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Capt.

John Paul Schott’s Independent Rifle Company;
formed 6 September 1776, attached to Ottendorff’s Corps May 1777.
Captain Schott captured at the Battle of Short Hills, 26 June 1777.

(240th Anniversary of the Battle of Short Hills, June 24-25 2017,
Oak Ridge Park, New Jersey.)
____________

Virginia rifleman William Grant writing of the Short Hills action: "They [Ottendorff’s
men] drew up immediately in order to defend their field pieces and cover our retreat and in
less than an hour and a half were entirely cut off; scarcely sixty of them returned safe out of
the field; those who did escape were so scattered over the country that a great number of
them could not rejoin the army for five or six days."
___________

Contents

1. John Paul Schott and his Independent Company
2. Accounts Ottendrorff’s Corps at the Battle of Short Hills
3. Overview of Schott’s and Selins’ Companies Before and After Short Hills
4. Clothing and Equipment Guidelines: Capt. John Paul Schott’s Independent Rifle Company; formed 6
September 1776, attached to Ottendorff’s Corps May 1777. Captain Schott captured at the Battle of Short
Hills, 26 June 1777.
https://www.scribd.com/document/347212369/Schotts-Company-Clothing-and-Equipment-Guidelines
5. Additional Resources
a. “A Chronology of the Appointments & Commands of Captain Antoni Selin and His Association
with the Independent Corps of Captain John Paul Schott … During the Revolutionary War.”
b."’We ... wheeled to the Right to form the Line of Battle’: Colonel Israel Shreve's Journal, 23 November
1776 to 14 August 1777 (Including Accounts of the Action at the Short Hills)”
c. Rifle-Armed Troops, 1775-1779
6. Appendices
a. Muster Rolls of Schott’s Company
b. “Johann Heinrich Bartholomey-Hessian and American Jager" (captured Jaeger and member of
Selin’s Company, Ottendorff’s Corps
c. Memoir of Johann Carl Buettner, Ottendorff’s Corps
John Paul Schott and his Independent Company

John Paul Schott, born in Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, on 15 October 1744, and a veteran of
the Seven Years War (1756-1763), took ship in London, England in February 1774, bound for
the island of St. Kitts. Inspired by the actions of the American Whigs in 1775, Schott hired a
small ship to carry military supplies to support their cause, landing them, after several close calls,
at Norfolk, Virginia. Eventually, material support for redress of American grievances, and then
independence, was not enough, and in autumn 1776 John Schott sought a Continental Army
commission.
On September 4 1776 he received the rank of captain and was authorized to raise an
independent company. After demonstrating some proficiency with artillery, Schott and his
company were first assigned to Col. Henry Knox’s Artillery Regiment, but the captain soon
demurred. (Years later Schott noted he, “did not like the Artillery so Well.”)
Eventually, Captain Schott’s company was assigned to Maj. Nicholas de Ottendorff’s Corps
(one source claims in December 1776, while a modern study of Schott’s and Anthony Selins’
companies suggests Schott’s company was not relegated to Ottendorff until late spring of 1777);
Ottendorff was replaced as commander in early June by Col. Charles Armand-Tuffin, Marquis
de la Rouerie, and it was Armand who led the Corps at the 26 June 1777 Short Hills action.
As noted, Schott’s unit was an independent company, with no state affiliation. As in the case with the
Additional regiments raised in 1777, they relied on Congress for clothing and equipment, a situation
that commonly led to outfitting on a catch-as-catch-can basis. Johann Heinrich Bartholomey,
also known as Henry Bartholomew, was a German Jaeger captured on January 4, 1777.
Bartholomey enlisted two months later in Capt. Antoni Selin’s company of Ottendorff’s Corps.
In his old-age memoirs he noted the uniform he wore,

I was persuaded to enter this volunteer corps, and although I was less concerned about the
freedom of North America than about my own, and though I longed for my fatherland, still when
I saw the great enthusiasm for the cause of freedom manifested in Philadelphia, I straightway
forgot Germany and the plans for my own freedom, took service in Major OrtendorfFs corps and
received my twenty dollars earnest money. While I remained in Philadelphia, one of the men of
the corps was sent with a letter to my master requesting him to come to headquarters in order to
make arrangements with the commander of the corps for my enlistment. My master, who, as I
have mentioned before, was a lieutenant of the militia, was very happy on the following day
when he saw me in the blue uniform with the green collar and cuffs, and wished me good
luck in my new profession.

