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Dunce's Zouaves A few weeks before the demise of the Fire Zouaves the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, Dunce's Zouaves, had proved their mettle with a charge at Big Bethel, the first land action of the American Civil War, and throughout its two-year service the 5th would live up to all its ideals. The unit would also hold the grim record that in the entire war no other Union infantry regiment suffered so great a number of casualties in so short a space of rime, during a single day's battle.

Mustered in on 22 April 1861, the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry was commanded by Colonel Abram Durycc, elected to the post by a

The Sill Vew York march down Broadway on their way to war in IS(>I. This woodcut, based on a sketch by the artist and reporter Trank I izetelly, was featured in the London Illustrated News on 22 June 1X61. Xote the band, who appear to be wearing some kind oj Jezzes with visors on the fronts. This is probably artistic licence. (Brian I'ohanka)

group ol military enthusiasts meeting in Manhattan to organise a new volunteer regiment. Originally called the \dvance Guard, the regiment soon became better known as Dunce's Zouaves.

Abram Durycc was a wealthy mahogany merchant and former commanding officer of the famed 7th New York, where he had built up a fine reputation as a drillmastcr. Dunce had seen a display by Ellsworth's Zouave Cadets and decided that his new regiment would be Zouaves. The 5th New York quickly achieved an elite status, boasting a high proportion of well-educated men. Recruited largely in Manhattan, 80 per cent of the regiment were native-born Americans, but it also boasted dozens of Englishmen in its ranks. At the Battle of Second Hull Run, the 5th's costliest engagement, both the regiment's British-born colour bearers, Sergeant Andrew B. Allison and Sergeant Francis Spclman, were mortally wounded.

On 23 May 1861 the 5th New York proudly marched off to war, 848 strong; when the regiment returned home two years later, fewer than 300 men were left in the ranks. The regiment's baptism of fire, at Big Bethel in

Mexican War Bugle William Drown

5th Xew ) in k officers on the steps oj the Segur House near ('amp Hamilton,

I irginia, 1861. Lieutenant Colonel Gouverneur Ki mble

II ttrren Jlourishes a telescope, while the gentleman ill the front striking a memorable pose is Colonel Dnryee. Regimental chaplain Cordon II inslow is seated ut the table, and adjutant llamblin is the tall man standing in the background wearing a kepi. (Brian Pohanka)

Union Army Kepi

Virginia on 10 June 1861, came when Union forces attempted to capture a Confederate encampment. Singing 'Bingo', a popular song of the time, the 5th New York charged proudly into battle, attacking in a thickly wooded area heavily under fire from Confederate artillery.

Part of Colonel Dunce's uniform yvas torn away at the shoulder, while Captain Judson Kilpatrick, the commander of Company 11, yvas badly cut through the thigh by canister shot. Kilpatrick, who became a cavalry commander later in the war and was nicknamed 'Kill Cavalry' because of the way he drove his men, continued to stagger forward, until the pain of his wound forced him to give up.

But such gallantry was wasted: after a couple of hours the Federals had failed to capture the encampment and gave up their assault. The fight had cost the 5th New York six dead and 13 wounded.

In July 1861 the 5th New York were ordered to Baltimore, Maryland, for an eight-month stint of garrison duty. Maryland was a state with much pro-Southern sympathy, and some sections of the community did not take kindly to the regiment, but gentlemen all, Dunce's Zouaves became popular in Baltimore. Several of them even married local belles, who were left behind in

March 1862, when the 5th New York joined the Union assault on Richmond up through the Virginia Peninsula; there they were brigaded with the regular troops of General George Sykes' division.

At Gaines' Mill on 27 June, one of the Seven Days Battles to stop the Federals threatening Richmond, the 5th New York was involved in a series of desperate charges against superior rebel forces, smashing into the 1st South Carolina Rifles no fewer than three times. During the battle the 5th's two colour bearers stood 30 paces in front of the regiment's line and defied the enemy. Inspired by this action, the 5th yvent in with the bayonet, luit despite such courage the Confederate line held.

Exhausted and out of ammunition, the 5th was relieved by the 1st Pennsylvania Reserves. With shells exploding all around his Zouaves, Lieutenant Colonel Hiram Duryea, the regiment's third commander, coolly ordered the 5th into line and had them count off. Despite their hard fight, he wanted the ranks dressed properly before the men marched off to replenish their cartridge boxes.

