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