That said, it isn’t surely known that all the companies with Ottendorff were similarly clothed.
One factor arguing against Schott’s men being clothed in the blue and green coats is the
likelihood the company did not join the Corps until mid-May 1777. Here are the only two know
deserters accounts, one for Ottendorff’s Corps, the other for Captain Schott’s company
“FOURTEEN DOLLARS REWARD
DESERTED from Major Ottendorff’s Independent Company, in Baltimore, the two following
persons, viz. ALEXANDER BLACK, about 22 years of age, 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, fair
complexion, red hair tied behind, wears light coloured stockings, doeskin breeches, grey coat
regimental fashion, and a striped jacket. LUDWICK SCHNIDER, about 25 years of age, 6 feet
high, dark complexion, dark brown hair, by trade a butcher; had on when he went away, a brown
coat, red jacket, buckskin breeches, and white shirt. – Whoever will secure the above deserters, or
give intelligence of them to the subscriber, Major of the Dutch Independent Company, now in
Philadephia, shall receive the above Reward , or SEVEN DOLLARS for either, exclusive of what
is allowed by Congress. Major OTTENDORFF.”
Dunlap’s Pennsylvania Packet or , the General Advertiser, March 18, 1777; April 29, 1777.

“DESERTED from my company in the independent corps commanded by Major Ottendorff, the
following recruits, viz. William Burnet, David Brannin, John Smith, William Been, William
Walker, Christian Winder, Joseph Davis, Joseph Miller, Adam Hamilton, Jacob Koch, William
Jones, Thomas Baker. I will give TEN DOLLARS reward for every one of the above deserters
hat shall be put into the custody of the main guard in the city of Philadelphia.
May 23. JOHN PAUL SCHOTT, Captain
The Pennsylvania Evening Post, May 24, 1777.

Sources:
John Dwight Kilbourne, Virtutis Praemium: The Men Who Founded the State Society of the
Cincinnati of Pennsylvania, vol. 2 (Two volumes; Rockport Me.: Picton Press, 1998), 870-874.
Joseph Lee Boyle, “’He loves a good deal of rum …’: Military Desertions during the
American Revolution, 1775-1783, vol. 1, 1775-June 30, 1777 (two volumes; Baltimore, Md.:
Clearfield Company, 2009), 217-218, 303.
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Accounts Ottendrorff’s Corps at the Battle of Short Hills

Here are a few accounts of the Short Hills action (the link to a more detailed study is appended
below). Though John Chilton (captain, 3d Virginia Regiment) was not in the battle, his letter to his
brother Charles is still interesting:

Steele Gap
29th June 1777
I am at this time stationed with 50 Men to guard this pass; came here 27th in the night. Mr.
Blackwell and my own Comp[any] with me, except a few who stay in Camp with the Baggage we
are all hearty, few complaints being now in the Army of Sickness, there is a small lax but it wears
off. Our station is a pretty agreable one only 2 Mile from Camp where we can at any time run for
any necessary we want from that quarter. I think we have the advantage of getting Milk, Butter
and Greens which are scarce articles in Camp. 26th past our Reg[iment] was at Piscataway which
place the enemy had abandoned a few days before. Col[onel] Morgan with the Rifle Reg[iment]
was on the Mattuchin Lines at [the] time and our main Army had come down into the Plains. The
enemy unexpectedly stole a March in the night of the 25th and had nearly surrounded Morgan
before he was aware of it. he with difficulty saved his men and baggage and after a retreat,
rallyed his Men and sustained a heavy charge untill reinforced by Major Gen[eral William
Alexander] Ld. Sterling who gave them so warm a reception that they were obliged to retreat so
precipitately that it had like to have become a rout. But [the enemy] being strongly reinforced he
was obliged to retreat with the loss of 2 pieces of Artillery. Brigadier Gen[eral] Maxwell was on
the left and had a severe engagement but was also obliged to retreat. The enemy pursued their
advantage as far as the Scotch Plains which place they left that night and suddenly returned into
P[erth] Amboy. This was done in Consequence of some steps his Excellency G[eneral].
Washington was taking, and had they staid that night I think a general engagement would have
ensued. There were but few Virginians except Morgan in this battle. I imagine the reason his
Excellency did not allow the engagement to be general was from a step the enemy took as if they
intended to gain the heights that we had left and destroy our Stores; this is pretty generally
conjectured, whether right or Wrong I can't say but be it as it will, we make it suffice us that he
had his reasons for it. This was one of Howes masterpieces, and the small advan[tage] he paid
dearly for in all considering the engagement which began about Sunrise and continued first in one
place then in another very hot untill 11 O’clock. The Troops he engaged were very good
marksmen who had many good fires on them so that there must have been numbers killed &
wounded. The whole British force was exerted on this occasion. even the Seamen were brought
out. Two thirds of our Army were not in Action. I was in 4 Miles of the engagement, and heard it
all, jud[ge] of my condition during it. alternate hopes and fears as the firings seemed favourable
or otherwise. Just as the battle ended Col[onel] Marshall received order[s] to leave Piscataway
and march up by the way of Bound Brooke. A Party of the enemy had advanced within 2 Miles of
us about 2000, and had sit down to refresh themselves we marched off with Colours flying and
Drums beating, which they hearing and expect[ing] we were coming to attack them made the best
of their way to P[erth]. Amboy, since when they seem peaceably disposed and keep close. I am
informed that Gen[eral] Scott yesterday went out to feel their pulse but they did [not] seem
fightish as the Yankees say, so I suppose they think they have done great things, but I verily
believe that if they had staid till next Morning, they must have done greater or it would have gone
hard with them.
I have given you an Acc[ount] of this battle as nearly as I can, and tho it may not be altogether
as good as you may see in the Papers, yet believe it is nearly the truth. …
Your Aff. Brother,
John Chilton

