Origin and History
Under the direction of Gustavus Adolphus, Hessen became the first German state to raise Jägers.
In 1757, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the Jägers counted two companies.
During the winter of 1758-59, the unit was increased to 4 foot companies, for a total of 400 men.
By August 1759, two mounted companies had been added to the unit. These mounted troops were often used in conjunction with the Jägers as seen at the Combat of Sandershausen.
During the American War of Independence, the Jägers served in America, gaining an excellent reputation. So much so, that Frederick the Great purchased the services of key officers to train his own forces. By 1791, the force reached a size of four squadrons of horse and three battalions of foot.
The regiment was disbanded in 1806.
Service during the War
Present at countless small actions and major skirmishes throughout the war.
On July 23 1758, a company of Jägers took part in the Combat of Sandershausen. It was placed on the right wing near the Fulda River and, throughout the encounter, it poured a deadly fire on the French infantry causing very heavy casualties. On October 10, two companies of this unit took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where they were placed on the left wing of the first line.
During the first half of 1759, the unit formed part of the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to the Reserve under the command of Freytag. On April 13, it took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the vanguard of the third column under the Duke von Holstein-Gottorp. In June, 4 foot companies and 2 mounted companies of the regiment were part of Imhoff's Corps operating in Hesse.
Privates of Foot Jägers
|black tricorne without lace; a green cockade fastened with a brass button
|dark green with small brass buttons
Privates were armed with a rifle (red leather strap) and a sword (brass hilt).
Troopers of Mounted Jägers
|black tricorne with lace; green cockade fastened with a brass button
|dark green with small brass buttons
|black boots with white knee covers
The mounted Jägers were also armed with a rifle but carried a sabre instead of a sword, they would have primarily fought on foot with their mounts in the rear.
Officers dressed as the rest of the troop with no difference in uniform besides the absence of shoulder straps and turnbacks. Officers of the mounted jägers had a folden aiguillette on the right shoulder.
NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates without shoulder strap with a gold edging on each cuff as their sole distinctives.
Hornblowers wore the same uniform as the privates with swallow nests on the shoulders decorated with yellow braid with a central red stripe
Uniformen von Hessen-Cassel, 1769 unter Landgraf Friedrich, nach gleichzeitigen colorierten Zeichnungen vom Hauptmann Bornemann in der Bibliothek des Hessischen Geschichtsvereins
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 9 Bergen, Berlin, 1911, p. 51
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