Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hessian Miter Cap


Hessian Miter Cap

Date: 1775
Catalog #: 1978.2180.01    Accession #: 1978.218
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 9.25" H x 7" W x 8.75" D

Physical Description

Cloth body with brass fittings and a cap plate. The straw colored cloth matches the regimental facings on their uniforms. The brass finial, supports and crown are stamped with a variety of military symbols. The brass cap plate is stamped with the Hessian lion. The lion is rampant, rearing on the left hind leg with the forelegs elevated, the right above the left, and usually with the head in profile and holding a sword. The sword is engraved with the initials “FL” forFriedrich Landgraf, the ruler of Hesse-Cassel.

Specific History

The Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen was one of the regiments of the Second Division of troops from the German principality of Hesse-Cassel. It served as an auxiliary troop to the British Army during the American Revolution. Fusiliers were light infantry regiments in German armies and their distinctive miter cap differentiated them from other units.

General History

The miter is a ceremonial, peaked headdress.

Hessian Musket


Date: 1775
Catalog #: NM207    Accession #: 319944
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 8" H x 58.5" W x 2.5" D

Physical Description

German musket, .77 caliber.

General History

King George III used German soldiers to bolster his ranks. Many of these mercenaries came from Hesse-Cassel and were called “Hessians.” Their arms were stout German muskets that bore a similarity to the British Brown Bess, though their barrel bands resembled the French Charleville.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

German Villages in Crisis: Rural Life in Hesse-Kassel and the Thirty Years' War, 1580-1720


The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) was one of the greatest catastrophes ever to befall the German countryside. This book is a detailed study of how the people of the countryside experienced that war. It examines the village, the central social and cultural institution of the countryside, from several vantage points. Drawing on fiscal records, official correspondence, ecclesiastical and court records, and material objects from the village in the Werra region of Hesse, John Theibault creates a nuanced view of what both the village and the war meant to the people who experienced them. The village is revealed as the site of competing interests - interests which responded to, and were transformed by, the challenge of war. The situation of villages emerging from the war was as much a product of how they were before the war as it was a consequence of the war itself. Hence the time span of this study, 1580 to 1720.