Captain Chilton mentioned the role of Morgan’s Light Corp in the action on 26 June 1777, but
the participation of “Late Ottendorff’s Corps” under Col. Charles Armand, is little known. Maj.
Nicholas de Ottendorf and his corps, consisting of one mounted and four foot companies, joined
Washington’s army at Boundbrook, New Jersey. Companies 2 and 3, commanded by Captains
Anthoni Selin and John Paul Schott, respectively, were rifle-armed and seem to have been
attached to Morgan’s command in mid-June. Most of two companies (Schott’s, who was himself
captured, and Jacob Bauer’s), were killed, wounded, or captured at Short Hills. Virginia rifleman
William Grant described what happened: "They [Ottendorff’s men] drew up immediately in
order to defend their field pieces and cover our retreat and in less than an hour and a half were
entirely cut off; scarcely sixty of them returned safe out of the field; those who did escape were
so scattered over the country that a great number of them could not rejoin the army for five or six
days."

Sources
John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799,
vol. 8 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1933), 281-282, 297-299, 307, 308-309.
John Chilton to his brother, 29 June 1777 ("Steele Gap"), John Chilton Letters, A. Keith Family Papers, 1710-
1916, Virginia Historical Society.
“Narrative of William Grant, late a Serjeant in the Rebel Army, dated 24th Novr 1777, from on board the Queen
Indiaman at Gravesend.” in: Documents relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York vol. 8 (Albany,
1857) pp. 728-734, pp. 731-732.
Charles Armand Tuffin, marquis de la Rouërie, circa 1783, by Charles Willson Peale
(Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

Overview of Schott’s and Selins’ Companies Before and After Short Hills

The year 1777 brought a comprehensive reorganization of the Continental Army, with the
eighty-eight battalion resolve and the implementation of long-term enlistments, for three years or
“for the war.” In this modified army there were no standing battalions armed completely with
rifles, and generally fewer rifle-armed troops. The firearms still had their place, though, with rifle
companies or sharpshooter contingents existing within some regiments.
Two such companies were Capt. John Paul Schott’s Independent Rifle Company
(established 6 September 1776) and Capt. Antoni Selin’s Rifle Company (10 December 1776),
both slated to form part of Nicholas Dietrich, Baron Ottendorf’s three company partisan corps,
which itself was authorized on 5 December 1776. Ottendorf’s Corps was to consist “of 150
privates, serjeants and corporals included … divided as follows: The first company of 60 men,
light infantry, one captain and two lieutenants; two companies of hunters [riflemen], 45 privates
each, to be commanded each by a captain and two lieutenants … Captain Ottendorf [to] have the
rank of major, that he be captain of the light infantry company, and command the whole.” Col.
Charles Armand-Tuffin, Marquis de La Rouerie, took command of Ottendorf’s Corps in mid-June
1777, and likely commanded it in the Battle of Short Hills on 26 June. Captain Schott was captured
in that action and the remains of the two rifle companies, and likely the musket company as well,
were consolidated under Selin.
After Short Hills Colonel Armand continued to command the remnants of Ottendorf’s unit,
now called Armand’s Independent Corps. Captain Selin continued in charge of the rifle company
until October 1778 when Captain Schott returned from his captivity and resumed command. At
that time relations between Armand and Schott were strained at best, and the captain began to
petition General Washington and others to make his company an independent command. On 3
August 1779 Schott’s and Selin’s rifle company was assigned to Brig. Gen. Edward Hand’s
brigade and embarked on Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s campaign against the Iroquois in northern
Pennsylvania and central New York. At the end of those operations the company joined the
garrison at Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and in February 1780, when Armand was authorized to
raise a Legionary Corps, Schott’s company was not included. The command remained in
Wyoming under Captain Schott to the end of the war. In January 1781 Captain Selin was
transferred to the Canadian Regiment.