Earlier in the battle Duryea had been cheered by his men as he calmly trotted up and down the 5th's line on his horse. Black Jack, not even

5th New York Zouaves

I group of ill, \eil' York /.onuves wait for lunch ill Camp Hamilton in June or July l-Sfil. The men wear the early uniform of Duryee's Zouaves, which hail less baggy trousers ami a blue instead of a yellow tassel on the Jezz.es. The early uniforms of Duryee's Zouaves were not of the best quality and wore out quickly. (Brian Pohanka)

flinching when a shell ploughed into the ground right under the animal. The 5th's bloodiest day came at Second Hull Run in August 1862. Hrigaded with the 10th New York, they were hit by a huge Confederate attack from Longstreet's Corps. Bludgeoned from three sides at once, 120 members of the 5th New York were killed or mortally wounded in seven minutes, 179 were wounded and 27 were captured. Out of a total of 550 men, 32(> were casualties. In the entire war, no other Union infantry regiment lost as many men in such a short space of time during a single day's battle.

Manx of the wounded Zouaves had been hit more than once, and even those xvho survived the carnage had bullet holes through their clothes and were badly scratched. Sergeant Andrew H. \llison, xvho carried the national colours, was shot through the wrist and then through the heart. Regimental colour bearer Sergeant Francis Spclman had multiple wounds but clung grimly to his standard, veiling: 'For God's sake don't let them take my ilag.' Spelman died a fexx days after the battle; despite the carnage, the 5th's colours were borne to safety as the remnants of the Zouaves retreated, every man for himself.

Two Zouaves waded through a stream, and their baggy trousers filled up with water. Members of the 5th Texas took pot shots at the hapless New Yorkers, and some of their bullets pierced one of the Zouave's sodden trousers. Out squirted jets of water, and the rebels couldn't stop themselves laughing.

The 5th Nex\ York went on to serve at \ntietam, Shephcrdstow n, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsvillc, but its casualties remained light.

5th New York Zouaves

Zouaves were front page news in 1861. This illustration from Harper's Weekly shows the 5th Xew York, Duryee's Zouaves, at Fortress Monroe in Virginia. The/lowing pieces of cloth worn under their fezzes, also seen in the illustration of the 5th marching down Broadwa y, are called havelocks; popular items in the early Civil li ar years. -It the start of the war, 5th Sew York Zouaves sometimes wore turbans around their fezzes and their havelocks buttoned up around their chins. (Ron Field)

Zouaves were front page news in 1861. This illustration from Harper's Weekly shows the 5th Xew York, Duryee's Zouaves, at Fortress Monroe in Virginia. The/lowing pieces of cloth worn under their fezzes, also seen in the illustration of the 5th marching down Broadwa y, are called havelocks; popular items in the early Civil li ar years. -It the start of the war, 5th Sew York Zouaves sometimes wore turbans around their fezzes and their havelocks buttoned up around their chins. (Ron Field)

After Chancellorsville, in May 1863, the regiment's term of service expired and the battle-hardened veterans of Dunce's Zouaves returned home, parading down Broadway. 'The men were brown and rugged; their colors were weather-stained and bullet-torn; their uniforms were tattered and stained with Virginia mud and the smoke of hard-fought conflicts. They looked magnificent,' reported the New York Times.

The reputation of Dunce's Zouaves didn't end with the regiment's homecoming parade. Two other regiments had their roots in the 5th: the 165th \cw York, also known as the Second Battalion Duryec Zouaves, and the 5ih New York Veteran Volunteers. Men of the original 5th New York, who had signed on for three years and whose time of service had not expired, were transferred to the 146th New York.

165th New York

After Second Bull Run a detail of officers and men from the depleted ranks of the 5th were sent to New York to recruit for the regiment. The cash bounties they offered at the 5th's recruiting office in Manhattan and the good name of the regiment attracted so many recruits that a new eight-companv battalion was raised, becoming the 165th New York. Commanded b\ Lieutenant-colonel Abel Smith Jnr, the regiment was quartered at Camp Washington, on Staten Island, where they were mustered in on 28 November 1862 and presented with their colours by a group of dignitaries on 13 December.

Plans to create a four-regiment Zouave brigade in the Arm\ of the Potomac were shelved with the removal of General George McClellan from command, and the 165th were ordered down to Louisiana, where the\ joined General Nathaniel Banks' forces attacking Port Hudson, the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

On 27 May 1863 the 165th took part in a ferocious assault on the rebel defences. The cost was high: the 165th lost 108 Zouaves, more than a third of its men. Lieutenant-colonel Vhel Smith was mortally wounded, and both colour bearers and five men of the colour guard were killed.

