armies of the Holy Roman Empire to augment its forces in suppressing the rebellion. Labeled erroneously as "Hessians" the soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire came from six separate German states. By 1776, there would be approximately eighteen thousand German soldiers in North America, and by the war's end, there would be over thirty thousand.

Author and historian Brady J. Crytzer explores the German experience in the American Revolution through the lives of three participants from vastly different walks of life. Here are the stories of a career soldier, Johann Ewald, captain of a Field Jager Corps, who fought from New York to Yorktown; Frederika Charlotte Louise von Massow, Baroness von Reidesel, who traveled along with her children from Europe to Canada to join her husband, Baron Fredrich von Reidesel; and Philipp Waldeck, chaplain in the Waldeck Regiment, who served in Florida and the Caribbean.

Ewald's observations and experiences provide an interesting and insightful look at the American Revolution through an outsider's perspective. While Ewald held Gen. Charles Cornwallis and other British leaders in high esteem, his diary entries expressed disappointment in Britain's hesitant approach in executing the war. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.