______________________

Clothing and Equipment Guidelines: Capt. John Paul Schott’s Independent Rifle
Company; formed 6 September 1776, attached to Ottendorff’s Corps May 1777. Captain
Schott captured at the Battle of Short Hills, 26 June 1777.
https://www.scribd.com/document/347212369/Schotts-Company-Clothing-and-Equipment-
Guidelines
___________________________

Additional Resources

Jim W. Filipski and Steve Collward, “A Chronology of the Appointments & Commands of
Captain Antoni Selin and His Association with the Independent Corps of Captain John Paul
Schott, Major Nicholas de Ottendorf and Col. Charles Armand and their Affiliated Units and
Officers During the Revolutionary War.”
https://www.scribd.com/document/347114481/Captain-Antoni-Selin-and-His-Association-
with-the-Independent-Corps-of-Captain-John-Paul-Schott-Major-Nicholas-de-Ottendorf-
and-Col-Charles-Armand
"’We ... wheeled to the Right to form the Line of Battle’: Colonel Israel Shreve's Journal, 23 November 1776
to 14 August 1777 (Including Accounts of the Action at the Short Hills)”
Contents
1. “The Enemy Came out fired several Cannon At our Pickets”: Journal Entries, 23 November 1776 to 25
June 1777
2. Composition of Maj. Gen. William Alexander, Lord Stirling's Division, Summer 1777
3. “Our Canister shot Did Great Execution.”: The Battle of the Short Hills: Journal Entries 26 to 28 June
1777
4. “There was a steady fire on us from out of the bushes …”: A German Officer’s View of Operations in
New Jersey, 24 to 28 June 1777
5. “A smart engagement ensued …”: A British Private’s View of the Short Hills Battle
6. "I propose leaving Colo. Daytons and Ogden's Regts. at Elizabeth Town … for the present ...”:
Movements of the 1st and 3d New Jersey Regiments, July and August 1777
7. “Crossed Delaware [River], halted At Doctor Enhams …”: Final Journal Entries, 29 July to 14 August
1777
Addenda
1. Listing of Field Officers, Commissioned Officers, and Staff of the 2d New Jersey Regiment December
1776 to December 1777
2. Company Strengths and Dispositions, Colonel Israel Shreve's 2d New Jersey Regiment December
1776 to December 1777
3. 2d New Jersey Regiment, Monthly Strength as Taken From the Muster Rolls, December 1776 to
December 1777
4. 2d New Jersey Regiment, Company Lineage, 1777 to 1779
5. “The Troops of this Army … Appear to Manoeuvre upon false principles …”: The State of
Continental Army Field Formations and Combat Maneuver, 1777
6. Composition of British Columns at the Short Hills Action, 26 June 1777; Organization of British Light
Infantry and Grenadier Battalions, Spring and Summer 1777
7. “I have sent down Lord Stirling's Division, to reinforce Genl. Maxwell …”: Summer Campaign
Letters, Gen. George Washington and Virginia Captain John Chilton, plus the role of “late
Ottendorff’s Corps,” 22 to 29 June 1777
8. “At sunrise the fire began …”: New Jersey Brigade Accounts of the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign
9. "Without Covering but the H[eaven's].C[anop].y and boughs of Trees …": 4th New Jersey Officer's
Diary, 21 June 1777 to 18 February 1778 (plus Journal of Ensign George Ewing, 3d New Jersey, 1777-
1778)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/153790118/%E2%80%99We-wheeled-to-the-Right-to-form-the-Line-of-
Battle%E2%80%99-Colonel-Israel-Shreve-s-Journal-23-November-1776-to-14-August-1777-
Including-Accounts-of

Brother Jonathan’s Images, No. 9
Virginia Rifleman (John U. Rees)
Artist: Richard St George Mansergh St George, 52d Regiment of Foot, 1777
Year: 1777
Collection: Harlan Crow Library, Dallas, Texas (purchased from the estate of Arthur E.
Bye, Bucks County, Pennsylvania)
Contents
1. Background
2. Virginia Rifleman, 1777
3. “Chosen Men Selected from the Army at large …”: Rifle-Armed
Companies, Battalions, and Regiments, 1775-1779.
Appendices
A. “A Quantity of Tow Cloth, for the Purpose of making of Indian or Hunting
Shirts …”: Proper Terminology: Hunting shirt, Rifle Shirt, Rifle Frock …
B. Letter by Jesse Lukens, describing Pennsylvania riflemen and service at the
siege of Boston, 1775.
C. Capt. William Dansey, 33d Regiment, describes two encounters with rifle
troops.
D. Morgan’s Rifle Corps: Selected Documents Not Included in the Narrative
E. “We returned them a very brisk fire …”: A Rifleman’s View of Two
Campaigns
F. “He was in that noted Battel in the Bukwheat field with Morgan …”
Riflemen’s Pension Service Narratives, 1775-1779
G. The Rebels (Sung to the tune, Black Joak), originally published in the
Pennsylvania Ledger, 1778
https://www.scribd.com/doc/245356391/Brother-Jonathan-s-Images-No-9-St-George-s-
Virginia-Rifleman-Artist-Richard-St-George-Mansergh-St-George-52d-Regiment-of-Foot-
1777-Collection

Appendices

a. Muster roll, payrolls, and assorted lists of the officers, non commisioned officers, rank &
file of Selin's Company and it's associated units, companies and corps during the American
Revolution 1777 through 1784. Those being the Corps of Nicolas Ottendorff ( Dec.1776 to
June 1777), and Charles Armand (June 1777 to Nov. 1778 ) and Moses Hazen's Regiment
(Jan 1782 to 1784) and the Companies of Captains Dreisback (Freisback), Schott, and
Bauer.
http://www.captainselinscompany.org/musterrolls.html
ROLL OF CAPT. SCHOTT'S COMPANY : Co. #3

Captain
Schott, John Paul, Philadelphia, September 7, 1776; captured at Short Hill, June 22, 1777. He died in
Philadelphia, June 18, 1829, aged eighty-five.