Major Felix \gnus took over command of the 165th New York. A Frenchman who had served

Felix York

Corporal 5th \ew York. Federal Hill, Baltimore, tint mini ISbL Xnte that he is wearing leather greaves, k nown as jantbieres, above his gaiters antl is armed with a Sharps rifle. Only Companies I. and / of the 5th \ew ) in k, who were used as skirmishers, were issued with these famous hreeeli-loading rifles. I Richard Tibbah)

Corporal 5th \ew York. Federal Hill, Baltimore, tint mini ISbL Xnte that he is wearing leather greaves, k nown as jantbieres, above his gaiters antl is armed with a Sharps rifle. Only Companies I. and / of the 5th \ew ) in k, who were used as skirmishers, were issued with these famous hreeeli-loading rifles. I Richard Tibbah)

with the French 3rd Regiment of Zouaves and Garibaldi's forces, Vgnus had emigrated to America in I860 settling in New York. On the outbreak of war lie had joined Dunce's Zouaves as a sergeant and was later promoted to second lieutenant. Agnus was wounded in (he shoulder at Gaines' Mill, and while recovering was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in the 5th. However, he had chosen to transfer to the 165th New Vork, where he had been commissioned captain of Companx V, the colour company, Vgnus had been

Uniform 165th Zouaves

Recreated Stli Xew ) ark Zouave on campaign in IH(i2. Fortunately he has managed to retain the complete Zouave dress. Hard campaigning and supply problems took a heavy loll on the Sill's uniforms, but the Zouaves patched and re-patched their famous baggy red trousers rather than give them up. Some 5th Xew Y orkers were in the habit of wearing the turbans they wore on parade in the field, but this Zouave is content to wear his Jez unadorned. (Photo: Paul Smith)

Recreated Stli Xew ) ark Zouave on campaign in IH(i2. Fortunately he has managed to retain the complete Zouave dress. Hard campaigning and supply problems took a heavy loll on the Sill's uniforms, but the Zouaves patched and re-patched their famous baggy red trousers rather than give them up. Some 5th Xew Y orkers were in the habit of wearing the turbans they wore on parade in the field, but this Zouave is content to wear his Jez unadorned. (Photo: Paul Smith)

slighth wounded in the 165th's attack on the earthworks at Port Hudson, and promoted to major lie led a hand-picked forlorn hope in the final assault on the stronghold.

After the Confederate surrender at Port Hudson, the 165th served in western Louisiana and even skirmished with the legendary Confederate cavalry outfit Terry's Texas Rangers. During a hand-to-hand duel with a mounted Ranger, Agnus was badly slashed across the wrist. The 165th later served with Grant's forces in Virginia, and in 1K64 they took part in Sheridan's

Shenandoah Valley campaign, \gnus claimed he received no fewer than 11 wounds in the war, and it was said that he had 'so much lead in him he rattled when he walked'.

5th New York Veteran Volunteers

The 5th Xew York Veteran Volunteers was the brainchild of Colonel Cleveland Winslow, who as acting major had commanded the original 5th New York at Second Manassas, where his horse had been shot from under him. Anxious that the good name of Duryec's Zouaves should not be lost, Winslow used his political influence and a 500-dollar grant from the New York stock

Zouave Horse
Close-up oj a Sth Xew York jacket. The jacket is edged in red lape which lias also been used lo form the dislinclive Irejoil designs eu lied tombeaux on eaeh side of the chest. These tombeaux are a dislinclive feature of Zouave dress. (Pliolo: Paul Smith, courlesy Tint Xewark, Mililary Illustrated)

Lieutenant Thomas II Carlwright, who commanded Company (,, 5th \en> York, was nicknamed 'The Fiend' because ojthe way he treated the men. One of his favourite ways of punishing misdemeanours was to hang offenders up by their thumbs. Wounded at Gaines' Mill, Cartwright suspected he had been shot by a vengeful Sth \ew Yorker and not the enemy. I Xew York Division of Military and \ttval Affairs)

Lieutenant Thomas II Carlwright, who commanded Company (,, 5th \en> York, was nicknamed 'The Fiend' because ojthe way he treated the men. One of his favourite ways of punishing misdemeanours was to hang offenders up by their thumbs. Wounded at Gaines' Mill, Cartwright suspected he had been shot by a vengeful Sth \ew Yorker and not the enemy. I Xew York Division of Military and \ttval Affairs)

exchange to raise a veteran regiment. Winslow's mother, Ratherine l isli Winslow, was a cousin of the New York politician Hamilton Fish, and his father, Gordon, had been regimental chaplain of the original 5th New York.

