Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/27

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had been in garrison in those fortresses free for other service. No further source of supply was left but the small independent principalities of Germany.

On the other hand, the hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel, actual reigning Count of Hesse-Hanau, had written to express to His Majesty of England his zeal and attachment to the best of kings, and to offer the services of his regiment of five hundred men, “all sons of the land which the protection of your Majesty alone insures to me, and all ready to sacrifice with me their life and their blood for your service.” It must not be imagined, however, that the prince was thinking of putting his own precious blood in any danger, and the expression of the eagerness of his subjects may also be considered rhetorical. The Prince of Waldeck wrote in the same strain in November, 1775, offering six hundred men. His officers and soldiers, like their prince, asked nothing better than to find an occasion to sacrifice themselves for His Majesty.

The Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg and the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel did not at first offer their services, but Colonel Faucitt found no difficulty in entering into negotiations with them. The Margrave of Anspach-Bayreuth made an offer of two battalions in the autumn of 1775, but the treaty with him was not entered into for more than a year afterwards, and finally, in October, 1777, an agreement was made with the Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, who had long been doing all in his power to bring one about. Offers of troops on the part of the Elector of Bavaria and the Duke of Würtemberg led to no result, partly on account of the bad quality and equipment of the soldiers offered, and