The 33rd New Jersey was one of four regiments which made up the "First Brigade, New Jersey Volunteers." The regiment was raised and trained at Fort Olden, Trenton, N.J. and, its training complete, it left for the war in June 1861. During the course of the Civil War. the 33rd New Jersey took part in fifty-four engagements from Bull Run to Appomattox Court House.
The 33rd was one of many which used the colorful zouave image to capture the imagination of the public and, in particular, of young men anxious to enlist, but it was relatively rare among such units in that it fought its war in the West with Sherman, whereas most zouave units marched with the Army of the Potomac. Men of the regiment, which was also known as the 2nd Zouaves, wore dark blue pantaloons in the baggy zouave style, whose cuffs were con-tained by leather leggings. Their short jackets were the same shade of dark blue, and both trousers and jacket were decorated with a discreet red trim. Many zouave units wore a red fez, but the 33rd New Jersey wore a regulation kepi , although this, too, was trimmed in red. In the early years of the war they carried either the .577 Enfield or the .58 Springfield. By the war's end, however, they had abandoned their zouave garb entirely and had adop-ted regulation Federal uniforms, while the army had issued them entirely with Springfields.
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