The Bloody Wilderness

During 1863 and 1864 three Union regiments who had previously been clad in regulation army dress were issued Zouave uniforms as a reward for their proficiency at drill and to maintain the proud Zouave legacy. The delighted recipients of these fancy new uniforms were the 146th New York who received their Zouave dress in June 1863, followed by the £40th New York and the 155th Pennsylvania, who were issued with Zouave uniforms early in 1864.

These three Zouave regiments formed half of a brigade commanded by Brigadier-general Romeyn B. Ayres. In the 146th's ranks were many three-year enlistees from the legendary 5th New York, transferred from Dtirvee's Zouaves because their terms of service had not expired.

The new Zoua\ e uniform was particularly welcome to the men of the 155th Pennsylvania. When they were mustered into service in 1X62, they had been issued ill-fitting long blue coats and armed with unreliable Belgian rifles. The new Zouave uniforms, issued in January 1864, helped 30

Zouave Uniform Leggings

Period sketch oj the Zouaves d'AJrique, also known us Hunks' Bodyguard, a company of Pennsylvania Zouaves raised by Captain Charles II. T. Caliis. He was later authorised to recruit a full regiment o f Zouaves in Philadelphia, which became the I Nth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the famed Coltis' Zouaves, f Library of Congress)

Period sketch oj the Zouaves d'AJrique, also known us Hunks' Bodyguard, a company of Pennsylvania Zouaves raised by Captain Charles II. T. Caliis. He was later authorised to recruit a full regiment o f Zouaves in Philadelphia, which became the I Nth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the famed Coltis' Zouaves, f Library of Congress)

to instill fresh pride in the men of the regiment.

■Also issued with its Zouave uniforms in eat 1864 was the 140th New York, one of' the m ments who had fought in the fierce contest f Little Round Top at Gettysburg, during whi their commander, Patrick Henry O'Rorke, h been killed.

1 n the Wilderness campaigjn of 1864, whi Grant's army became entangled with the Army Northern Virginia in acres of Virginia scrub at forest, the three regiments of Ayres Brigade wou see some of the toughest fighting of the war. O: of the few open spaces in the dense undergrow of the wilderness was an area known as Saunde field, around 800 yards long and 400 yards wid It was there that Union troops pitched in General Richard Swell's Confederates. Leadii the Union advance was the 140th New York wi the 146th in the secom line. 'Hie 140th was cor started with an ear-splitting yell iIkil echoed through the woods, giving assurance to the troops on the right and left of the line that Ryan's Zouaves were charging the enemy,' wrote Captain Henry Cribhcn of the 140th. The lines of colourful Zouaves didn't falter, even though a stray shell from a Union battery ploughed into the back of the 140th.

Collis Zouaves Gettysburg

Collis' /native in a picture taken around !$(>.f. lie's posing without gaiters ur fambieres, anil the comparative narrowness of his Chasseur, rather than Zouave pattern, trousers can be seen. Tor such a relaxed shot it's strange that this private wanted to wear his turban, usually reserved for full dress occasions. ( Michael J. McAfee)

Xu-nonsense looking Captain Traitas Fi v, oj the 114th Pennsylvania, proudly wears his regiment's numbers in the officer's insignia on his kepi. Fix sail' tough action with the I Nth at Gettysburg, where he was wounded, I n was invalided mil of service during Christmas 1863. (Michael 7. McAfee)

Collis' /native in a picture taken around !$(>.f. lie's posing without gaiters ur fambieres, anil the comparative narrowness of his Chasseur, rather than Zouave pattern, trousers can be seen. Tor such a relaxed shot it's strange that this private wanted to wear his turban, usually reserved for full dress occasions. ( Michael J. McAfee)

manded by O'Rorke's successor. Colonel George Ryan. They'd managed to keep good order while struggling through the undergrowth, and welcomed being in the open until they were hit b\ fierce Confederate fire.

Waiting for reinforcements, Ryan, whose horse had been hit, ordered his men to lie down. Fresh troops arrived to bolster the tine, and Ryan ordered bis Zouaves to charge. 'The regiment

Xu-nonsense looking Captain Traitas Fi v, oj the 114th Pennsylvania, proudly wears his regiment's numbers in the officer's insignia on his kepi. Fix sail' tough action with the I Nth at Gettysburg, where he was wounded, I n was invalided mil of service during Christmas 1863. (Michael 7. McAfee)

Gettysburg Christmas

The 73rd \ei>> 1 ork I oiunteer Infantry proudly tailed themselves the 2nd l ire Zouaves, and for a time at Gettysburg fought alongside the 114th Pennsylvania. Seeing service throughout the war, the 73rd had a much more illustrious career than Ellsworth's First Fire Zouaves, who virtually ceased to exist after First Bull Bun. As shown in this Harper's Weekly print, llie Second Fire Zouaves wore Chasseur-type dress with dark blue jackets. Dark blue forage caps were worn, although at least one period photograph shows the 73rd wearing fezzes. (Ron Field)

