I think Waverly Lewis is now in a place where he can interview members of Von Heer's troop and determine exactly what they wore. Unfortunately a medium would be required to get that information to us. The same is true of his collection which long ago was dispersed. According to the Wiederholt diary entry of 11 January 1780, there is no mentiion of the origin of the troop uniforms, but another clue is contained in the German text: that Von Heer was from Bayreuth. That would mean that his former military experience would be in the Austrian service and that he would likely have preferred a 'Kasket' of the Austrian pattern of 1773, namely a round leather cap similar to a small shako with a curved front plate rising higher than the skull covering. Attached to the skull portion is the cockade and, possibly, a feather. There would be no horse hair or comb on this pattern cap. This type of leather cap was popular in colonial America and is illustrated in General Washington's Army:1, as the cap of the Newport Light Infantry. As to the supposition that the uniform was captured from the Hessians or Brunswickers, well this is a good theory, but I would think too, that v. Wiederholt would have mentioned it. No substantial stock of captured German uniforms is recorded by the Continental Clothier until after the surrender at Yorktown, October 1781. At that point the Germain uniforms appear to have been packed up and sent to the Southern Army under Major General Nathanael Greene. This was a theater of operations that did not see the Provost Troop.
To Join the Company of Military Historians click here