First Lieutenant
Mancke, Christian

Second Lieutenant
Shaffner, George

Sergeants
Dean, George, March 27, 1777
Liebe, Frederick, Philadelphia, March 22, 1777; discharged May 22,1780.
Langhammer, George, from private in Ottendorff's
Singer, Henry

Corporals
Bargman, Frederick
Breckle, David
Gedeke, John, February 19,1777, from Manheim, Lancaster county
Sheetz, Daniel, Northampton county, March 19, 1777; discharged at Wyoming, May 8, 1780

Privates
Burwell, Johnson, Lancaster, March 10, 1777
Cooly, Owen, York, March 25, 1777
Corbach, Peter, Lancaster, February 27, 1777; discharged at Lancaster, 1783; resided in Dearborn county,
Indiana 1830
Cromwell, Hugh, March 1, 1777
Frank, Daniel, April 22, 1777
Frachert, Henry, Philadelphia, May 1, 1777; discharge July 12, 1780
Genner, William, November 24, 1777; discharged November 24, 1780; resided in Northumerland county,
in 1814
Haal, John
Hilpe, Jacob, Philadelphia, August 9, 1777
Humberry, Andrew, March 29, 1777
John, Nathaniel
Kehler, John
Kearing, George
Kinert, Jacob, Lancaster, March 10, 1777
Levering, John, Chester, May 20, 1777; discharged August 4, 1780; Promoted Sergeant.
Leopard, Anthony, March 20, 1777
Lewis, Basil, April 14, 1777
Moles, Oliver, from Ottendorff's
Minks, Henry
McGuaran, Francis, July 18, 1777
Phalzer, Jacob
Plesch, John
Poorman, John, Phila., August 6, 1778; discharged at Wyoming, April 24, 1780
Reinerd, Jacob, March 10, 1777
Riddes, John, Phila.
Ritter, Tobias, Lancaster, February 23, 1777
Seiders, Henry, April 15, 1777; promoted sergeant in Selin's
Swanheiser, Christophr, served three years; discharged at Wyoming, May 15, 1780
Singer, Henry, Philadelphia, August 9, 1777; promoted sergeant
Sybert, Henry, March 28, 1777; discharged August 18, 1780
Wells, Charles
____________________________

b. The following information was taken from "Johann Heinrich Bartholomey-Hessian and American
Jager" a Paper which was written by Michael Bartholomew and published by the Johannes Schwalm
Historical Association. Mr Bartholomew's paper deals with his research of his ancestor who came to
America to fight with the Hessians during the American War of Independence.
Originally attached to the Jagers in Captain Johann Ewald's Company of the Hessian Cassel Feldjager
Corps, he was captured by the Americans on January 4th 1777 and then took service with them to fight on
the American side.
This selected piece of the work that we present here deals mostly with Johann Heinrich Bartholomey's
service with Ottendorf's Corps, Selin's Company. It gives a little more insight into what a soldier in
Ottendorf's Corps would have experienced.
I would like to thank Mr. Michael Bartholomew for his assistance and permission to use this selected
piece of his work.
Introduction
Johann Heinrich Bartholomey (1750-1822), was the immigrant ancestor of one of the German descent
Bartholomew family lines in the United States and Canada. Family tradition indicates that he came to
America as a member of the German Allied Troops serving with the British Army in the American
Revolution. These soldiers were more commonly referred to as Hessians.