The 73rd \ei>> 1 ork I oiunteer Infantry proudly tailed themselves the 2nd l ire Zouaves, and for a time at Gettysburg fought alongside the 114th Pennsylvania. Seeing service throughout the war, the 73rd had a much more illustrious career than Ellsworth's First Fire Zouaves, who virtually ceased to exist after First Bull Bun. As shown in this Harper's Weekly print, llie Second Fire Zouaves wore Chasseur-type dress with dark blue jackets. Dark blue forage caps were worn, although at least one period photograph shows the 73rd wearing fezzes. (Ron Field)

Waving his hat, Ryan led the cheering Zouaves into the woods which bordered the other side of Saunders Field. Amongst the under grow t h t he lines of determined Zouaves dissolved into groups and began to push their way forward* clawing at the enemy. 'Closing with the enemy we fought them with bayonet as well as bullet,' recalled Captain II.U.S. Sweet of the 146th. 'Up through the trees rolled dense clouds of battle smoke, circling about the green of the pines. Underneath men ran to and fro, firing shouting, stabbing with bayonets.'

But it was impossible to pull off an effective attack in such difficult terrain, and Ryan was forced to pull his men out of the woods and retreat back over the killing ground of Saunders Field, which they'd marched so resolutely across. 'The bright red of our Zouave uniforms mingied with the sober gray and butternut of the Confederates, creating a fantastic spectacle as the wearers ran over the field, firing and shouting,' Wrote one Zouave,

On that hot afternoon in the Wilderness, on 5 May 1864, the fight at Saunders Field had cost the 140th and 146th New York 567 men our of their combined strength of 1,600. During the Sanders Field fight, the 155th Pennsylvania had been battling it out with rebels in woods to the north, in what proved a less costly but equally hard contest. All the men of the three new Zouave

United States Zouave Cadets, I860 1: Colonel timer E. Ellsworth 2 &r 3: Cadets

Charleston Zouave Cadets

lltli New York Volunteer Infantry, lsi Fire ZouaVes, 1S(>1 1 & 2: Privates

First Fire ZouavesBull Run Reenactment

Tiger Hilles, Company it, Ist Spccial liattalion Louisiana Infantry, Bull Run, 1S61 1: Corporal 2 & 3: Privates

Charleston Regiments

I: Private, Charleston Zouave Cadets, 1861 b Private, Albany Zouave Cadets, 1K61 3: Corporal, Salem Zouaves, 1HM

Charleston Zouaves
I: Private, Irish Zouaves, Company K., 64th New York State Militia, 1861
Private Regiment

Gaines' Mill, 1862

1: Private, 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, Duryee's Zouaves 2 & 3: Sergeant John H. Berrian and Sergeant Andrew B. Allison, Fth New York

New York Zouaves

1: Officer, 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Wallace's Zouaves, 1N61 2: Private, lltli Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Wallace's Zouaves, 1H63 3: Pris ate, 76th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Kevstone Zouaves, ISfii

Wallace Zouaves 72nd Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Zouaves, 1S(j,1 1 & 1\ Private and Vivandière, 72nd Pennsylvania, Baxter's l ire Zouaves 3: Serjeant, 23rd Pennsylvania, Birney's Zouaves

140th New York Zouaves
W 95

16Stli New York, 2nd Battalion, Duryée's Zouaves, 1864 1 & 2: Officers 3: Private

Birney Zouave
wy 96

1: Private, 44tlt New York, Ellsworth's Avengers, 1864

2: Private, 140th Neu York Volunteer Infantry, 18f>4

3: Sergeant, 146th New York Volunteer Infantry, Garrard's Tigers, 1864

1: Private, 44tlt New York, Ellsworth's Avengers, 1864

2: Private, 140th Neu York Volunteer Infantry, 18f>4

3: Sergeant, 146th New York Volunteer Infantry, Garrard's Tigers, 1864

140th New York Saunders FieldWheats Tigers

but Wheat's sympathies lay with the South, and he went off to seek a commission in the Confederacy. None was available, so Wheat went hack to his old stamping ground, New Orleans, and raised a company of volunteers called the Old Dominion Guards, who became part of the. 1st Special Battalion, Louisiana Infantry,

Wheat w as later elected major of the 1st Special Battalion, an outfit that also boasted a company called the Tiger Rifles. Prett\ soon the entire 1st Special Battalion, 1 .ouisiana Infarjtry became known as W heat's Tigers.

The Tigers became one of the most infamous outfits ever produced by the South, and boasted a number of colourfully named companies. Planters' sons of the Catahoula Guerrillas rubbed shoulders

One of the best photographs oj Civil il ttr /.uniti es ever tu ken is this group of Mollis' Zouaves. These turbaned Zoos-Zoos are Company G of the 114th Pennsylvania photographed at Petersburg in ISf>-f. ill the men have the look of proud veterans, and it's little wonder that General Meade selected the regiment to be his headquarters guard, f Michael J. McAfee)

Louisiana Zouave Uniform

regiments in \vers' Brigade had worn their new Zouave uniforms with honour.

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