or, "How do we know that?"
In the on-going effort to recreate the life and times of a Hessian soldier of the 18th century, information must be gathered from many disparate people, places and things. One the first sources of information that we have are the writings left by the participants themselves, collected variously in the form of diaries or journals, letters, memoirs, treaties, diplomatic notes, regulations, government documents, laws and of course, the paperwork that necessarily accompanies any army that can read.
Another rich source of information are contemporary illustrations, either in the portraits of officers, or the illlustrations made for various reasons by the artists illustrators of the 18th century. The Landgraf Friedrich commissioned several sets of watercolors detailing the appearences of his regiments both before and after the American War.
Still more information can be obtained from still existing artifacts, whether in museums or private collections.
It is the study and evaluation of all of these sources taken together that allows us to create an impression.
A partial list of currently available print sources on the Hessians and other German troops during the American Revolution (by author or translator)
- The Hessians, Mercenaries from Hessen-Kassel in the American Revolution, by Rodney Atwood, Cambridge University Press, 1980
- Defeat, Disaster, and Dedication by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1997
- Diaries of a Hessian Chaplain and the Chaplain's Assistant, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, 1990
- Diaries of Two Ansbach Jaegers, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1997
- Diary of Lieutenant von Bardeleben and other von Donop Regiment Documents, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1998
- Eighteenth Century America: A Hessian Report on the People, the Land, the War as Noted in the Diary of Chaplain Philipp Waldeck (1776-1780), translated by Bruce Burgoyne, 1995
- Enemy Views: The AMerican Revolutionary War as Recorded by the Hessian Participants, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1997
- Georg Pausch's Journal and Reports of the Campaign in America, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1996
- Hessian Diary of the American Revolution, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, University of Oklahoma Press, 1990
- Hessian Officer's Diary of the American Revolution, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1994
- Hesse-Cassel Mirbach Regiment in the American Revolution, translated by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1998
- Waldeck Soldiers of the American Revolutionary War, compiled by Bruce Burgoyne, Heritage Books, 1991
- The American Revolution, Garrison Life in French Canada and New York: Journal of an Officer in the Prinz Friedrich Regiment, 1776-1783, translated by Helga Doblin, Greenwood Press, 1993
- Eyewitness Account of the American Revolution and New England Life: The Journal of J.F. Wasmus, German Company Surgeon, 1776-1783, translated by Helga Doblin, Greenwood Press, 1990
- The Specht Journal: A Military Journal of the Burgoyne Campaign, translated by Helga Doblin, Greenwood Press, 1995
- German Allied Troops in the North American War of Independence, 1776-1783, by Max von Eelking, Heritage Books, 1987
- Diary of the American War, by Johann Ewald, translated by Joseph Tustin, Yale University Press, 1979
- Treatise on Partisan Warfare, by Johann Ewald, translated by Robert Selig and David Curtis Skaggs, Greenwood Press, 1991
- The Hessian Mercenary State: Ideas, Institutions, and Reform under Frederick II 1760-1785, by Charles Ingrao, Cambridge University Press, 1987
- The Hessian View of America: 1776-1783, by Ernst Kipping, Philip Freneau Press, 1971
- Journal of Johann Karl Philip von Krafft, 1776-1784, translated by Thomas Edsall, NY Historical Society, 1882
- The Hessians and the Other German Auxiliaries of Great Britian in the Revolutionary War, by Edward J. Lowell, Corner House Books, 1970
- Das Militar der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel zwischen 1783 und 1789, by Georg Ortenburg, Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Heereskunde e.V., 1999
- Letters from America 1776-1779: Being Letters of Brunswick, Hessian and Waldeck Officers with the British Armies During the Revolution, translated by Ray Pettengill, Kennikat Press, 1964
- Brunswick Troops in North America 1776-1783; Index of all Soldiers who Remained in North America, by Claus Reuter, Heritage Books, 1999
- Indentured to Liberty: Peasant Life and the Hessian Military State, 1688-1815, by Peter K. Taylor, Cornell University Press, 1994
- German Allied Troops in the American Revolution: J.R. Rosengarten's survey of German Archives and Sources, Edited by Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Heritage Books, 1993
- The Baroness and the General, by Louise Hall Tharp, Little, Brown and Company, 1962
- Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals 1776-1783 of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces, translated by Bernhard Uhlendorf, Rutgers University Press, 1957
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