Identification in Military Records
The initial attempt to identify Bartholomey as a member of the Hessen Cassel forces was through the
HETRINA volumes.8 While the surname Bartholomey (including spelling variants) appears several times,
no direct matches can be found for either a Johann Heinrich or Heinrich Bartholomey. The closest entry,
from volume 4, is for Johannes Bartholomai, who was taken prisoner, then deserted from the Feldjager
Corps in January 1777. 9 An inspection of Photostats of the original manuscripts of the monthly lists for
the Feldjager Corps, shows Bartholomai's given name listed clearly as Johann, not Johannes as was
indicated in HETRINA.10 This is a very important point. As noted before, there is a definite distinction
between the names Johann and Johannes. Because Bartholomey was listed as Johann, it is very possible
that his real given name was not properly recorded. The manuscript record indicates that Johann
Bartholomai and Christian Criselius, Jagers in Captain Johann Ewald's company of the Hessen Cassel
Feldjager Corps had taken service with the rebels after having been captured on 4 January 1777.
A search of the National Archives Revolutionary War documents identifies Sergeant Hnriah [sic]
Bartholomew on the rolls of Selin's Company of Colonel Moses Hazen's Regiment of Continental Troops,
as having enlisted in 1777. 11 Further investigation of the Pennsylvania Archives
documents show Henry Bartholomew, a private, enlisted on 1 March 1777 in Company 1 of the
Independent Corps commanded by Major Nicholas Dietrich, Baron von Ottendorff. 12 He was transferred
into Captain Anthony Selin's Company 2, where he is listed both as a private and a sergeant. Selin's
Company was merged into Hazen's Regiment later in the war. Von Ottendorff's Corps was comprised of
three companies, one light infantry commanded by Ottendorff, and two companies of hunters or
chasseurs, one commanded by Captain Anthony Selin.
The one clue that links the Hessian Jager, Johann Bartholomai, to the American soldier, Henry
Bartholomew, comes from further inspection of the muster rolls of von Ottendorff's Corps. Also
appearing is Adolph Croselius (also spelled Groselius), who enlisted on 1 March 1777. 13 Could Henry
Bartholomew and Adolph Croselius
be the same men as Johann Bartholomai and Christian Criselius who were listed as prisoners and then
deserters from Captain Johann Ewald's Jager company? Probably so, when one considers the following:
The surnames Bartholomey and Criselius are not common ones. For those surnames to appear in both the
Hessian and American units, with identical capture and enlistment dates, is certainly not purely
coincidental. Both the Hessen Cassel and American units were comprised of hunters (or Jagers).
The German naming convention has already been mentioned in reference to Johann Heinrich
Bartholomey. Thus it is possible that Criselius' full name was Christian Adolph Criselius. The recording
of their desertion from the Feldjager Corps did not occur until May 1778, a full sixteen months after
capture. A closer inspection of the monthly lists for the Feldjager Corps shows that after December 1776,
enlisted soldiers were only named in case of death or desertion. Two separate monthly lists for January
1777 show 13 and 6 Jagers captured. No names were given on either list. Because the entry was delayed,
the likelihood of a recording error is greatly increased. It is possible that the recorder mistakenly listed the
christening name instead of the more common second name.

Details of Bartholomey's American Military Service
On 1 March 1777, less than two months after being taken prisoner, Heinrich Bartholomey enlisted in
Major von Ottendorff's Corps. The exact location and circumstances of his enlistment are unknown.
While it was well documented that Congress developed plans for encouraging Hessian soldiers to desert,38
it was against written policy for prisoners of war to enlist in the Continental Army.
On 13 January 1777, George Washington sent a letter to all Continental Army Captains stating, "You
are not to Inlist any Deserters from the Army of the King of Britain, or Persons of Disaffected or
Suspicious Character, the American Service having already Suffered greatly by the Desertion of such
persons."39 This policy may have been ignored by Captain Anthony Selin and Major von Ottendorff.
Captain Ewald reported on 10 April 1777, "we learned that a French [sic] major, Mr. von Ottendorff, had
arrived with a newly organized corps consisting of Germans and Frenchmen for the reinforcement of the
post at Bound Brook."40 From the 11th until the 20th of April, Ottendorff attacked Ewald's post near
Bound Brook, New Jersey. These skirmishes between Ottendorff's and Ewald's troops were probably very
dangerous for Bartholomey and Criselius, as it may have been possible for Ewald or some of his men to
recognize their former countrymen. Hessian deserters, when caught, were known to have been executed.
Within two months of his enlistment, Heinrich was promoted. A pay roll for the period 1 May to 1
June 1777 for Captain Selin's Company, Ottendorff's Corps, lists Henrich Bartholomia [sic] as a sergeant
to receive 60 shillings or £3 per month. The pay roll was signed by Colonel Richard Humpton,
Commander of the 2nd Brigade of General Lincoln's Division.41 Also appearing on this pay roll was
Charles Butner, a private. He is the same man as Johann Carl Buttner, who wrote an autobiography
describing his exploits in America prior to and through the war. It was written as a memoir, not a diary, so
exact dates of events are lacking. However, he describes his enlistment and some of the activities of
Ottendorff's Corps, shedding insight into the similar experiences that Bartholomey may have had. Buttner
was recruited in Philadelphia. He was an indentured servant, but his master allowed him to enlist,
providing Buttner paid him £1 sterling, one third of his wages per month.
He describes his service as follows:

