Captain Selin's Company / Ottendorff's Corps
Selin's Independent Rifle Company
is a re-creation of an original American Revolutionary Rifle Company which fought during the American War Of Independence.
Originally part of Ottendorff's Corps, authorized by Congress as a Company of American Jägers or Riflemen: some of it's engagements that we have documentation for were in the
New Jersey Campaigns of 1777 at the Battle of Bound Brook, NJ; Then with Charles Armand (Tuffin, Marquis de La Rouerie) at the Battle of Short Hills, Woodbridge NJ, and many engagements in and about Head of Elk, Brandywine, Germantown, White Marsh and at winters quarters in Valley Forge.
By the Fall of 1778 the unit was split from Armand's as an Independent Corps & was deployed on the frontier settlements of the Minisink, NY.
The Spring 1779 saw the unit marching for the Pennsylvania settlement of Wyoming,
making preparations for the wilderness campaign of General Sullivan.
During the Sullivan Expedition, Selin's Independent Rifle Company was attached to the 3rd Brigade
under General Edward Hand. In part, this group consisted of
Light Corps and Rifles who served as the van throughout the Campaign.
The Battle of Newtown, NY, in August 1779 was the major engagement during this Campaign.
After the Sullivan - Clinton Campaign, we served as frontier guards for the
Wyoming Settlement and surrounding outposts.
1781 saw the unit attached to Moses Hazen's Regiment,
through The Siege of Yorktown until the end of the war.
(download our research papers)
Originally formed at the same time George Washington was authorized to raise the 16 Additional Regiments, Ottendorff's Corps, being authorized by Congress, can be listed as an additional Regiment to the 16.
The Company throughout the war saw many changes to its structure.
In its first year of deployment, 1777 saw the unit as light infantry, in part as American Jaegers, facing the German Jaegers deployed by Captain Johann Ewald in the Jersey Campaigns. The unit at that time was mostly composed of Pennsylvania Germans and equipped with the PA style longrifles many made by German immigrant gunsmiths or German Jaeger rifles ( from the Fatherland) and accoutred in a similar fashion to the European foe. The unit's European Officers (Ottendorff and Selin) who chose to fight for the American cause no doubt were worthy opponents to the recently deployed German troops sent to America by the British.
By 1778, with ranks much reduced from the Jersey & Philadelphia Campaigns and their new commander (Charles Armand) away recruiting French compatriots in New England, what was left of the "Late Ottendorff's Corps" under Captain Selin emerged from the Valley Forge winter, by now their uniforms worn to rags.
By late 1778-79 the unit (now removed from Armand's command by Washington's orders) was on the Frontiers of NY and PA fighting Tories and Indians. At that time the unit took on a more woodland-style dress in the warmer months only to return to a more uniformed appearance again by 1781 when becoming part of Moses Hazen's 2nd Canadian Regiment at the Battle of Yorktown until war's end .
We can trace our lineage back to the formation of the"Corps de Ottendorf" or Ottendorf's Corps, which was authorized by
Congress Dec. 5, 1776, assigned to the main Army.
Three main Companies (also two secondary companies) were organized in Eastern Pennsylvania from Dec. 9, 1776 thru June 17, 1777.
Company No. 1 was composed of Light Infantry and Commanded by Major De Ottendorf until June of 1777 when it was taken over by Charles Armand. This was Armand's first command in the American War. Company No. 2 was commanded by Captain Antoni Selin. This Uniformed Company of Foot was composed of light infantry & rifles (hunters-jägers as the germans called them). Company No. 3 was to be commanded by John Paul Schott, also working as an independent company, it too, was similar in composition to Selin's Company.
By mid June of 1777 it was redesignated as the
"Late Ottendorf's Corps", commanded by Col. Armand, as just mentioned.
Armand then began recruiting Frenchmen who would fight for the cause. Now comprising a number of partisan officers Company No 1 was composed of mounted Cavalry, dismounted dragoons and lights . Antoni Selin still had command of the Independent Company of Foot through the Fall of 1778. This now comprised a portion of Schott's original Company also, since Schott had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Short Hills in June 1777
By the Fall & Winter of 1778, Captain Schott had been released from captivity and rejoined Captain Selin, now separated from Armand's Corps by General Washington. They wintered on the frontiers of Minisink, NY.
They Arrived in Wyoming Pa early in 1779 to be a part of the Sullivan / Clinton Campaign. Upon their return, they wintered in the Wyoming, PA frontier. .
On January 1, 1781 Captain Selin & his Company were reassigned to General Moses Hazen's
2nd Canadian Regiment ( Congress' Own). They took part in the Battle of Yorktown & remained as part of Hazen's regiment until the end of hostilities.
Steve Collward & Jim Filipski - Ottendorff's Corps at Brandywine 2006
Johann Heinrich Bartholomey's Service in Selin's Company 1777
Orderly Book of Captain Selin's Company 1777 available in .pdf format
or as a html page
Muster rolls, Payrolls and Assorted list of the men of Selin's Company during the Revolution, along with it's associated units, companies and Corps. *New* A Geneologist Haven!
Our other sites of interest
Battle of Newtown visuals and first hand accounts of the major battle
Selin's Independent Rifle Company in 1997
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