This short list of books is recommended to introduce the researcher to the political, social, and cultural structure of Hessen society which precipitated the "selling" of Hessian troops to the British to help quell the American Revolution. They further contain a chronology of the experiences of the Hessian soldiers, including specific battles, names of the officers, capture and release, and the return of some soldiers to Germany. By understanding the circumstances surrounding the Hessian involvement in the American Revolution and the specific places where the Hessian soldiers were engaged, the researcher will be able to place his or her own ancestor in context to the larger war. As the researcher moves beyond the war experience and the possible defection of the Hessian soldier, there will be other books which give information about the place in which the soldier settled, the social structure and culture of American society at the close of the 18th century, and of his life in America which makes it possible to write an interesting story.

1. Atwood, Rodney, The Hessians: Mercenaries from Hessen-Kassel in the American Revolution. (1980) Cambridge University Press, 32 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022. E268.A89 973.3'42. 79-20150. ISBN ) 521 22884 0. - A comprehensive history of the Hessian involvement in the American Revolution beginning with the roots of the German soldier trade and continuing through the recruitment, transfer to America, battles, prisoners, and the impact of the war on Hessen.

2. Enemy Views: The American Revolutionary War As Recorded by the Hessian Participants. Compiled, Edited, and with an Introduction by Bruce E. Burgoyne. 1996. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc. 1540 E Pointer Ridge Place. 20716. 1-800-398-7709. - Burgoyne has meticulously translated from the diaries of Hessian soldiers and compiled a chronological account of the war from the Hessian perspective. Relevant historical facts are interspersed with the words of the Hessians.

3. The Johannes Schwalm Historical Association. Johannes Schwalm The Hessian. 1976. Millville, PA: Precision Printers, Inc. - This book is not only the story of Johannes Schwalm, but also of his homeland, of the Hessian soldiers as they were put into the service of King George III of Great Britain, the fancy uniforms, their departure from Hessen and the ocean crossing to America; also told was the behavior of the Hessians in America, their battles and captures, and the appeal of America which induced many soldiers to remain.

4. Kipping, Ernst. 1971. The Hessian View of America 1776-1783. Monmouth Beach, NJ: Philip Freneau Press. - In addition to a brief introduction into the Hessian involvement in the American Revolution, Kipping discusses the views of the Hessian soldiers and their thoughts which led many of them to desert and remain in America.

5. Lowell, Edward J. 1884 (reprinted in 1965). The Hessians and the Other German Auxiliaries of great Britain in the Revolutionary War. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, Inc. - As one of the earliest histories of the Hessian auxiliaries in the American Revolution, Lowell presents the political situation in Hessen and the treaties which led to Hessian soldiers fighting for the British in America; and the circumstance of being a soldier who goes to America, engages in battle, and is subsequently defeated by the Americans.

Many of these books are out of print and very costly to purchase. You may be able to find some or all in your own local library; however, if your library does not have these books in its collection, the librarian will be able to order each of the books by interlibrary loan. It usually takes two weeks or more to obtain them, but they can be kept for a few weeks and often can be extended by making a telephone call to the library. You may wish to order a number of them at a time, as they will come in at different times. A note of caution: some libraries will not order genealogy books due to the large number of requests by genealogists. To get around this, put the subject of the book as "history", "sociology", or "American Revolution". Avoid using "genealogy" as the subject matter.

Below are websites which provide both general and specific information on Hessen and Hessian soldiers. Some provide links to other websites not listed here.

1. Anspach-Bayreuth deserter list:

2. Index of the Archives of the AmRev Hessians Genealogy List: 3. Don Watson's Hessen Germany Website:

3. Don Watson's Hessen Germany Website:

4. Webpage for Johannes Zeth, Hessian Soldier:

5. Cyndi Howells Webpage:

6. FEEFHS Index:

7.  Bing Translations (German to English, etc.): 8. Homepage for the German Archives in Marburg, Germany:

8. Immigrant Genealogy Society:

10. The German Heritage Page:

11. Family Research in Hesse:

Bruce E. Burgoune's Web Site:

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E-Mail can be sent to Hal Schwalm
JSHA Web Links 2.1, last updated 11/8/2013