As the Corps of Ortendorff [sic] had reached the number of three hundred, we marched to join the
great North American army which was under the command of General Washington. The service
of this corps was very hard. As we received no tents, we were obliged to build huts for ourselves
out of boughs. We had to serve as outposts for the main army, and were obliged to patrol all night
long. We also had to forage for cattle to be slaughtered for the use of the soldiers. As a rule we
took the cattle from the planters who remained loyal to the king. Although the United States were
trying as hard as they could to free themselves from English rule, yet there were a few that did not
favor the insurrection, and worked against the cause of liberty partly because they were born
Englishmen, and partly on grounds of conscience. But they suffered often very keenly for their
loyalty to the English government. To discover their attitude in this matter, usually six men went
into the houses, pretended to be Hessians and asked questions about Washington's army: how
strong it was, where it was located at the present time, and such details. If these people seemed to
be glad to see us, and gave us information about the North American army, soon the entire
detachment entered and took possession of the plantation, drove away the cattle and often
stripped the house. The duped people then sincerely regretted their frankness, gazed with tears in
their eyes after their cattle that we were driving away, and seeing the "U.S." on our powder
pouches, realized too late that we were soldiers of the United States. Such matters occupied
almost every night. The English, who very soon received word of our doings, never forgave us.42

Two additional stories told by Buttner deserve mention. After he had been in the service of Ottendorff's
Corps for approximately six months, Buttner and six other soldiers decided to desert to the British and
Hessians. As they left camp at night, a sentry spotted them and fired a shot. Buttner returned to camp,
however the six others made their escape. Patrols that were sent out immediately to find them were
unsuccessful. Several days later, the corps received marching orders. After several hours, they reached a
mountain that was occupied by combined British and Hessian forces. A battle ensued, and the Americans
were overtaken. Buttner chose this opportunity to surrender. In addition, he made his intentions to desert
known. He also saw "the entire corps of Ortendorff's [sic] men being led along under arrest, captured by
an English company."44 Buttner was reported missing from Captain Selin's Company at the Battle of
Short Hills, New Jersey on 26 June 1777. 45 Colonel Armand was in command of 80 men at Short Hills,
of which 30 were killed, and Captain John Paul Schott and approximately 30 other soldiers were captured
on this date.46
A General Court Martial was held at Washington's headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey on 2 July
1777. Five soldiers from Colonel Armand's Independent Corps were charged with desertion, found guilty,
and sentenced to receive 39 lashes.47 They are likely five of the six who attempted escape with Buttner.
On 16 July 1777, a letter was written by Charles Seitz, Adjutant of the Corps, to Dr. Otto at the hospital in
Trenton, concerning Sergeant Henry Bartholomew.48 Heinrich fractured a bone in a fall and was sent to
the hospital in Trenton to be cared for by Dr. Otto.
______________________________

c. Johann Carl Buettner, THE ADVENTURES OF JOHANN CARL BUETTNER (Heartman s Historical
Series No. 1) NARRATIVE OF Johann Carl Buettner IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (Three
hundred and twenty Copies printed for CHAS. FRED. HEARTMAN. New York City)

The following Narrative* is a translation from the German. The original German edition is a very scarce
Book. The translation is abridged in so far as the greater part of his adventures in other countries is left
out, being of little interest for the American reader. The part produced here is an interesting medley of
serious incidents and accidental exploits, and strews side lights on the American revolution not to be
undervalued.
The German literature is still full of unpublished interesting material relating to important events of
American History. If this little attempt finds support, other books may follow.

*Buettner, der Amerikaner. Eine Selbstbiographie Johann Carl Buettner s, ehemaligen
nordamerikanischen Kriegers. XIX, 137 pp. Camenz 1828.

