Wutginau, Heinrich Wilhelm von

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Wutginau, Heinrich Wilhelm von

Hessian Major-General (1748-56), Lieutenant-General (1756-72), General of infantry (1772-76) and governor of Rheinfels (1763-76)

born 1698

died 10-10-1776 Rheinfels Castle, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel

Description

Wutginau entered service in 1718. In 1748 he was made Major-General and in 1756 Lieutenant General.

In the spring of 1757 Wutginau was in command of the Hessian troops (12 battalions and 12 squadrons) that joined the army of the Duke of Cumberland. His first major engagement in this position was the Battle of Hastenbeck on July 26. After the Duke of Cumberland was replaced by Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, Wutginau was put in command of the left wing of the first line.

In 1758, when the army set off for the Rhine, Wutginau commanded the second line which included the 11,490 Hessian troops. He was then assigned to Georg Ludwig von Zastrow, who led one of the advancing columns. Wutginau crossed the Rhine on June 5 at Rees. At the Battle of Krefeld on June 23 he was assigned to Friedrich von Spörcken's left wing.

On April 13 1759, at the Battle of Bergen Wutginau was assigned to the right wing of the Duke of Holstein. He then was sent to Büren with 8,000 men to set up a permanent camp. After having driven the French forces away he returned to the main force. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Minden on August 1, where he was in command of one of the eight columns.

Following the death of Landgrave William VIII on February 1 1760, the Hessian army was increased considerably, leaving Wutginau in command of over 23,000 men now. However, while Wutginau remained with the Duke of Brunswick and the main army, most of the Hessian troops served with von Spörcken in Westphalia. Wutginau does not seem to have made an impression as he was not entrusted with any challenging missions.

Following the Battle of Vellinghausen on July 16, 1761 however, the Duke of Brunswick reported to King George III that Wutginau had contributed to the victory 'through exceptional bravery‘ and he was granted a reward of 4,000 Reichsthaler.

Wutginau resigned his command on February 28, 1762 and was replaced by the Prince of Anhalt. On this occasion Spörcken reported to the king that the army had lost “an upright, courageous man, who with great eager had preserved the good harmony between the troops of Hannover and Hesse-Cassel at all times.”

In 1763 Wutginau was made governor of the Rheinfels Castle and stronghold near St Goar. In 1772 he was promoted to General of Infantry. He died there at the age of 79 on October 10, 1776 and is buried in the Stiftskirche.

Wutginau was one of the first recipients of the House-order of the Golden Lion in 1770.

References

This article is mostly a translation of the article "Heinrich Wilhelm von Wutginau" of Wikipedia, a publication available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Acknowledgement

Stephen Westfall for the initial version of this article