Malcolm Forbes '41 Collection

of

American Revolutionary War Soldiers

in

the Battles of Trenton and Princeton


Description and Images


Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton University Library
2000



    Princeton Battlefield Area Preservation Society Model Soldier Identification (descriptions and images)     Regiments in the Battles of Trenton and Princeton

British Foot Soldiers

•17th Regiment
Men - cocked hat, red coat with white facing, white trousers
Officers - same as above with red sash and sword

•40th Regiment
Men - cocked hat, red coat with buff facing, buff trousers
Officers - same as above with red sash and sword

•42nd Regiment (The Black Watch)
Men - bonnet, red coat with green facing, kilt
Officers - same as above with red sash and sword

•55th Regiment
Men - cocked hat, red coat with green facing, white trousers
Officers - same as above with red sash and sword

Light Infantry
Men - conical hat with silver marking, red coat, buff facing, buff trousers
Officers - same as above with red sash

•Grenadiers
Men - bearskin hat, red coat, white facing, white trousers
Officers - same as above with red sash and sword


British Cavalry: 16th Dragoons

Troopers - plumed hat, red coat, white trousers, saber, black horse
Officers - Same as above, silver dress epaulet on left shoulder, grey horse


Hessian Foot Soldiers

Rall's Grenadiers
Men - peaked gold hat, dark blue coat with red facing, white trousers, and mustaches
Officers - cocked hat, dark blue coat, red and gold facing, white trousers, red sash and sword, and mustaches

Von Lossberg Fusiliers
Men - conical gold hat, dark blue coat, orange facing, white trousers
Officers - cocked hat, dark blue coat with orange and gold facing, white trousers, red sash and sword

Von Knyphausen Fusiliers
Men - conical gold hat, dark blue coat, dark blue facing, buff trousers
Officers - cocked hat, dark blue coat, dark blue and gold facing, buff trousers, red sash and sword


Hessian Cavalry: Mounted Jaegers

Troopers - cocked hat, green jacket, white trousers, rifle, brown horse
Officers - cocked hat with plume, green long coat, white trousers, saber, black horse


American Foot and Artillery Soldiers

•Rifle Regiment (typical)
Men - cocked hat, white fringed jacket, white trousers
Officers - as above with red sash and sword

•Rifle Regiment (typical)
Men - cocked hat, dark blue fringed jacket, white trousers
Officers - cocked hat, dark blue fringed jacket, dark blue trousers, red sash and sword

•Continental Line Regiment (typical)
Men - cocked hat, blue coat with red facing, buff trousers
Officers - same as above with red sash and sword

Continental Artillery
Men - cocked hat, blue coat, red facing, white trousers
Officers - cocked hat, blue coat, red and gold facing, white trousers, red sash and sword

Continental Marines
Men - black round hat, green coat, white facing, white trousers
Officers - same as above with silver epaulet on right shoulder

•14th Continental Line (Glover's Marblehead)
Men - cocked hat, dark blue coat, white facing, white pantaloons
Officers - cocked hat, dark blue coat, white and gold facing, white trousers, sword

•Haslet's Delaware Regiment (The Delaware Blues)
Men -conical hat, blue coat, red facing, buff trousers
Officers - as above with red sash


American Cavalry: Philadelphia City Troops

Troopers - plumed hat, brown coat, white trousers, saber, black horse
Officers - same as above with silver epaulets and grey horse


George Washington

Mounted on his grey horse, cocked hat, blue coat, buff trousers, and the blue ribbon of the Commander-in-Chief


American Regiments in the Battles of Trenton and Princeton

Under the "Old Establishment" many American Regiments that had numerical designations were usually referred to by the name of a regimental Colonel, whether or not he was still with the unit. In the listings of the regiments that were engaged in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, both designations are used when possible. It should be remembered that many enlistments of the Continental Regiments expired at the end of 1776, and only remnants, responding to a re-enlistment bonus offer, remained to fight in the Battle of Princeton. It should also be remembered that the various regiments at that time wore whatever clothing was available and that uniforms varied considerably within a given unit. For this reason we have tried to show a somewhat typical uniform in our miniatures for the American regiments.

The regiments that were present at these battles, using the designation(T) or (P) for those only at Princeton or Trenton, were as follows:

Continental Line Regiments

Delaware - Haslet

New Hampshire - 2d (Reed), 5th (Stark), 8th (Poor)

Massachusetts - 4th (Nixon), 12th (Little), 13th (Reed), 14th (Glover), 15th (Pattersoon), 16th (Sargent), 23rd (Bailey), 26th (Baldwin), 27th (Hutchinson), (T), 4th Massachusetts (Shepard)

Rhode Island -9th (Varnum), 11th (Hitchcock)

Connecticut - 19th (Webb), 20th (Durkee) (T)

New York -1st Virginia (Read), 3rd Virginia (Weedon), 4th Virginia (Elliot), 5th Virginia (scott0, 6th Virginia (Buckner)

Pennsylvania -2nd Pennsylvania (De Haas), (P), 8th Pennsylvania (Brodhead0 (P), 10th Pennsylvania (Penrose) (P), 11th Pennsylvania (Humpton) (P)

Maryland -1st Maryland (Stone) (T)

Continental Rifle Regiments

Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment (Hand), Miles State Rifle regiment (Miles), 12th Pennsylvania (Cooke) (P)

Maryland and Virginia Rifle regiment (Rawlings)

Continental Artillery - - (Knox) (T) - this unit was split up between various brigades for the Battle of Princeton

