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Organization: Not unlike the organization of the infantry regiment, there are varying numbers and organizational structures given for the Jager detachment. According to the treaty signed between Britain and Anhalt Zerbst, the so-called ‘Chasseur detachment’ was to consist of 12 Jagers and 1 NCO. However, Max von Eelking places the strength of the Anhalt Jagers at 100 men, split into two detachments under Captain Zacharias Nuppenau (sometimes seen as Keppenau) and a Lieutenant Jaritz. Author J.P. Wilhelmy agrees with this number in his book titled German Mercenaries in Canada.
However, the actual number of Jagers appears to be significantly lower than 100. Virginia DeMarce provides a roster of the Anhalt Zerbst contingent in her publication. While she does not break down the contingent according to organization, she does differentiate between infantry, artillery, and Jager (she calls them Rangers). Compiling the list of individuals labeled as ‘Ranger’, we have a roster of 34 Jagers with 3 NCO’s and 1 Bugler for a detachment of 38 men. This number also appears to agree with the number given by Lt. Colonel von Creuzbourg of the Hesse Hanau Jagers. Therefore, based off of one secondary and one primary source, it is highly likely that the Jager contingent consisted of anywhere between 30-40 men, at least in Canada. Anhalt Jagers could also have been in New York, but no direct evidence supporting this has yet to be found. If there were Anhalt Jagers in New York, then the actual number sent could conceivably be closer to 100.
The actual commander of the Jager detachment is still somewhat sketchy. As mentioned, von Eelking lists Captain Nuppenau as the Jager commander. However, DeMarce does not list Nuppenau as the Captain of the Jager detachment. Instead, an individual named Wilhelm de Zowadocky is listed as the senior NCO. This would make sense with a small detachment. However, it could still be possible that the Jagers were attached to Nuppenau’s infantry company, therefore making Nuppenau the commander.
Uniform: The uniform worn by the Anhalt Jagers is completely unknown. The unit could have worn the traditional Jager uniform as worn by the other principalities, or it could have worn the same uniform as the infantry (white coats with red facings). However, it is more likely that the Jagers wore the Austrian pattern Jager uniform. The Anhalt infantry is well documented as wearing Austrian inspired uniforms, therefore it could be possible that the Jagers wore a uniform based off of the Austrian Jagers. The uniform worn by the Austrian Jagers at this time consisted of a grey single breasted coat with green turnbacks, cuffs, and collars with grey trousers. Also included was a black Corsican style hat with a green plume topped with white. However, as previously mentioned, there is no evidence about the Anhalt Jager uniform, so the adoption of the Austrian pattern Jager uniform is merely supposition.
Service: As far as can be seen, the Anhalt Jagers never saw combat. They were however involved in a small expedition in September of 1780. The expedition was under the command of Lt. Colonel Carleton and consisted of the light company from the 44th Foot, Castendyk’s Hanau Jager company, and a detachment of Anhalt Jagers consisting of 15 men and 1 NCO. On September 14th the expedition departed Point Levi opposite Quebec and moved into the woods to scout the approach that Arnold took in 1775. The purpose of this scout is unclear, it was likely launched to scout the approaches to Quebec from Vermont along Hazen’s Road. It appears that the expedition made no contact and returned to Quebec 12 days later on the 25th.
On July 1st, again in 1780, Lt. Colonel Creuzbourg wrote the following about the Anhalt Jagers: “Among the Zerbst troops is a corps of Jagers, 32 men, who come as spectators and are astonished when they view our excellent target practice. Brigadier von Rauschenplatt asked me to teach his Jagers sharpshooting; consequently six of his men arrive daily to learn how to shoot and they are progressing very nicely.” The Anhalt Jagers appear to have taken part in many exercises in and around Quebec, probably attached to the Anhalt Infantry regiment. According to a map drawn by Lt. Michael Bach of the Hanau Artillery of a maneuver at Point Levi in September of 1782, the Anhalt Jagers held an outpost on a wooded hill while maneuvers were conducted by the infantry and artillery.
In May of 1782, six Jager recruits were sent from Anhalt, possibly on board the HMS Jupiter. Also included on this ship were 48 recruits destined for the Hanau Frei Corps stationed in New York. Perhaps this is evidence that there were Anhalt Jagers also posted in New York? At any rate, all six recruits never made the voyage as they died of a fever that ravaged the convoy. The six Jagers that died on ship were: Sergeant Hens, Privates Bandel, Rash, Bernhard, Rohlfahrt, and Nies. These six Jagers were not the only men to die from the Jager detachment. In October of 1778, senior NCO Zowadocky and private Thuemens died in Quebec.
