Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Hinrichs, Johann Freiherr von

By: Digby Smith

Hinrichs, Johann Freiherr von (1013)

Born on 3 November 1752 in Hamburg, north Germany, the son of a broker. On 1 July 1767 he entered the Johanneum school in Hamburg; and on 3 May 1775 he graduated from Göttingen University. In 1774 he entered the service of Hessen-Kassel, being commissioned as a supernumary Lt (without pay) in the 1st Jäger Kompagnie. In 1776 he was promoted to Lt with pay. From 1776 - 1783 he served in the Hessian corps in British pay in America. He led the forlorn hope in the assault on Fort Washington, commanded the advanced guard at Fort Redbank and commanded the Hessian and Ansbach Jägers in the siege of Charlestown. He fought in the battles of Flatbush, White Plains, Brandywine, Germantown, Kings Bridge (where he was wounded),in the clashes of Rariton, the Landing, Philipshouse (wounded three times). In 1781 he was promoted Kpt and Kiech, in the 1st Jäger - Kompagnie.

In 1784 he transferred to Prussian service as Kpt and Kiech, Light Infantry R von Chaumontet. On 25 August 1786 he was promoted major and attached to King Friedrich Wilhelm II`s suite. On 1 June 1787 he transferred to Füs Bn Nr 12 and on 29 January 1788 was appointed Chef of Füs Bn Nr 12. On 21 January 1793 he was promoted to Obstlt. From 1794 - 1795 he fought in the war in Poland; on 27 May 1794 he was in the raid on Obodzno (received an official commendation on 7 June 1794). On 10 July he fought in the clash at Blonie. On 27 July he was in the clash at Wola, on 3 October in the clash at Labuschin where he was wounded and won the PLM. On 12 September 1797 he was appointed Kdr (Brigadier) of the 1st Warsaw Füsilier Brigade.

On 20 May 1801 he was promoted to GM. In the 1806 campaign he commanded the advanced guard of the Duke of Württemberg`s corps which was not involved in Jena or Auerstädt but was heavily defeated on 17 Oct at Halle, where he was wounded (with a sabre cut in the throat and a bayonet thrust in the chest) and captured. He was not released until 15 September 1807, when he was set on half pay. On 5 May 1813 he was appointed commander of the Neumärk LW Division and of the blockade of Küstrin. On 18 March 1814 he was appointed commandant of Küstrin. On 1 April 1814 he was awarded the EK II. He retired on 3 October 1815 as GL. On 10 September 1834 he was awarded the RAO II. He died on 13 November 1834 in Stargard. Hinrichs was a hothead and an active academic who set up schools for his officers and men in Plock and Pultusk.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2011


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