CPrivate 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers

C. H. T. Collis, an Irish-born captain, organised an independent company of Pennsylvania Zouaves to act as bodyguard to General N. P. Banks, the company containing a large number of Frenchmen who had served as Zouaves in the French army. Banks' Bodyguard, or the Zouaves d'Afrique, so impressed General Banks that Charles Collis was sent back to Philadelphia to recruit a full regiment, based upon his original company, which became Company 'A' of the new regiment, the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers (Collis' Zouaves). This regiment wore the same uniform as the earlier Independent Company, materials being specially imported from France. Unlike many Zouave units, the 114th maintained their distinctive uniform throughout their service, with little modification for the hardships of campaign; on occasion, the gaiters appear to have been discarded, though a photograph of Company 'F' taken near Petersburg in August 1864 shows the complete uniform in use. Officers wore the regulation uniform but with red trousers; the regimental band appear to have worn Zouave costume with kepis instead of the usual fez and turban. The earlier title of 'Zouaves d'Afrique' was maintained by the 114th, the oval plates of their cartridge-pouches bearing the embossed lettering' 114 regt. z.d'a. p.v.'

The 83rd Pennsylvania (The Erie Regiment), 'one of the very best regiments in the army' according to General McClellan, wore imported French uniforms described as being the 'Chasseurs de Vincennes' pattern; basically, this was the regulation French light infantry uniform. Unfortunately, these uniforms being made for Frenchmen, most were too small for the large Pennsylvanians of the 83rd, giving a slightly ridiculous appearance of short sleeves and trousers! Each man was issued with a shako, dress and fatigue uniforms, cloak, two pairs of shoes, two pairs of white gloves, two nightcaps and gaiters. When the regiment left for the Peninsula in the spring of 1862, the French uniforms were put into store and ordinary fatigue-dress issued in their stead.

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