Roster (alphabetical order- last name/first name/age/city/principality/rank):
- Baumgarten, Johann, 30-31, Sagan-Silesia, Jager
- Bertong, Heinrich, 29-30, Denstaedt-Saxony, Jager
- Biebler, Friedrich, 32-33, Eberstadt-Schwarzburg, Jager
- Bimms, Christian, 25-26, Leipzig——–, Jager
- Boehler, Andreas, 23-24, Arnstadt-Schwarzburg, Jager
- Brandenburg, Johann, 38-39, Luebben-Saxony, Jager
- Bromme, Paul, 25-26, Ottenhausen-Saxony, Corporal
- Dickert, Christoph, 36-37, Oberspiere-Schwarzburg, Jager
- Eiserbeck, Heinrich, 23-24, Weiden-Anhalt Zerbst, Jager
- Gehman, Joseph, 30-31, Blankenburg-Braunschweig, Jager
- Graeffe, Christian, 24-25, Magdeburg-Magdeburg, Jager
- Haase, Andreas, 21-22, Rotischagen-Stollberg, Jager
- Hellriegel, Heinrich, 26, Gietsdorff-Eisenach, Jager
- Heyer, Michael, 25-26, Graeffenrode-Saxony-Gotha, Jager
- Hoeffer, Friedrich, 36-37, Leipzig-Saxony, Jager
- Hoffmann, Lebrecht, 27-28, Langendorff-Saxony, Jager
- John, Andreas, 50-51, Berga-Schwarzburg, Jager
- John, Guenther, 19-20, Berga-Schwarzburg, Jager
- Karosch, Joseph, 28-29, Neveclau-Bohemia, Jager
- Korg, Gottlob, 22-23, Weissenfels-Saxony, Jager
- Krause, Gottlob 31-32, Schwarzenberg-Saxony, Bugler
- Liebeke, Gottlob, 28-29, Gietz-Saxony, Jager
- Nuernberger, Friedrich, 27-28, Schoenwerda-Saxony, Sergeant
- Peltzholdt, Gottfried, —–, ———————–, Jager
- Pezold, Friedrich, 32-33, Weissenfels-Saxony, Jager
- Pfahl, Christian, 20-21, Langensalza-Saxony, Jager
- Pfleger, Volkmar, ——,———————, Jager
- Ritter, Christoph, 27-28, Bendeleben-Saxony, Jager
- Schoedensan, Friedrich, 22-23, Gickenberg, Schwarzburg, Jager
- Schericke, Christian, 47-48, Magdeburg-Magdeburg, Jager
- Sieghard, Carl, 26-29, Anspach-Anspach Bayreuth, Jager
- Spindler, Ludwig, 37-38, Anspach-Anspach Bayreuth, Jager
- Stellriegel, Heinrich, 27, Gielsdorff-Eisenach, Jager
- Thile, Christian, 27-30, Koenigsluther-Braunschweig, Jager
- Walther, August, 42-43, Sondershausen-Schwarzburg, Jager
- Wencke, Christoph, 40-39, Klingen-Schwarzburg, Jager
- Winckler, Christoph, 22-23, Kobelsdorff-Anhalt Zerbst, Jager
- Zowadocky, Wilhelm de, ——-,——————, Senior Sergeant
Credits: I would like to thank the following people for their assistance with research: Gavin Watt of the Kings Royal Yorkers, Tim Logue and members of the Infanterie Regiment von Donop, and Eric Schnitzer of HM 62nd Regiment of Foot.
British Library, Haldimand Papers, Add Mss 21743- Orders dated September 11th and September 13th 1780.
Burgoyne, Bruce. Notes From the British Museum. Bowie MD: Heritage Books, 2004.
Creuzbourg, Carl Adolph Christoph von. John C. Zuleger trans. Order Book of the Hesse Hanau FeldJager Corps 1777-1783. Morristown NHP, Lidgerwood Collection Letter HZ-4.
Creuzbourg, Carl Adolph Christoph von. John C. Zuleger trans. Reports of the Hesse Hanau Jager Corps 1777-1783. Morristown NHP, Lidgerwood Collection Letter Q.
Davenport, Frances ed. Treaty of Subsidy Between Great Britain and Anhalt-Zerbst Concluded at Stade, April 23, 1778 in European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies. Washington DC: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1917-1937.
DeMarce, Virginia Easley. Mercenary Troops From Anhalt Zerbst Germany Who Served With the British Forces During the American Revolution. McNeal AZ: Westland Publications, 1984.
Duffy, Christopher. Instrument of War. Rosemont IL: Emperor’s Press, 2000.
Eelking, Max von. German Allied Troops in the North American War of Independence 1776-1783. Bowie MD: Heritage Books, 1987.
Haythornthwaite, Philip. The Austrian Army 1740-80: 3 Specialist Troops. Oxford: Osprey Military Publishing, 1995.
Le Blanc, Lieutenant. John C. Zuleger trans. Journal of the Hesse Hanau Jager Corps 1777-1782. Morristown NHP, Lidgerwood Collection Letter O.
Wilhelmy, J.P. German Mercenaries in Canada. Quebec: Maison Des Mots, 1985.
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