German Mercenary Expatriates in the U.S. & Canada Following the American Revolution


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Genealogical Publishing Company


This volume on German mercenaries combines three separate booklets in Clifford Neal SmithÔÇÖs German-American Genealogical Research Monograph Series. The contents of this consolidated volume concern mercenaries from the dutchies or principalities of Brunswick, Ansbach and Bayreuth, and Hessen-Hanau, based on sources in German archives. For example, Mr. Smith found the names of over 1,700 soldiers who failed to return to Brunswick in 1783 in an article by Hans Helmut Rimpau in the obscure periodical, Archiv fuer Sippenforschung. Similarly, Mr. Smith discovered the professional soldiers who left from Ansbach and Bayreuth in the equally rare doctoral dissertation by Dr. Erhard Staedtler entitled, Die Ansbach-Bayreuther Truppen in Amerikanischen Unabhaengigkeitskrieg, 1777-1783. The Brunswick forces, it should be noted, served mainly in Canada and northern New York, where they are likely to be found residing in 1790–unless they became prisoners of war. The Ansbach and Bayreuth contingents were attached directly to the British army commanded by generals Howe and Clinton, and together served in nearly every operation of the war. Their counterparts from Hessen-Hanau fought in New York, were captured during the Saratoga campaign, and were force-marched to Charlottesville, Virginia. While the contents of the component booklets in this volume vary from one another, in the majority of cases researchers can expect to fi nd the mercenaryÔÇÖs name, rank, age, birthplace, unit, and date and place of desertion. The volume identifies 7,000 German soldiers in all, the majority of whom chose to cast their lot with the New World.


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