The Risen Dead of Sleepy Hollow

I have come to suspect Rudolph (famous wolf) Stuttmeister, descends from a Hessian officer who was paid as a mercenary to put down the rebels who were waging guerrilla warfare against the German King of England. Being swayed to the cause of Freedom and Democracy, Rudolph formed a colony in Sleepy Hollow. Some of the colonists moved to New York, and, then to San Francisco. They became members of the Old Hollow Society, and when discovered, their remains were exhumed ad their tombstones dumped in the sea to make a retaining wall. After bringing my daughter and newborn grandson to the Stuttmeister tomb in Colma, all hell broke lose! Good and Bad Demons visited me, and like Saint Anthony, I was tormented – beyond belief! Here is my story.

‘The Wakening of the Rose Man’

Jon Presco

Copyright 2017

A Seer told me in 1987: “You own your own creation – you died!”

What she meant, is, I beheld my conception by my parents, before I went to heaven and saw God.

My parents were playing cards in the sand, naked. I walked up to them as a child of three, looked down at the cards that were all face cards, and they were talking to me in foreign languages. They were my kindred, who were very distressed because they had been silenced in their lifetime. They were Evangelicals (father)and Huguenots (mother) They are buried next to one another in Berlin. Here lies the roses amongst the thorns. I part the veil, and I behold the Lost Kingdom – and I give a command

“Arise from thy sleep, the true church of God!”

In this video we see the Stuttmeister tomb about 15 seconds into it. This name means ‘Master of the Horse’. Consider the pale horse and rider. Here the Templars and Teutonic Knights have come to rest. I believe the risen saints became knights, and ended up in Berlin.

Cut and paste this url:

In Matthew 27:53 we read about Jesus raising Jews from the dead, then saying; “It is done!” He did not say, it is done, and then come the earthquake. These Jewish Saints did not rise on Sunday, but went into Jerusalem Friday night just before sundown. They imparted a restored and new covenant – a Gift for the Chosen Children of God. I believe these Saints were a lineage of Nazarites from Samson and Samuel.

The Headless Horseman, said to be a decapitated Hessian soldier, may have indeed been based loosely on the discovery of just such a Jäger’s headless corpse found in Sleepy Hollow after a violent skirmish, and later buried by the Van Tassel family, in an unmarked grave in the Old Dutch Burying Ground.[5] The dénouement of the fictional tale is set at the bridge over the Pocantico River, in the area of the Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground in Sleepy Hollow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Sleepy_Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a short story of speculative fiction by American author Washington Irving, contained in his collection of 34 essays and short stories entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.. Written while Irving was living abroad in Birmingham, England, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was first published in 1820. Along with Irving’s companion piece “Rip Van Winkle“, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity, especially during Halloween because of a character known as the Headless Horseman believed to be a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannonball in battle.[1]

From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by name of Sleepy Hollow … A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere.

— Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement. Other residents say an old Native American chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows here before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper that had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.

The “Legend” relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. Crane, a Yankee and an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel’s extravagant wealth. Bones, the local hero, vies with Ichabod for Katrina’s hand, playing a series of pranks on the jittery schoolmaster, and the fate of Sleepy Hollow’s fortune weighs in the balance for some time. The tension between the three is soon brought to a head. On a placid autumn night, the ambitious Crane attends a harvest party at the Van Tassels’ homestead. He dances, partakes in the feast, and listens to ghostly legends told by Brom and the locals, but his true aim is to propose to Katrina after the guests leave. His intentions, however, are ill-fated.

After having failed to secure Katrina’s hand, Ichabod rides home “heavy-hearted and crestfallen” through the woods between Van Tassel’s farmstead and the Sleepy Hollow settlement. As he passes several purportedly haunted spots, his active imagination is engorged by the ghost stories told at Baltus’ harvest party. After nervously passing under a lightning-stricken tulip tree purportedly haunted by the ghost of British spy Major André, Ichabod encounters a cloaked rider at an intersection in a menacing swamp. Unsettled by his fellow traveler’s eerie size and silence, the teacher is horrified to discover that his companion’s head is not on his shoulders, but on his saddle. In a frenzied race to the bridge adjacent to the Old Dutch Burying Ground, where the Hessian is said to “vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone” upon crossing it, Ichabod rides for his life, desperately goading his temperamental plow horse down the Hollow. However, to Crane’s horror, the ghoul clambers over the bridge, rears his horse, and hurls his severed head into Ichabod’s terrified face.

