Zouave uniforms originated among native North African troops recruited to serve in the French Army in the 1830s and the superb esprit de corps and elite status among these units, and their distinctive dress, soon came to the notice of foreign military observers. Elmer E. Ellsworth, a young amateur soldier is credited with raising the United States Zouave Cadets in Chicago in August 1859, his mentor being a former French surgeon and veteran of Zouave service, Charles Q. Devilliers. The unit became so expert at military drill that in 1860 it traveled the east and mid-west demonstrating its skills and thus launched the zouave craze throughout the country. When war broke out the following year, a number of units in both North and South rallied to the colors in zouave dress. Although many units continued in service, the popularity of the colorful apparel began to wane as casualties among the brightly clad troops rose alarmingly. A few units clung to their fancy uniforms until the end of the conflict. The zouave soldiers and their striking uniforms were the epitome of the Victorian soldier, but were made obsolete by improved military technology.
2 Uniform pantaloons
3 Short jacket with insignia and badge
4 Jambière, or outer legging of leather
5 Uniform gaiter
6 US brass belt plate
7 Uniform jacket of 72nd Pennsylvania Volunteers
8 Corps badge
9 Model 1845 French Infantry Bugle, carried by 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
10 Wooden small arms ammunition box for 1,000 rounds
11 Embroidered uniform jacket
14 Fez complete with regimental badge of 9th New York Volunteer Infantry
15 Screwtop tin drum canteen.
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