The "German" cavalrymen wore ice-cream freezer shaped helmets

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major bill

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Taken from An 1865 Account of the Dress of the 11th and 55th Regiments, New York National Guard by Anthony F. Gero published in the Journal of the Company of Military Historians, winter 1990 issue.

"German cavalrymen with helmets resembling ice-cream freezers on the heads, dashed wildly up and down, to keep back the surging crowd..."

OK so what does "helmets resembling ice-cream freezers" mean? This unit could be the 3rd Regiment of Cavalry of New York National Guard which was made up form German New Yorkers. It was known that in 1859 this unit wore round Germanic style stable caps but it is not known if they still wore these in 1865. Could these be described as ice-cream freezer helmets? I have some doubts. What did a period ice-cream freezer even look like?

Another possibility is the report is about the 11th New York Regiment which in 1859 had a lancer company attached to it that may have worn lancer helmets. But was this lancer helmet still worn in 1865? Could a lancer helmet look like an ice-cream freezer?

Exactly who the "Germany cavalrymen' were and what they wore on their heads remains vague.

For a bonus the article tells us the French (55th Artillery) was a six company artillery unit who wore "red caps,epaulets, and pantaloons..."
 

major bill

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Looks like what my grandparents made homemade ice-cream in.

I know some European caps sort of looked like upside down buckets, but helmets that looked like upside down buckets?
 
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mofederal

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That would make one bizarre looking head gear, but a great drawing. This does sound like something worth seeing. If they wore them early on, then I could understand why not later. The question might be when if did stop wearing them.
 

trice

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That would make one bizarre looking head gear, but a great drawing. This does sound like something worth seeing. If they wore them early on, then I could understand why not later. The question might be when if did stop wearing them.
Click here for some spectacular headgear.
 
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Taken from An 1865 Account of the Dress of the 11th and 55th Regiments, New York National Guard by Anthony F. Gero published in the Journal of the Company of Military Historians, winter 1990 issue.

"German cavalrymen with helmets resembling ice-cream freezers on the heads, dashed wildly up and down, to keep back the surging crowd..."

OK so what does "helmets resembling ice-cream freezers" mean? This unit could be the 3rd Regiment of Cavalry of New York National Guard which was made up form German New Yorkers. It was known that in 1859 this unit wore round Germanic style stable caps but it is not known if they still wore these in 1865. Could these be described as ice-cream freezer helmets? I have some doubts. What did a period ice-cream freezer even look like?

Another possibility is the report is about the 11th New York Regiment which in 1859 had a lancer company attached to it that may have worn lancer helmets. But was this lancer helmet still worn in 1865? Could a lancer helmet look like an ice-cream freezer?

Exactly who the "Germany cavalrymen' were and what they wore on their heads remains vague.

For a bonus the article tells us the French (55th Artillery) was a six company artillery unit who wore "red caps,epaulets, and pantaloons..."
I gather there are no photos of this headgear.
 

Story

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Occam's Razor would say 3rd NY SM Cavalry. Emphasis on the State Militia part.
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/united-states-hussar-deaths-head-totenkopf.129296/page-2#post-1433764

3rd Cavalry
New York State Militia
New York National Guard
Civil War
Captain Sauer's Company C, Hussars <- that'd be the German part. Also the Hussars part.

History
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

Left the state: July 23,1861
Mustered out: November 2, 1861

Company C of the 3d Cavalry, located in New York city, and commanded by Capt. George W. Sauer, with sufficient men from other companies to make the number one hundred, volunteered, upon the request of the General Government for some cavalry, for three months' service, and left the State, July 23, 1861. The company was mustered out of the United States service at New York city November 2, 1861. The company and regiment are no longer in existence.
https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/cavalry/3rdCavNYSM/3rdCavNYSMMain.htm

For the first one of you that's tempted to type "but they were mustered out on November 2nd, 1861" that's why the State Militia part is important. NYSM units still existed, albeit at home, when not mustered into Federal service.
 

major bill

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I gather there are no photos of this headgear.
No photos that I am aware of. In fact the thought of a photo of mounted "German cavalryman" wearing a ice-cream freezer on his head is a bit disturbing.
 
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trice

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I was wondering if the description could indicate a Hussar style cap, but not sure the term helmet would fit a Hussar style cap.
Story's post above:
=====
3rd Cavalry
New York State Militia
New York National Guard
Civil War
Captain Sauer's Company C, Hussars <- that'd be the German part. Also the Hussars part.
=====

makes a lot of sense with the Hussar cap. I'd figure the "helmet" might just be a word misuse, or maybe the hat was hard and helmet-like (leather?)

Hussars were popular mid-century with those spectacular uniforms. A militia unit, particularly one that was made up from people with money, might have gone all out for looks in the 1850s. Just like Zouaves became all the rage after the 1859 Austro-French war in Italy.

These guys were probably NY State Volunteer Militia -- different than NY State Enrolled Militia. The Volunteers generally had more time and money, paid for their own uniforms and drilled more. Apparently these guys didn't have standard uniforms, so they varied company by company, and people looking for uniform information on the NY State Militia at the time (late 1850s, early 1860s) have a lot of problems.
 
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mofederal

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I would think a newspaper reporter might know what a shako was, but I guess he could have called it a coffee pot insead of a ice cream freezer. Shako still were being to an extent for dress purposes.
 
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WJC

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Consider the circa-1865 journalist's limitations with words and such, when he's trying to grasp the concept of a busby http://hatguide.co.uk/busby/ or a shako
From the photo, I can see a resemblance- at keast in rough size and outline- with an old-time ice cream freezer. Larger diameter on top, smaller diameter on bottom, like an old metal bucket, only smaller.
With that in mind, my guess is this is something like that Mr. Gero describes....
 
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major bill

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Still a bit unsure what "helmets resembling ice-cream freezers" looked like.
 
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