Continental Marines - (Nicholas) (P), (Shippen) (P)

Militia Foot Regiments

Connecticut - (Chester), (Ward), (Bradley) (T)

Delaware - (Rodney)

New Jersey Gloucester County - (Ellis), (Somers), (Seeley) (T)

Cumberland County - (Newcomb), (Potter)

Salem County - ( Dick), (Holmes) (T)

Burlington County - (Borden) (T), (Reynolds) (T)

Hunterdon County - (Chambers) (T), (Hunt) (T), (Mehelm) (T), (Smith) (T)

Pennsylvania and Maryland German Regiment - (Haussegger)

Pennsylvania Chester County - (Moore)

Cumberland County - (Watts), (Montgomery)

Lancaster County - (Klotz)

York County - (McAllister)

Bucks County - (Hart)

Rhode Island - (Lippitt)

Militia Rifle Regiments

Pennsylvania - (Morgan), (Bayard), (Nixon)

Philadelphia - (Matlack)

Militia Light Infantry Regiments

Philadelphia - (Henry) (P)

Militia Artillery

Pennsylvania State

New Jersey State (P)

Virginia State (T)

Militia Cavalry

Philadelphia First City Troop

The total number of American troops involved in the first Battle of Trenton was about 2,400 and in the Battle of Princeton about 6,000. The opposing force at Trenton was about 1,600 and at Princeton about 850.


British Soldiers in the Battle of Princeton


4th Brigade under Lt. Colonel Charles Mawheed

This Brigade entered Princeton on January 2, 1777, to take over the garrisoning of the town from the already departed 2nd Brigade under Brigadier General Leslie, and it was apparently quite unfamiliar with the locale, as demonstrated by the failure to re-establish a picket post at the Quaker Road (General Leslie had placed 100 men on alert duty there).

The 4th Brigade consisted of the following units:

17th Regiment of British Foot                 - about 246 men
40th Regiment of British Foot                 - about 333 men
55th Regiment of British Foot                 - about 116 men
1 troop, 16th Dragoons, Mounted          - about 30 men
6 troops, 16th Dragoons, unmounted      - about 204 men
less troops at Hillsborough                      - 70 men
Total at Princeton                               about 859 men

Casualties suffered by these troops at the Battle of Princeton were reported to be as follows:

                                                Killed     Wounded     Missing or Captured
17th Regiment of British Foot     13         53                     35
40th Regiment of British Foot     0           1                       93
55th Regiment of British Foot     5           4                       72
Total                                         18         58                     200
 

There is no report of Dragoon casualties.

Of those killed, one was an officer - Captain William Leslie, son of General Leslie. Five officers were wounded and four were captured. The Americans suffered about 35 killed, including Brigadier General Mercer of New Jersey, Colonel Haslet of Delaware, Colonel Porter of Massachusetts, Captain Neil of the New Jersey Artillery, Captain Fleming of Virginia and Captain Shippen of the Marines. No Americans were captured and the number of wounded was not reported.


Hessian Soldiers in the Battle of Trenton

The British Light Infantry and the British Grenadiers were composite regiments drawn from 18 Foot Regiments, in the case of the Grenadiers, and 21 Foot Regiments in the case of the Grenadiers. The Light Infantry and the Grenadier Regiments took part in the second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777, as part of the British and Hessian forces that re-occupied Trenton in the face of the American delaying actions on that date.

The 42nd British Regiment of Foot, the Black Watch, was stationed in Bordentown with Colonel von Donop's Hessian Brigade during the first Battle of Trenton. On December 29, 1776, they moved to the outskirts of Maidenhead (Lawerenceville). Thereafter they took part with the von Donop Brigade in the skirmishes of the second Battle of Trenton.

Rall's Brigade

Came to America in 1776 under the command of Major General Werner von Mirbach. When the General suffered a paralytic stroke after the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, the command was turned over to Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall, who commanded the Grenadier Regiment in the Brigade.

The Brigade was moved to New Jersey from New York on November 28, 1776, and took up quarters in Trenton on December 14, 1776. Another Hessian brigade under Colonel von Donop moved to Bordentown on that date and was not engaged during the first Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776 (the second day of Christmas according to German custom).

Rall's Brigade consisted of three regiments, Rall's Regiment of Grenadiers, von Lossberg's and von Knyphausen's regiments of Fusiliers, each with identical tables of organization as follows:

4 companies, 21 officers, 60 non-commissioned officers, 5 surgeons, 22 drummers, and 525 enlisted men - for a total of 633 men per regiment. The actual strength of the Hessian Brigade at the first Battle of Trenton was reported to be 1566, including 50 Jaegers and 20 men from the British 16th Dragoon Regiment.

Casualties suffered by the Hessian brigade at the first Battle of Trenton were as follows:

                                        Killed or missing     Wounded     Captured
Rall's Grenadiers                 13*                         11                 280
von Lussberg's Fusiliers         7                           58                 278
von Knyphausen's Fusiliers    2                           14                 310
Total                                   22                           83                 868**

* Including Colonel Rall
** Plus 23 officers

In addition , about 27 of the wounded Hessians would appear to have been captured, since General Washington reported to congress a total of 918 captured. Few, if any, of the Jaegers and Dragoons were casualties. Fifty-three of the Hessian escapees went to Princeton, and the remainder went to join Colonel von Donop at Bordentown, and presumably took part with that brigade in the second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777.

American losses in the first Battle of Trenton as reported by General Washington to Congress were 2 officers (Captain William Washington and Lt. James Monroe, a future President of the United States) and two men wounded. None were killed.



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