Eric Flint Wiki
Jeff Higgins
Fictional Character
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): 1632;
1633 (novel);
Ring of Fire;
1634: The Baltic War
1635: The Dreeson Incident
1635: The Eastern Front
1636: The Ottoman Onslaught
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States of Europe (born in the United States)
Religion: Methodism
Date of Birth: 1981
Occupation: Soldier
Spouse: Gretchen Richter
Children: William Higgins, Joseph Higgins
Affiliations: USE Army

Jeff Higgins was a young denizen of Grantville. After the Ring of Fire, Higgins quickly rose in the new society created by the time-lost town. He became an adept soldier, diplomat, and weapons-expert. He married the revolutionary Gretchen Richter shortly after their first meeting.

The Ring of Fire (1631-32)[]

Higgns was part of a group known informally as the "Four Musketeers", a group that included Larry Wild, Eddie Cantrell, and Jimmy Andersen. On the day of the Ring of Fire, Higgins's family had left for the day, as had the family of his neighbor, Larry Wild. Cantrell and Anderson, residents of a neighboring town, had come to Grantville for a game of "Dungeons & Dragons". When the Ring of Fire sent Grantville to Germany in the year 1631, the four orphans volunteered to be soldiers. Higgins helped build rockets with science teacher Greg Ferrara. All four took part in the Battle of the Crapper alongside allied Scottish forces led by Alexander Mackay and Mike Stearns.

The Battle of the Crapper and meeting Gretchen Richter[]

Initially, Stearns employed the four as dirt-bike couriers. However, when it was clear that another group of supposed allies, Ernst Hoffman and his mercenaries, were about to assault a camp, Stearns dispatched Higgins and his friends to try to warn Hoffman off. When Higgins and the other three came upon Gretchen Richter and several other women standing outside an outhouse (where Richter had hidden her son and her sister), waiting for their fate, he quickly grew smitten with the beautiful Richter as well as horrified by the terror of the other women, and rode off to confront Hoffman, with the other three right behind him. However, they had no plan, and were soon surrounded by Hoffman's group, who were clearly just as confused as the boys.

Fortunately, the rest of Grantville's military arrived in their newly modified Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), which completely baffled and terrorized Hoffman's mercenaries. Panicked anew, the mercenaries scattered, and Hoffman surrendered.

Higgins was surprised when Gretchen appeared and asked him for help in a pidgin English. He and the Musketeers helped Gretchen pull the people she'd hidden in the outhouse to safety. Gretchen also asked for his help to find her brother, Hans.

Jeff guided Gretchen and her family to Grantville High School which provided shelter for the German refugees. He was quite smitten with the fearless woman, and that very evening, proposed marriage to her, despite their language gap. She accepted. The announcment created quite a stir in the Grantville Emergency Committee, as several members thought that the marriage was coming about for the wrong reasons, and at least one member, Quentin Underwood, expressed some protectionist ideas. However, the marriage had the support of Melissa Mailey, Frank Jackson, and Mike Stearns himself. Stearns had Rebecca Abrabanel explain the Spanish concept of limpieza, and how Grantville could opt for that model, or a model much closer to the original USA. Realizing what they preferred, the committee gave its blessing to the marriage, and even teased Higgins on his using a dictionary to propose. The marriage was held on July 4, 1631.

Higgins had no illusions about their relationship. He understood that Gretchen didn't love him in the modern sense. Nonetheless, he did love her, and she agreed to work at their marriage. After their wedding night, Gretchen had overcome many of her demons, and love did indeed begin to blossom.


Higgins participated in the Battle of Jena. At the suggestion of Michael Stearns and Melissa Mailey, Gretchen entered Jena and laid the foundation for the Committees of Correspondence. While Higgins was at the front, Richter murdered a pimp named Max Jungers, and was taken into custody. When he learned, Higgins wanted to level the town. However, the town leaders quickly gave information on where Jungers's associates might be found, and agreed to allow American forces help police the town.

Higgins achieved a level of popularity in Jena. While Jena was not part of the New United States, and did not participate in the 1631 election, Higgins's name was bandied about by the students of Jena as their possible candidate for senator.

The Battle of Grantville[]

While Higgins became a father by marrying Gretchen and taking in the various children under her care, he and Gretchen learned she was pregnant in July, 1632. Higgins could not participate in the Battle of the Wartburg as he was sick with a flu. Thus, he was in Grantville during the Croat raid.

By good fortune, Higgins was out riding his motorcycle when Rebecca Stearns was set upon by four Croats. Between the two them, they killed all four. Higgins then regrouped at Grantville High School with Rebecca. He helped supervise the defense of the school by using buses to block the entrances. Then he and school principal Len Trout took positions in the gym. When the Croats made their way into the gym, Trout was killed, and Higgins was injured in the shoulder. Gustavus Adolphus arrived, saving Jeff from a deathblow.

In 1633, Higgins and Richter were part of the embassy to Amsterdam that became trapped when the town was besieged by Spanish forces.

The Eastern Front[]

Higgins commanded an infantry battalion tasked with protecting Thorston Engler's volley guns. Later on he was promoted and put in charge of the Hangman's Regiment.