Origin and History
The unit was originally a Landmiliz (militia). In 1760, when the new Landgrave Friedrich II reorganised his army, the unit became a "Garrison Battalion" counting 4 companies. This battalion was initially intended to free up the regular troops for service. By 1762, the unit was converted into a Land Regiment and entered field service.
The regimental Chefs were:
- from 1754: von Wurmb
- from 1762: von Kutzleben
- from 1763: von Stein
- from 1778: von Seitz
- from 1783: von Porbeck
During the American War of Independence, in 1776, the regiment formed part of the Hessian contingent sent to North America. It fought at Fort Washington. In 1778, it was transferred to Halifax (Canada), remaining there until its return to Hessen in 1783.
The regiment was disbanded in 1788.
Service during the War
|Voices from the Past|
|On August 5, 1758, a captured Hessian militiaman dies|
In the spring of 1758, Hessian militia were assembled and used, along with Hanoverian jägers, to guard the roads of the country. On July 23, the regiment took part in the Combat of Sandershausen where it was placed in the centre. After the initial engagement, it fell into disorder. The grenadiers of the regiment had been grouped with the grenadiers of the other Landmiliz units present at the battle and placed on the right wing near the Fulda River. Throughout the battle, these grenadiers poured a deadly fire on the French infantry causing very heavy casualties.
Hessian troops wore a uniform in the Prussian style including the grenadier and fusilier hat.
|Coat||dark blue with 6 large pewter buttons arranged 2-2-2 on the chest; 2 smaller pewter button on the right side at the waist; 3 small pewter buttons on each side to fasten the basques
|Gaiters||black fastened with small pewter buttons|
Troopers were armed with a sword (brass hilt) a bayonet and a musket which was fitted with a leather carry strap.
Officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following differences:
- a white stock
- a silver gorget
- no shoulder strap
- no turnback
- a silver silk sash shot with red flecks.
NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates without shoulder strap with a silver edging on each cuff as their sole distinctives. They carried the Prussian style partizan. The standard staff was black.
By the Seven Years War the convention of wearing reversed colours had disappeared. The Garrison Regiments drummers now wore a simpler version of the usual drummer uniform. They had the same dark blue coat but only white and red livery lace placed around the 'swallows nests' on the shoulder.
Drum barrels were of polished brass and were decorated with the Hessian lion The drum cords were white and, for this regiment, the rim was a pattern of alternating red and white diagonal stripes with a thin sky blue stripe edging every diagonal.
To the present day, a definitive reconstruction of the Hesse-Cassel colours during the Seven Years' War is non-existent. All existing publications are mostly speculative. The Leib (colonel) colour was probably white and the regimental colour assumed orange.
Here follows a tentative reconstruction of these colours used till 1767 (black flag poles).
Uniformen von Hessen-Cassel, 1769 unter Landgraf Friedrich, nach gleichzeitigen colorierten Zeichnungen vom Hauptmann Bornemann in der Bibliothek des Hessischen Geschichtsvereins
Henry, Mark: Hessian Army of the 7 Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VII No. 3
Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Thalmann, G.F.: Abbildungen und Beschreibung des Fürstes Hessen-Casselschen Militair-Stantes unter der Regierung Landgraf Friedrich des Zweiten bis zum Jahre 1786 (Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg, no. E195/2)
Witzel, Rudolf: Hessen Kassels Regimenter in der Alliierten Armee 1762, Norderstedt 2007
Michael Zahn for the research and Frédéric Aubert for the plates