The next morning, Ichabod has mysteriously disappeared from town, leaving Katrina to marry Brom Bones, who was said “to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related.” Indeed, the only relics of the schoolmaster’s flight are his wandering horse, trampled saddle, discarded hat, and a mysterious shattered pumpkin. Although the nature of the Headless Horseman is left open to interpretation, the story implies that the ghost was really Brom (an agile stunt rider) in disguise. Irving’s narrator concludes, however, by stating that the old Dutch wives continue to promote the belief that Ichabod was “spirited away by supernatural means,” and a legend develops around his disappearance and sightings of his melancholy spirit.

Background[edit]

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane (1858) by John Quidor

Irving wrote The Sketch Book during a tour of Europe, and parts of the tale may also be traced to European origins. Headless horsemen were staples of Northern European storytelling, featuring in German, Irish (e.g., Dullahan), Scandinavian (e.g., the Wild Hunt), and English legends, and were included in Robert Burns‘s poem “Tam o’ Shanter” (1790) and Bürger‘s Der wilde Jäger, translated as The Wild Huntsman (1796). Usually viewed as omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their apparitions, these specters found their victims in proud, scheming persons and characters with hubris and arrogance.[2] One particularly influential rendition of this folktale was recorded by the German folklorist Karl Musäus.[3]

During the height of the American Revolutionary War, Irving writes that the country surrounding Tarry Town “was one of those highly-favored places which abound with chronicle and great men. The British and American line had run near it during the war; it had, therefore, been the scene of marauding, and infested with refugees, cow-boys, and all kinds of border chivalry.”

After the Battle of White Plains in October 1776, the country south of the Bronx River was abandoned by the Continental Army and occupied by the British. The Americans were fortified north of Peekskill, leaving Westchester County a 30-mile stretch of scorched and desolated no-man’s land, vulnerable to outlaws, raiders, and vigilantes. Besides droves of Loyalist rangers and British light infantry, Hessian Jägers—renowned sharpshooters and horsemen—were among the raiders who often skirmished with Patriot militias.[4] The Headless Horseman, said to be a decapitated Hessian soldier, may have indeed been based loosely on the discovery of just such a Jäger’s headless corpse found in Sleepy Hollow after a violent skirmish, and later buried by the Van Tassel family, in an unmarked grave in the Old Dutch Burying Ground.[5] The dénouement of the fictional tale is set at the bridge over the Pocantico River, in the area of the Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground in Sleepy Hollow.

Irving, while he was an aide-de-camp to New York Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins, met an army captain named Ichabod Crane in Sackets Harbor, New York during an inspection tour of fortifications in 1814. Irving may have patterned the character in “The Legend” after Jesse Merwin, who taught at the local schoolhouse in Kinderhook, further north along the Hudson River, where Irving spent several months in 1809.[6] The inspiration for the character of Katrina Van Tassel is uncertain, although both Catriena Ecker Van Tessel and her niece Eleanor Van Tassel Brush are buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and have been proposed as models.[7][8][9]

Ichabod Crane, Respectfully Dedicated to Washington Irving. William J. Wilgus (1819–53), artist Chromolithograph, c. 1856

The story was the longest one published as part of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (commonly referred to as The Sketch Book), which Irving issued serially throughout 1819 and 1820, using the pseudonym “Geoffrey Crayon”.[10] Alongside “Rip Van Winkle“, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of Irving’s most anthologized, studied, and adapted sketches. Both stories are often paired together in books and other representations, and both are included in surveys of early American literature and Romanticism.[11] Irving’s depictions of regional culture and his themes of progress versus tradition, supernatural intervention in the commonplace, and the plight of the individual outsider in an homogeneous community permeate both stories and helped to develop a unique sense of American cultural and existential selfhood during the early nineteenth century.[12]

American Revolutionary War[edit]

Image of Hessian hussars in America

During the American Revolutionary War, Landgrave Frederick II of Hesse-Kassel and other German princes hired out some of their regular army units to Great Britain for use to fight against the rebels in the American revolution. Of 30,067 German troops leased by Great Britain, 12,992 were supplied by Hesse-Kassel.[citation needed] They came not as individuals but in entire units with their usual uniforms, flags, equipment, and officers.

Hesse-Kassel like most of the other German principalities still had serfdom. Once these troops entered British territory, where serfdom was illegal, they were still bound by a military code. Their officers were, for the most part, the upper stratum of society. The only ways a Hessian regular soldier could become a free man under these circumstances were desertion or capture. Serfdom was only abolished in Hesse-Kassel in 1806 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Hessian troops included jägers, hussars, three artillery companies, and four battalions of grenadiers. Most of the infantry were chasseurs (sharpshooters), musketeers, and fusiliers. Line infantry was armed with muskets, while the Hessian artillery used the three-pounder cannon. The elite Jäger battalions used the büchse, a short, large-caliber rifle well-suited to woodland combat. Initially, the average regiment was made up of 500 to 600 men. Later in the war, the regiments had only 300 to 400 men.[citation needed]

The first Hessian troops to arrive in North America landed at Staten Island in New York on August 15, 1776. Their first engagement was in the Battle of Long Island. The Hessians fought in almost every battle, although after 1777, the British used them mainly as garrison and patrol troops. An assortment of Hessians fought in the battles and campaigns in the southern states during 1778–80 (including Guilford Courthouse), and two regiments fought at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781.

