The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

German Soldiers!

Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777

Caption: Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777

The English government had decided to "hire" from German princes the services of their small armies to reinforce its own. At the time, Germany, except for Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony, was divided into hundreds of small autonomous states. Thus, beginning in 1776, thousands of German soldiers crossed the Atlantic to fight alongside the British.

These British and German troops together totalled 8,000 men, approximately 5,000 of whom came from Brunswick and Hesse-Hanau. All were under the supreme command of General John Burgoyne, supported by General Friedrich Adolphus von Riedesel of Brunswick. Burgoyne's primary task was to rid Canada of the Americans, which he accomplished easily in 1776. The next year he was to go with his army to Albany in New York State to join up with the forces of General William Howe. This would cut into two the United States of America - the American colonies had declared their independence on July 4, 1776 - and thus make it easier to neutralize them.