Word for the Day
Following the practice of the day, King George III paid foreign mercenary troops to do much of his fighting in America. The Hessians came from the German principality of Hesse-Kassel. Although not all of the German mercenaries employed in the war came from this principality, most of them did. The name was applied to all the hired soldiers—about 30,000 in all—who fought in most of the major campaigns, usually answering to British commanders. Some Hessians stayed here after the war and became American citizens.