Carl Emil von Donop

Colonel von Donop, 1786


1 January 1732 in Hesse-Kassel (now part of Germany)
25 October 1777 during the Battle of Fort Mercer in New Jersey

Carl Emil von Donop was a German officer who fought in the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolutionary War. Born in 1732 in Hanover, Germany, he was the son of a general in the Hanoverian Army.

Donop began his military career in the Hanoverian Army, where he served as an officer in various regiments. In 1757, he was sent to fight in the Seven Years’ War, where he served under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. He fought in several battles, including the Battle of Hastenbeck and the Battle of Vellinghausen, where he was wounded.

In 1776, Donop was sent to North America to fight as part of the British forces in the American Revolutionary War. He was appointed as a colonel and was put in command of a brigade of Hessian troops. Donop was known for his bravery and military skill, and he quickly gained a reputation as one of the best officers in the British army.

In October 1777, Donop led his troops in an attack on Fort Mercer, located on the Delaware River in New Jersey. The fort was defended by a small force of Continental Army soldiers under the command of Colonel Christopher Greene. Donop’s troops launched a fierce assault but were unable to breach the fort’s defenses. During the battle Donop was fatally wounded. He died two days later on 25 October.

Carl Emil von Donop is remembered as a brave and skilled military officer who fought in several important battles of his time. He was also known for his loyalty to the British crown, even in the face of difficult circumstances. His contributions to the military history of Germany and the United Kingdom are still studied and appreciated today.


Loyalism was a siren call for the British. They were constantly bending their strategy to conform to the chimera of Loyalist support that was assumed to be there but somehow never materialized. Howe’s Philadelphia campaign and Burgoyne’s invasion from Canada, as well as the British strategy in the South, were based on the assumption that large numbers of Loyalists would rise in support, if only sufficiently encouraged and protected ...

Michael Stephenson
Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (2007)