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A Great Revolutionary War Find


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#26 Bob Hudson

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:19 PM

Yep I have no doubt. some of my family were from the Piedmont area, Harpe/Harp, and fought for the british.

 

Mike

 

Yep I have no doubt. some of my family were from the Piedmont area, Harpe/Harp, and fought for the british.

 

Mike

 

 

There were about 5,000 "Hessians" who stayed in the US and Canada after the American Revolution. I put Hessians in quotes because only about half the 30,000 Germans contracted to the British came from Hesse.  The Colonial propaganda machine portrayed them as vicious mercenaries, but in reality they were mostly teenages drafted into service. The princes of the Germanic states hired out these conscripted armies to the British and kept most of them money for themselves, that being the princely thing to do. 

 

My own Hessian ancestor, as with many others who stayed in America, was wrongly credited with having jumped to the other side during the American Revolution. I found so many of those myths that I put up a web pages about it several years ago, calling it 

Great-great-great-great-grandpa 
jumped ship and became a patriot!

All relics of the Revolutionary War are scarce: the British mostly took theirs home, the Colonials continued to use theirs, and the Hessians who stayed likely disposed of theirs because of the stigma then of being a Hessian or the descendant of one.



#27 RustyCanteen

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:27 PM

Bob, that was a nice write up.

 

RC



#28 R Michael

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:43 PM

 

 

 

There were about 5,000 "Hessians" who stayed in the US and Canada after the American Revolution. I put Hessians in quotes because only about half the 30,000 Germans contracted to the British came from Hesse.  The Colonial propaganda machine portrayed them as vicious mercenaries, but in reality they were mostly teenages drafted into service. The princes of the Germanic states hired out these conscripted armies to the British and kept most of them money for themselves, that being the princely thing to do. 

 

My own Hessian ancestor, as with many others who stayed in America, was wrongly credited with having jumped to the other side during the American Revolution. I found so many of those myths that I put up a web pages about it several years ago, calling it 

Great-great-great-great-grandpa 
jumped ship and became a patriot!

All relics of the Revolutionary War are scarce: the British mostly took theirs home, the Colonials continued to use theirs, and the Hessians who stayed likely disposed of theirs because of the stigma then of being a Hessian or the descendant of one.

Very Interesting read and thanks for the link.

 

Do a google search on Big Harpe and Little Harpe. They are family and it seems fought for the British and even one account has them riding with Tarlington's (SP) raiders. Who knows if true or not.

 

Mike



#29 Bob Hudson

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:58 PM

Very Interesting read and thanks for the link.

 

Do a google search on Big Harpe and Little Harpe. They are family and it seems fought for the British and even one account has them riding with Tarlington's (SP) raiders. Who knows if true or not.

 

Mike

 

 

My wife has Tory ancestors who were kicked out of the US after the revolution (off to Canada with them) and I know that there are some pretty good records in regards to those who were resettled. I think a fair amount of them quietly moved back to the US. Try this site for leads: http://www.uelac.org/



#30 fstop61

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:20 PM

Fantastic find-great topic.... Thanks for posting!



#31 Will

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:36 AM

I recall speaking with Dan before he went to see this piece.

He told me that he was going to go look at what had been described as a "Revolutionary War helmet."

We both laughed, thinking that it was probably a 19th century Masonic fore and aft hat.

It just goes to show, you never know what you are going to find....

 

From the Smithsonian's description of this type of helmet:

 

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" for Friedrich Landgraf, the ruler of Hesse-Cassel..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


Edited by Will, 06 December 2013 - 07:40 AM.


#32 Drew Wright

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 11:18 AM

That's pretty incredible; thanks for posting.  Very interesting to see things that I know will never show up in my part of the country.

 

Was there good bidding for it at the auction or was it a sleeper?  Congrats either way!

 

Regards,

 

Drew



#33 Bob Hudson

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

That's pretty incredible; thanks for posting.  Very interesting to see things that I know will never show up in my part of the country.

 

 

Never, say never. I have found a pretty good amount of Civil War items here in San Diego County, the southwestern most county in the continental US, and have even found knives and swords from the war of 1812 era. Part of it is knowing what to look for: I could see that Hessian helmet being advertised as "an old costume hat" at an estate sale. I recently bought a salty colonial-era tavern table for $15 at local estate sale: they didn't know what they had, and I didn't either, but it was interesting enough to roll the dice.  It would actually be the perfect place on which to display the helmet since they're about the same age.



#34 uberguido

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:00 PM

 

Never, say never. I have found a pretty good amount of Civil War items here in San Diego County, the southwestern most county in the continental US, and have even found knives and swords from the war of 1812 era. Part of it is knowing what to look for: I could see that Hessian helmet being advertised as "an old costume hat" at an estate sale. I recently bought a salty colonial-era tavern table for $15 at local estate sale: they didn't know what they had, and I didn't either, but it was interesting enough to roll the dice.  It would actually be the perfect place on which to display the helmet since they're about the same age.

