A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution

Johann Conrad Dohla, Author, Bruce E. Burgoyne, Editor
Johann Conrad Dohla, Author, Bruce E. Burgoyne, Editor University of Oklahoma Press $40.25 (276p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2254-0
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Dohla served from 1777 to 1783 as a private in the Hessian mercenary forces hired by the British to help suppress the revolt in the American colonies. The campaigns of the Ansbach-Bayreuth contingent to which he belonged saw action in New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In a simple, direct manner, Dohla's diary records garrison life, marches and infrequent brushes with ``the rebels.'' The author participated in the climactic Yorktown campaign in the autumn of 1781, witnessed the formal surrender of British General Cornwallis, then spent a year and a half as a prisoner of war. The diary will interest Revolutionary War scholars--but lay readers will find this impersonal opus, edited by historian Burgoyne, dry. Though sensitive to the beauty of American towns and villages, Dohla was uninterested in character (revealing names and ranks only), and his rare interpretive comments are unsupported by example. Illustrations. (Apr.)
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