Americans, both Rebel and Tory, often feared the Hessians, believing them to be rapacious and brutal mercenaries. Meanwhile, Hessian diaries frequently express disapproval of the British troops’ conduct towards the colonists, including the destruction of property and the occasional execution of prisoners, the latter being doubly upsetting when American Germans were among them.[7]

The British common soldiers, in a similar fashion to the Americans, distrusted the primarily German-speaking Hessians and hence, despite their strong military performance, often treated them with contempt.

The chaplain then recounts the case of a Jaeger subaltern who was assailed “by an Englishman in his cups” with the declaration: “God damn you, Frenchy, you take our pay!” The outraged Hessian replied: “I am a German and you are a shit.” This was followed by an impromptu duel with hangers, in which the Englishman received a fatal wound. The chaplain records that General Howe pardoned the Jaeger officer and issued an order that “the English should treat the Germans as brothers.” This order began to have influence only when “our Germans, teachable as they are” had learned to “stammer a little English.” Apparently, this was a prerequisite for the English to show them any affection.[8]

Hessian captives[edit]

The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776, by John Trumbull, shows General Washington ordering medical help for the mortally wounded Hessian Colonel Johann Rall

General George Washington‘s Continental Army had crossed the Delaware River to make a surprise attack on the Hessians on the early morning of December 26, 1776. In the Battle of Trenton, the Hessian force of 1,400 was wiped out by the Continentals, with about 20 killed, 100 wounded, and 1,000 captured.[9]

The Hessians captured in the Battle of Trenton were paraded through the streets of Philadelphia to raise American morale; anger at their presence helped the Continental Army recruit new soldiers.[10] Most of the prisoners were sent to work as farm hands.[11]

By early 1778, negotiations for the exchange of prisoners between Washington and the British had begun in earnest.[12] Nicholas Bahner(t), Jacob Strobe, George Geisler, and Conrad Kramm are a few of the Hessian soldiers who deserted the British forces after being returned in exchange for American prisoners of war.[13] These men were hunted by the British for being deserters as well as by many of the colonists as a foreign enemy.

Americans tried to entice Hessians to desert from the British and join the already large German-American population. The US Congress authorized the offer of 50 acres (approximately 20 hectares) of land to individual Hessian soldiers to encourage them to desert the group. British soldiers were offered 50 to 800 acres, depending on rank.[14]

War propaganda[edit]

In August 1777, a satirical letter, “The Sale of the Hessians”, was widely distributed. It claimed that a Hessian commander wanted more of his soldiers dead so that he could be better compensated. For many years, the author of the letter was unknown. In 1874, John Bigelow translated it to English (from a French version) and claimed that Benjamin Franklin wrote it, including it in his biography, The Life of Benjamin Franklin, published that year. There appears to be no evidence to support this claim.[15]

Lancaster POW experience[edit]

Hessian soldiers captured during the Battle at Trenton taken to Philadelphia.

Many Hessian prisoners were held in camps at the interior city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lancaster was a center for the Pennsylvania Dutch, who treated the German prisoners well. The Hessians responded favorably; some volunteered for extra work assignments, helping to replace local men serving in the Continental Army. After the war, many POWs never returned to Germany and instead accepted American offers of religious freedom and free land, becoming permanent settlers. By contrast, British prisoners were also held in Lancaster, but these men did not respond favorably to good treatment – they tried to escape.[16]

Nova Scotia theatre[edit]

Hatchment of Oberst Franz Carl Erdmann Freiherr von Seitz, St. Paul’s Church (Halifax), Nova Scotia, d.1782

The Hessians served in Nova Scotia for five years (1778-1783). They protected the colony from American privateers, such as when they responded to the Raid on Lunenburg (1782). They were led by Baron Oberst Franz Carl Erdmann von Seitz.[17]

Conclusion of the war[edit]

About 30,000 Germans served in the Americas, and, after the war ended in 1783, some 17,313 returned to their German homelands. Of the 12,526 who did not return, about 7,700 had died. Some 1,200 were killed in action, and 6,354 died from illness or accidents, mostly the former.[18] Approximately 5,000 German troops settled in North America, either the United States or Canada. 4,500 of them, mainly press-ganged, settled in United States.

Commanding officers[edit]

Units in the American Revolution[edit]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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