In the British army, grenadier companies were detached from their parent regiments and combined together into composite, elite battalions. A similar arrangement was undertaken in the Hessian army. Colonel Friedrich Ludwig von Minnigerode's battalion consisted of the grenadier companies of the Erbprinz, Ditfurth, Lossberg and Knyphausen regiments (each of which can be clearly distinguished by their differently coloured facings). This unit fought at Long Island, White Plains, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. It was stationed at New York from 1778-83 and took part in the British expedition against Charleston in 1780.
This battalion was one of the first Hessian units to arrive in America. A diarist who witnessed the departure of the troops in Kassel noted that the grenadier battalions were very eager to get to grips with the enemy, in contrast to the lack of enthusiasm shown by other regiments. An officer in a sister grenadier regiment who took part in the landing at Long Island in August 1776 saw American riflemen withdrawing before the Hessians after a half-hearted exchange of fire and wrote "you can well imagine how our Hessian grenadiers gnash their teeth with eagerness, because they cannot run on these rascals...". Much scorn is directed at the Hessian "mercenaries" who fought for King George in the war, but the best Hessian regiments were excellent, well-motivated troops.
These are from the Perry Miniatures range. Painted June 2006. 24 figures.