A tale of two mitres
Here we see a mitre (miter?) hat of the Newport Light Infantry, a local colonial militia unit formed on the authorization of the Rhode Island General Assembly in October 1774 as a more highly trained “minute man” style company, some 100 strong.
From the Smithsonian:
At the top of this miter is the motto “Hope.” Below is the British royal cipher or monogram, “GR” for Georgeus Rex or King George. It flanks a Rhode Island anchor. In the center of the plate is a female figure labeled “America” standing on a broken chain and a belt bearing the inscription “Patria cara, carior Libertas” or “Nation is dear, but Liberty is dearer.”
The NLI disappeared in 1776 after the British occupation of that town.
Next is the more traditional association of mitres in Colonial America, a cap belonging to the Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen, one of the regiments of the Second Division of troops from the German principality of Hesse-Cassel used by the British as mercenaries (um, third-party military contractors) during the Revolutionary War.
There were, of course, British units that used mitres during the conflict, as it was customary to outfit grenadier companies with the pointed headdress.
Heck, there were even other American units that used them as well. I give you, the 26th Continental Regiment whose grenadier company wore the traditional grenadier’s mitre cap. One of these caps has survived in the Smithsonian collections. The Roman numerals ‘XXVI’ and the cipher ‘GW,’ for George Washington, are embroidered on the front. The regiment was referred to as the “George Washington Regiment.”