Re-enactment of the Battle of Saratoga
The Turning Point of the American Revolution
Hired German Soldiers

These are soldiers from the Brunswick Army. These hired soldiers are often mistakenly called Hessians. Actually, Germany at the time was divided up into many little principalities. All German soldiers were not Hessians: they were mostly Brunswickers. The soldiers were hired out for each battle. Their army had been sent over by the dukes of Hesse, and these dukes were the people who profited the most from the fighting. The soldiers' pay was the same as if they had been a normal British soldier.

The German Mercenary soldiers were trained extensively. The army of Frederick the Great of Prussia was the basis of their training, and many armies afterwards have been fashioned after it. These soldiers brought their own guns and other equipment to the battles. Yet they had supply problems, also. Their supplies came from Germany and had to go through a supply depot, possibly in England, and then come to America. When the soldiers first came, they had been told that they would be issued shoes and uniforms. What they were issued were ladies slippers and cheaply made coats. After a year of being made fun of, the German soldiers eventually got their real supplies.

The German soldiers, even though they had no real belief in the cause, were forced to swear allegiance to the King of England before they could come to America to fight. If soldiers were to leave, they would be considered deserters. Quite a few did desert, and the numbers of German-Americans in Pennsylvania shows this. General Custer's descendent actually fought in the Battle of Saratoga.

Fifty percent of the soldiers at Saratoga were German. This is a much larger number than many people believe. They simply aren't aware of the different armies that actually made up the British army.

Main Page
Major General Benjamin Lincoln
Helen Smith: Wife of a Soldier
Lieutenant in the Light Infantry
Lieutenant William Cumberland Wilkinson

Wife of a Soldier

Hired German Soldiers
The American Encampment

The British Encampment