Fortune’s Fickleness

“The good fortune of the war which I had always such great cause to praise in my humble letters and of which I humbly venture to hope your Serene Highness may have read with great pleasure, has given to us, and to each brave Hessian, a sad example of her fickleness. It is needless for me to write of the sorrow caused to me by the first news and contriteness overwhelms me when duty’s dictates oblige me to communicate the news to your Higness, as I know only too well how the loss of these true subjects will affect your Serene Highness. The three regiments, namely Lossberg’s, Knyphausen’s and Rall’s, which had been stationed in New Jersey, were surprised by the rebels during the night of December 27th [sic], who in overpowering force surrounded and captured them after nearly one hour of resistance, during which time all the then staff officers and the greater part of the others were either killed or wounded… At the same time 15 standards and 6 cannon were lost.”

General de Heister, commander of Hessian troops in North America, in a letter to Landgrave Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel, 5 January 1777.

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