At this period in Philadelphia, Major von Ortendorff, who had fought in the armies of Frederick the Great during
the Seven Years War in Germany, was forming under the direction of the commander-in-chief of the American
army, a corps of volunteers. Moreover in his proclamation, which was sanctioned by the United States, German
servants were invited to join the corps, but on the condition that these servants should make an agreement with their
masters that these masters should receive during their servants term of service a part of the pay. The United States
promised the German servants who were willing to bear arms in the cause of the liberation of America, thirteen
acres of government land free of charge, to be taken possession of as soon as peace was declared.
I was persuaded to enter this volunteer corps, and although I was less concerned about the freedom of North
America than about my own, and though I longed for my fatherland, still when I saw the great enthusiasm for the
cause of freedom manifested in Philadelphia, I straightway forgot Germany and the plans for my own freedom,
took service in Major OrtendorfFs corps and received my twenty dollars earnest money. While I remained in
Philadelphia, one of the men of the corps was sent with a letter to my master requesting him to come to
headquarters in order to make arrangements with the commander of the corps for my enlistment. My
master, who, as I have men tioned before, was a lieutenant of the militia, was very happy on the following day
when he saw me in the blue uniform with the green collar and cuffs, and wished me good luck in my new
profession. However, he demanded that I pay him every month for twenty months one pound sterling out of my
wages, and although I appreciated that he was asking far too much, I consented.
As the corps of Ortendorff had reached the number of three hundred, we marched to join the great North
American army which was under the command of General Washington. The service of this corps was very hard.
As we received no tents, we were obliged to build huts for ourselves out of boughs. We had to serve as
outposts for the main army, and were obliged to patrol all night long. We also had to forage for cattle to be
slaughtered for the use of the soldiers. As a rule we took the cattle from the planters who remained loyal to the
king. Although the United States were trying as hard as they could to free themselves from English rule, yet there
were a few that did not favor the insurrection, and worked against the cause of liberty partly because they were born
Englishmen, and partly on grounds of conscience. But they suffered often very keenly for their loyalty to the English
government. To discover their attitude in this matter, usually six men went into the houses, pretended to be Hessians
and asked questions about Washington s army: how strong it was, where it was located at the present time, and such
details. If these people seemed to be glad to see us, and gave us information about the North American army, soon
the entire detachment entered and took possession of the plantation, drove away the cattle and often stripped the
house. The duped people then sincerely regretted their frankness, gazed with tears in their eyes after their cattle that
we were driving away, and seeing the "U. S." on our powder pouches, realized too late that we were soldiers of the
United States.
Such matters occupied almost every night. The English, who very soon received word of our doings, never
forgave us. After I had served about six months in the corps of Ortendorff, I with six other men decided to desert to
the English and Hessians, whose tents we could see in daytime not far from our camp. It was a dark, desolate night
when we stole out of our bivouac; but we had gone only about fifty steps into the forest when a picket whom we
were not expecting to find at this place called out: "Who goes?" and as we did not answer, fired immediately.
Instantly we scattered in all directions and I decided to return as fast as I could to the camp, where I arrived before
the commotion caused by the firing of the gun had become general. I joined in the alarm, but my anxiety knew no
bounds, for I realized that if any of the deserters were captured and saw fit to betray me, the limb of a tree would
furnish my punishment.
We had to answer roll-call immediately, and I was mighty glad that the six deserters were still missing and that
the patrols sent out to search could not find them. A few days after this unsuccessful attempt to desert to the
combined armies, we received orders to break camp. At daybreak we reached a mountain which was occupied by
some thousand regular soldiers of the North American troops, who had with them a few cannon. Here we had
command of the road that led around the mountain, which we saw covered with a multitude of soldiers, and the
newly risen sun glittered on thousands of bayonets. This was a regiment of the English army with a vanguard
formed of Hessian grenadiers. As soon as they came within range we fired our cannon at them. All at once, the
endless marching line stood still, separated into divisions and, then disregarding our fire, charged down the
mountain with fixed bayonets. When we saw that we were outnumbered and that resistance was hopeless, we
abandoned our cannon and baggage and fled down the other side of the mountain. Many threw away their rifles and
knapsacks, and ran like hares into the forest. I fell into a ditch and my comrades, leaving me there for dead, jumped
over me. As the cannon balls and rifle bullets were falling all around me, and I was afraid of being run through by
the enemy that were pursuing us, I crawled on my hands and knees to some thick undergrowth nearby, and lay there
until I could no longer hear any firing. After this I arose and went up to the place on the mountain where the
skirmish had started. Here I found the Hessian grenadiers in possession of the camp. When I was still twenty feet
distant from them, the Colonel called to a petty officer: "There comes a rebel!" The petty officer approached me and
led me to the Colonel, who addressed me with stern and threatening words: "Well, you urchin, where do you come
from? You were not able to make your escape, were you?" I answered that I had for a long time cherished the wish
to be associated with my countrymen, and then I told him briefly all that had happened to me since my arrival in
America. My story made a favorable impression on the Colonel and he ordered one of his orderlies to give me a
glass of rum and some bread. At the same time he ordered me to remain in his batallion until it should go into winter
quarters; also he promised that later on he would make some provision for my future.
After the troops had rested for a few hours, they again took up their march. But we had not marched longer than
an hour when we met the entire corps of Ortendorffs men being led along under arrest, captured by an English
company. I recognized among the prisoners my own comrades and I called to them: "See! Had you followed my
example you also could have been at liberty now!"
This exclamation of mine was not the result of reflection and it might easily be fatal for me in the future.
And even if this indiscretion did not bring me misfortune in this particular case, I would advise all persons to keep in
mind the changeable fortunes of war, and to be more cautious and thoughtful that I showed my self to be on that
occasion.
An hour before sunset we arrived at the camp of the main division of the English army. I was led promptly to the
tent of Lord Cornwallis, who put many question to me, but especially how strong the rebels were, where
Washington was camped, how defensible the fortifications were, and how well they were manned. After I had given
information on all these points, I had to swear allegiance to King George the Third, I received a rifle, and was
enrolled in the grenadier battalion of the Knipphausen regiment. Now we marched toward Staten Island, laying
opposite New York, where we remained in camp a few weeks. Then we passed over the North River towards the
city of New York. We were unable to enter the city, but we dug caves in the ground and covered them with sod in
which we had to pass the winter. But the English obtained quarters in the city. Not only were the Hessian soldiers
discriminated against in this way, but they were obliged daily to do hard labor, throwing up earthworks about Fort
Washington, a fortified place three miles above the city on the other side of the river. We also had to stand a very
dangerous watch on an island in the river.

Buettner continued his narrative. But for our purposes, we shall end here.