Fall of Ft Washington Hessian Account
Journal of John Reuber, Hessian soldier in the regiment of Colonel Johann Rall.
'7 November, in the morning before day-break, all the regiments and corps were assembled, the Hessians on the right wing at the north haven; the English troops upon the left wing at the south haven. When it was now day and the Americans perceived us, but nothing more very plainly, at once these two ships of war, on both sides, made their master-strokes upon the fort, and we began at the same time on the land with cannon, and all the regiments marched forward up the hill and were obliged to creep along up the rocks, one falling down alive, another being shot dead. We were obliged to drag ourselves by the beech-tree bushes up the height where we could not really stand
At last, however, we got about on the top of the hill where there were trees and great stones. We had a hard time of it there together. Because they l now had no idea of yielding, Col. Rall gave the word of command, thus: "All that are my grenadiers, march forwards!" All the drummers struck up the march, the hautboy-players blew. At once all that were yet alive shouted, "Hurrah!" Immediately all were mingled together, Americans and Hessians There was no more firing, but all ran forward pell-mell upon the fortress. |
Before we came up, the Americans had a trench about the fortress, as soon, as we were within which, the order came to halt. Then the Americans had a mind to run out through us, but then came the command: "Hold! you are all prisoners of war." The fort was at once demanded by Gen. V. Kniphausen. The Rebels were allowed two hours for capitulating; when they were expired, the fort was surrendered to General V. Kniphausen with all the munitions of war and provisions belonging thereto within and without the furl, all guns and arms were to be laid down, and when all this was done, Ralts regiment and the old Lossberg, being made to form into two lines fachn~ each other, they were required to march out between the two regiments and deposit their guns and other weapons.
Then came the English and took them to New York into custody, and when the first transport was off, the second marched out of the citadel and was as strong as the first, and they also were conducted to New York inso confinement. And when all this was got through with, it was night. thus the Hessians took possession of the fort, and the rest marched again round so Kingsbridge into our old camp we had before stopped so long. Then came the order that the fort should be called Fort Kniphausen.