My wife, who normally makes fun of me for my forum addiction, has retracted all her comments and is now interested in seeing the table and kindly requests you post a picture. for a Canuck, shes a huge fan of primitive and colonial era furniture and design.



#35 cefiler

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:47 PM

"Sensational" is indeed the right word for this.  Wow...



#36 TRR

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:52 PM

Amazing find and goes to show it is still out there waiting to found. Thanks for sharing with us!



#37 gwb123

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 07:07 PM

 The captured Hessian's were paraded through Philadelphia, marched through Lancaster, York, Carlisle and down to Chambersburg.

 

 

 

 

 

As Bob has somewhat alluded to, as the captured Hessian's were marched along, their captors managed to walk them through towns were German settlers had located.  Some how as their march continued, their numbers managed to diminish, with large numbers of them absorbed into the local populations.

 

Very nice find.



#38 ColdWarRules

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:10 AM

My jaw hit the floor...

 

-Nick



#39 Nathan Barlow

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 06:51 PM

There are three (this would make the fourth) non-dug complete helmets (not just the plates) of these fusilier Hesse-Kassel Regiment von Knyphausen helmets. This one just like the other known ones have buff fabric covered bodies. They originally had a metal cone finial on the top of the cloth body that is missing on the one pictured at the beginning of this thread (see below image, which is being linked from Military & Historical Image Bank)

 

http://www.historica...py_001.jpg.html

 

All are Trenton captures, and with this one coming out of PA is no doubt as well. Like with the above helmet the last one of these that hit the market came out of a "no name" PA country auction a few years back, this was later sold to a private collector in CT and is the one pictured above.

 

For more images of one of these same captured helmets see the below link from Military and Historical Image Bank..

 

http://www.historica...lbum21/album50/



#40 KurtA

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:15 AM

There are three (this would make the fourth) non-dug complete helmets (not just the plates) of these fusilier Hesse-Kassel Regiment von Knyphausen helmets. This one just like the other known ones have buff fabric covered bodies. They originally had a metal cone finial on the top of the cloth body that is missing on the one pictured at the beginning of this thread (see below image, which is being linked from Military & Historical Image Bank)

 

http://www.historica...py_001.jpg.html

 

All are Trenton captures, and with this one coming out of PA is no doubt as well. Like with the above helmet the last one of these that hit the market came out of a "no name" PA country auction a few years back, this was later sold to a private collector in CT and is the one pictured above.

 

For more images of one of these same captured helmets see the below link from Military and Historical Image Bank..

 

http://www.historica...lbum21/album50/

 

Nathan-

Thanks for posting those links.  Very interesting!

Kurt



#41 swmdo

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:34 PM

On the Patriot side of the house my ancestors fought the Hessians at Trenton and at Saratoga. It would make my ancestors proud to add the Captured Hessian Helmet to our collection. There were not many Tory Or Hessian Sympathizers from Lancaster Massachusetts. Many of their artifacts ended up at Valley Forge. So did my ancestor SGT Matthias Larkin who died there.
Great find though...

Edited by swmdo, 03 January 2014 - 06:39 PM.


#42 Azeeze312

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:56 AM

http://www.army.mil/...tion_Revisited/

Interesting article related to these helmets found.

#43 SDC

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:02 AM

Just out of curiosity, how do you preserve and display something like this?

#44 USCapturephotos

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:26 PM

Yep I have no doubt. some of my family were from the Piedmont area, Harpe/Harp, and fought for the british.

 

Mike

Yup. My family hedged it's bets. We had one revolutionary from Chester County, Pa who served and one loyalist who ended up down in North Carolina I believe.

Danny what an awesome find!!!!!

Paul



#45 mvmhm

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:16 PM

Wow.

 

 

 

 

Mark sends



#46 swmdo

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:11 PM

http://www.army.mil/...tion_Revisited/

Interesting article related to these helmets found.


I love this story and the helmet.

#47 kilgarvan

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:51 AM

I would also suggest showing / maybe contacting Don Troiani.  That is very impressive and I have enjoyed reading this post. 

 

If you aren't already familiar, Don has his collection online:

http://www.historicalimagebank.com/

 

....and many of his prints depict Hessian Grenadiers with similar helmets:

http://www.historicalartprints.com/

 

Enjoy and best regards...



#48 Khe Sanh68

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:36 AM

That's a real nice piece of Rev. war history

#49 Yankee Trader Relics

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:49 AM

Dan,

 

Just catching up on some posts to expand my horizons and stumbled upon your original post with the images of the Hessian helmet.  Wish I saw this sooner.  What an exceptional find.  These type of items just do not show up.  Usually tucked away in a museum warehouse or private collectors war room.  Outstanding!

 

Thanks for sharing,

Mark




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