Heister, Leopold Philip von

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Heister, Leopold Philip von

HEISTER, LEOPOLD PHILIP VON. (1707–1777). Hessian commander in chief. A veteran of many campaigns in Europe, Heister commanded the first contingent of seventy-eight hundred German troops hired by the British government for service in the American Revolution. These troops landed at Staten Island in early July 1776. Heister commanded the center of the British line in the Battle of Long Island, personally receiving the sword of General Alexander. He led the Germans in the action at White Plains, N.Y., on 28 October 1776. Disagreements with General William Howe and the German defeat at Trenton on 26 December 1776 led to Heister's recall in 1777, to be succeeded by Knyphausen. Heister died back in Hesse on 19 November 1777.

SEE ALSO Dormant Commission; Howe, William; Knyphausen, Wilhelm; Long Island, New York, Battle of; Trenton, New Jersey; White Plains, New York.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles

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