The Army of Hesse-Hanau, 1764–1785

Hesse-Hanau Infantry Regiment Erbrinz von Hesse-Cassel

With the death of Count Johann Reinhard III. of Hanau, in 1736, the male line of Hanau ended. The lands of Hanau-Münzenberg fell to Landgrave William VIII. of Hesse-Cassel, based on an agreement of inheritance dated 1643, and Hanau-Lichtenberg was granted to Prince Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt, who had been married to Reinhard's only daughter Charlotte from 1717 until her death in 1726.

William VIII. initially left the county of Hanau to his grandson William (IX.), later Elector William I. of Hesse, who ruled the county of Hanau as Prince of Hesse-Cassel from 1764 to 1785. Upon his inauguration as Landgrave William IX. of Hesse-Cassel, in 1785, the county of Hanau was incorporated into Hesse-Cassel, which was eventually elevated to a duchy in 1803.

The grenadiers of the Erbprinz-Regiment pictured above were sculpted by Peter Laing, the inventor of 15 mm wargame miniatures.

The Army of Hesse-Hanau

  • Infanterie-Regiment Erbprinz von Hessen-Cassel
  • Jäger Batallion
  • Freibataillon
  • Artillery Company

On 5 February 1776 the count of Hanau agreed to supply an infantry regiment and an artillery company, a total of 900 men, for service in the American colonies, in return for British subsidy payments. The Jäger Batallion followed in 1777, and a Freibataillon in 1781. Replacements of 400 men were sent to America in 1781 and 1782, which increased the troop committment to 2,422 soldiers, of whom 981 did not return to Hanau. Of the missing men, many had become casualties of the war, but the majority had stayed and settled in America.

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American Revolutionary War Miniatures