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“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. HESSIAN SOLDIERS. HESSIAN TROOPS:. Hessians were soldiers from Hesse , Germany They were rented by German princes to fight for the British in the Revolutionary War.
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“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” HESSIAN SOLDIERS
HESSIAN TROOPS: • Hessians were soldiers from Hesse, Germany • They were rented by German princes to fight for the British in the Revolutionary War. • There were 6 German princes who rented out their most numerous and most important troops, the Hessians, from Hesse-Kassel (former German principality). *principality – region ruled by prince • Hessians made up about 17,000 from the 30,000 troops sent. • This was not the first time the German princes rented out the men, although the British were their best customers. • The British felt that using the Hessians would be much cheaper than recruiting and training their own men.
HESSIANS cont… • The war was between America and Britain and most of the troops used were from Germany. • The British worried that the Hessian soldiers being far from home and not having a personal stake in the war might be tempted to desert or turn against the British. • Then there was also the worry that the Americans might also buy troops of their own to fight in the war. • In the end, Hessians made up about a quarter of the total forces sent to America.
HESSIANS cont… • The quality of the Hessians varied greatly. They were either conscripted (drafted) soldiers or prisoners. • Hessians were paid little money compared to the officers and, yet, were put in more danger. • Low pay did not excite the Hessians to travel so far from home to fight for a war that was not their own. • Many of the Hessian soldiers had received good training and were distinguished by the quality of their skills. • They were much better trained than the rebel soldiers.
HESSIANS cont… • The first Hessians arrived on August 1776 in Staten Island. • The first battle in which they fought was the Battle of Long Island. • Hessians were involved in almost every battle. • The presence of foreign troops greatly offended the American colonists who had been against rebelling since they considered themselves British subjects. • Americans knew the Hessians were unhappy with their situation and tried to get them to desert the British. • In the end, most of the Hessians returned home, but about 5,000 remained and settled in America or Canada.
HESSIANS cont… • The people in the town of Sleepy Hollow, especially the older men, had fresh memories of the war. • The ghost of the Hessian was doubly scary because not only was he a ghost, but also a ghost hired to kill rebellious Americans. • The Headless Horseman was particularly angry for having died while in service from a canon blast. Ouch!