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The American Revolutionary War from a Hessian Perspective

GA 31411 – WEBWIRE

Richard Leighton’s book which is entitled “Reflections of a Hessian” is a narrative written in an attempt to present Christopher Cale’s background and upbringing. Formerly known as Christian Khal, the reasons why Cale had to leave his past behind and transform his life completely are the very content of the book.
The book begins by building on a legend that the author’s four times great grandfather named Christopher Cale came to the United States as one of the 30,000 Hessian soldiers hired by the British to fight in the Revolutionary War; and that he subsequently defected to become a farmer   in what’s now West Virginia. Except for his birth and death dates and the year of his defection, nothing much is known about this man prior to his desertion. Along with other Hessians, Cale endures his journey through battles of the Revolutionary War. The author seizes on a true incident that led to the death of another ancestor, a fellow countryman of Cale’s for which he felt responsible. The guilt that Cale felt over this death becomes a key factor leading to his defection. The direction Cale has taken is contrasted with that of his childhood friend, another Hessian soldier who spent five and a half years in American prison camps but felt obligated to return to his home country. Meanwhile Cale came under the tutelage of an American woman who would become his wife. It was at her insistence that he changed his German name of Kahl which means naked, bare, or barren to Cale.
The author vividly recounts the events of Cale’s past with so much imagery. The local colors in the book present the time and era when war-displaced people on both sides of the conflict had their lives and their dreams disrupted.
This book is not only a narrative of the history of the American Revolutionary War but a story of the immigrants who contributed to the birth of our nation. Whether you are a Cale descendant, a person of German descent or a devotee of American history, this one’s for you.
“Reflections of a Hessian” book copies are available at
Writer: Richard Leighton
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
ISBN-10: 164237721X
ISBN-13: 978-1642377217
Kindle: $9.00
Paperback: $17.00
Hardcover: $25.00
About the Author
Richard Leighton is a cardiologist and a professor of internal medicine at Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah campus. He is a native of Western Maryland and finished his undergraduate program at Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College. He received a medical degree from the University of Maryland and served an internsship at the University Hospital in Baltimore. In the late 1950s he was a U.S. Navy flight surgeon with Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VW-1), based in Hawaii and Guam.  He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at the Ohio State University where he served as a faculty member for nine years. In 1974 he was appointed Chief of Cardiology and in 1990 Dean of the School of Medicine at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. In 1997 he relocated to Savannah, Georgia. He is the author or coauthor of over 90 publications in the field of cardiovascular medicine and of two recent books: “Dear Folks: A Memoir from 500 Letters” in 2016 and “From Guam and Beyond: Stories of the Men of VW-1” in 2018.

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