Hessian Soldiers of the American Revolution
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Hessian soldiers in the American Revolution



Terms & Definitions








A "Hessian" soldier was not necessarily from any area of Germany prefixed by "Hessen". It was a term adopted by Americans to refer to any German who fought on behalf of the King of England.




a "Mercenary" is a professional soldier for hire to anyone who will pay him directly to fight for their cause. And since the
German soldiers supplied by their particular Principalities were a standing army in the service of their Count (Landgrave), sent by his agreement with the King of England to quash the "rebellion", that term is a misnomer when used for the Hessians.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Mercenary (disambiguation).
A mercenary is a soldier who fights, or engages in warfare primarily for private gain, usually with little regard for ideological, national or political considerations. However, when the term is used to refer to a soldier in a regular national army, it is usually considered an insult, epithet or pejorative

The term as used in the  Declaration of Independence, WAS USED AS AN INSULT. It did not correctly name these soldiers.
by Nelda

(It was because of this insult that some families hid their Hessian ancestors.)








A "Patriot" was someone in the Colonies who fought for our independence from The King of England .(There is an addition to this, a person who assisted in some other way can also be considered a patriot.)







A "Loyalist" was someone who was of  German extraction, already living in the colonies who chose to support the King of England against  independence [so my genealogist/librarian  tells me...]


In an email John states:

basically you are almost correct, but as far as the term Loyalist is concerned, Some years ago in a speech held to a Loyalist convention in Canada, Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, stated that during the American Revolution the Loyalists fighting for the King, the most numerous with 28 per cent were the Germans, followed by 23 per cent Scots, and the rest were Blacks (12 %), Indians, Dutch and English. BTW, those Loyalist were people who lived in the American colonies before the Revolution started. 

Respectfully John Helmut Merz, 

just to keep things straight.







WordReference.com English Dictionary

A Noun:   A Count who had jurisdiction over a large territory in medieval Germany




A Batman

Is a term for an officer's personal servant. It has long been traditional practice in European armies for officer's to have personal servants to relieve them of many daily tasks of personal maintenance such as clothing and shoe/boot care and cleaning, caring for bedding, providing water for personal hygiene, housekeeping of personal quarters, even shopping for food. Officer's, being often from the gentry classes, were accustomed to such services from their family household servants. This carried over to military service. Batmen were regular enlisted soldiers and often volunteered for this special duty. They
received their basic pay from the Army. Officer's would usually provide a small additional allowance for their personal services.
From Don Fehlings


German, he was called a "Bedienter."
from Bob Brooks



A "Chasseur

was the French term for the rank & file of a British "Light Infantry" company, one of the two "flank" companies in a British Regiment of Foot (i.e., infantry) In German, he was called a "Jäger". The other "flank" company was a company of Grenadiers. During the War of American Independence, the British detached the flank companies and attached them to
composite battalions of Light Infantry or Grenadiers, as applicable. In the case of the Germans, the Jägers had already been detached from the infantry regiments. For the American campaign, the regiments from Hesse-Cassel and Brunswick had their Grenadiers detached and they deployed with Composite battalions of Grenadiers.
From Bob Brooks


King George III of England:

Some information for reference:

Copied in parts and pieces from:




GEORGE III (r. 1760-1820)
George III was born on 4 June 1738 in London, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. He inherited two things from his ancestry. The Crown from his grandfather George II, and a family illness that caused him to go mad.


He is widely remembered for two things: losing the American colonies and going mad. This is far from the whole truth.
George's direct responsibility for the loss of the colonies is not great. He opposed their bid for independence to the end, but he did not develop the policies (such as the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend duties of 1767 on tea, paper and other products) which led to war in 1775-76 and which had the support of Parliament.

The American war, its political aftermath and family anxieties placed great strain on George in the 1780s. After serious bouts of illness in 1788-89 and again in 1801, George became permanently deranged in 1810.
He was mentally unfit to rule in the last decade of his reign; his eldest son - the later George IV - acted as Prince Regent from 1811. Some medical historians have said that George III's mental instability was caused by a hereditary physical disorder called porphyria.

In his last years, physical as well as mental powers deserted him and he became blind.
He died at Windsor Castle on 29 January 1820, after a reign of almost 60 years - the second longest in British history.




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Why they were called Hessians

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Terms  and  Definitions

The Germanic States

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Articles about the American Revolution

Documents concerning 

how prisoners were to be 

treated and converted.

Chronology of U.S. Historical Documents

Hessian DNA Web Sites

Articles about Hessians  in history

Germany GenWeb Project

Battles Hessian Units were involved in


and the soldiers listed in them


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Jails,  Prisons and Prison Camps

German &  American Parish Registers

German Genealogy WIKI 

Information on Transport Ships

Towns and places

  named after a Hessian soldier


mailing list

Journals and Diaries

Ages of young soldiers

"OUR" Mailing list archives


How to find towns in Germany


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

Ansbach Regiment

Marie Rasnick Fetzer

Bob Brooks

Ansbach - Bayreuth Troops

Jochen Seidel


TERM PDF as used by John Merz is not an Adobe electronic file, it is Personal Data File for an individual soldier.



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Last updated: March 27, 2006 .


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