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UNIFORMS OF
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


Rall's Regiment of Grenadiers formed of the first division of troops from Hesse-Cassel and Waldeck under Lieutenant-General von Heister.  They arrived at Sandy Hook, New Jersey on August 15, 1776 and were landed on Staten Island.  This regiment first saw action at Long Island on August 27, 1776.  In the next few months they fought at Chatterton's Hill on the 28th of October and on the next day at White Plains, and again on the 15th of November at the capture of Fort Washington.  When the British and Hessian forces were sent into winter quarters, Colonel von Rall was given command of the troops at Trenton.  He had the Fusileer Regiments von Lossberg and von Knyphausen as well as his own grenadiers.  In General Washington's attack on Trenton, on December 26, 1776, the Hessians lost 22 killed and 948 taken prisoner.  Approximately 500 men escaped from the city and were used to form a combined battalion of foot.

The Brunswick troops were sent to Quebec to serve under Major General John Burgoyne.  They arrived in September of 1776 and were used to reinforce the British forces during the winter.  Both Lefferts and Lawson comment upon the poor quality of the uniforms of the Brunswickers.  It was necessary to supply the men with long overalls and blanket coats to protect them against the cold.  Sprecht was given the command of the First Brigade, under Major-General Baron von Riedesel, consisting of the regiments von Riedesel, von Sprecht and von Rhetz.  

All three regiments wore blue coats with facings and cuffs of a contrasting color; yellow for Riedesel, red for Sprecht and white for Rhetz.  These troops took an active part in the Battles at Freeman's Farm on the 19th of September and on the 7th of October.  They formed a part of the forces which surrendered to General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777.

The Jager Corps was one of the outstanding units that fought against the Americans during the war.  These green clad soldiers all were active men used to an outdoor life in the woods.  They were armed with the short, heavy bore German rifle that were the original idea for our long rifles.  These men were highly regarded and served in many of the battles.  A small force served at Trenton under von Rall, but the majority escaped to reform their forces.

[REFERENCES: The War of the Revolution. Christopher Ward.  A History of the Uniforms of the British Army.  Vol. III.  H. C. C. P. Lawson.  Uniforms of the American, British, French and German Armies. . .  Charles M. Lefferts.]

Privates of von Rall's Grenadier Regiment,
von Sprecht's Infantry Regiment of Brunswick
and Officer of the Field Jager Corps of Hesse-Cassel
1776 - 1783

Grenadiers of von Rall of Hesse-Cassel's Regiment
[SOURCE: The American Revolution, 1775-1783. Paintings by Jean Leffel,  based upon illustrations of H. A. Ogden and Lt. Charles M. Lefferts.  Photolithos printed Zurich, Switzerland.  Historical descriptions by Harry W. Barker, Jr. ]


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