Recruiting for the new regiment went slowly. Winslow unsuccessfully petitioned the Secretary of War to transfer the 5th New Yorkers whose time had not expired and were serving with the 146th New York into his veterans, but recruits front the original regiment and elsewhere did not come flooding in. A fanatical disciplinarian, Winslow had not been a popular officer, and many war-weary 5th New Yorkers were loath to serve under him again. As a whole, the North was becoming disillusioned with war, and in New York there were draft riots, which Winslow helped to suppress, swearing in 982 volunteers and 'borrowing' a batten of 12-pound howitzers to fight the mob.

W inslow offered bounties to attract recruits for the 5th Veterans, borrowing heavily to finance his dreams. 'My determination was fixed that the 5th Regiment should be preserved as the same organisation, cost what it would,' he wrote.

Eventually Winslow was able to put together a four-company battalion of 328 men, and for seven months bis unit served in the defences of Washington. He set about instilling an esprit tie corps with a vengeance. The men were rigorously drilled, especially in bayonet exercises and skirmishing by bugle call. All this, though, did not stop the 5th Veterans from enjoying the distractions of nearb\ Alexandria. Drunkenness became a problem in the battalion, and with typical zeal Winslow punished those who went astray by imprisoning them in Alexandria's old slave quarters. lie ordered that Zouave inmates should be given three cold shower baths every 24 hours while they were incarcerated in the d ungeon-l i ke buiIding.

In May 1S64 the 5th Veterans were ordered south to join the Army of the Potomac engaged in the costly assault against Richmond. Winslow immediately asked that his regiment be put under the command of Major General Gouverneur Kemble Warren, a former 5th New York commander and the man who had saved the Union army 's left flank at Gettysburg the year before by rushing troops to Little Round Top. W inslow also asked that his regiment be immediately posted to the front. Both requests were granted.

The 5th Veterans were placed in Ay res' 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Warren's V Corps. They reached the command camped on the Pamunkey River after two days' hard march. The battalion was immediately bolstered up to 10 companies with men from the mustered out 14th Brooklyn

14th Brooklyn Zouaves

Captain Churchill Camhreleng who commanded Company II, fill Xew York, was commended for his gallantry daring the Seven Days campaign in the I irginia Peninsula, bill had to resign when his health Jailed. In this photo he wears an officer's version of the standard 5th Xew ) ork Zouave jacket, which has been decorated with gold braul and which Camhreleng wears over a butloneil and braided vest. (\cw ) ork Slate lichives)

and 12th New York whose terms of service had not expired. Winslow was itching for action. When General Avres suggested resting the regiment after their long march, Winslow would have none of it. 'We came here to fight and not to rest,1 lie said, and the 5th Veterans were soon in the thick of the action at Bethesda Church, clambering through thick undergrowth clearing away enemy skirmishers.

Mounted, W inslow was a tempting target for the Confederates, and a bullet tore through bis left shoulder, shattering bone. Managing to stay in the saddle, he was led to the rear as Avres' brigade was flanked, falling back in disorder. The cost to the 5th Veterans was dear: 67 men and five officers killed or wounded and 35 captured.

Winslow had his wound dressed, and although in great pain he refused to leave the field until ordered to the field hospital by General Warren. Evacuated to the Mansion House hospital in Alexandria, W inslow lingered for a few weeks and then died.

Winslow's death was all the more tragic because his father, Gordon, drowned in a bizarre accident on the steamer 11 ¡try Ripley, while travelling with his wounded son to hospital. Leaving his son to rest, Gordon Winslow had gone out to get a pail of water for his horse, and slipped overboard at the mouth of the Potomac River. W hile Cleveland Winslow's death and his burial at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn didn't generate the same hysteria as Ellsworth's demise, the gallant young officer was much lauded. The \ en> York Tunes said Winslow had been 'strikingly handsome and attractive, marked by every noble and true trait which makes the gentleman-soldier'.

'Always Ready' Elmer E. Ellsworth had wanted his Eire Zouaves to be the first Zouave regiment mustered in for the war, but instead the honour went to the 9th Xew York Volunteer Infantry, Hawkins' Zouaves, who were mustered into federal service on 23 April 1861. The founder of Hawkins' Zouaves was Rush C. Hawkins, a military enthusiast and book collector whose collection of 15th-century books and manuscripts was said to be rivalled only by the British Museum.

Hawkins' Zouaves had their origins in a prewar military club formed in New York in I860. Sergeant Louis Benzoni, a regular soldier, was appointed as Hawkins' Zouaves' drill master, and the regiment had a hard core of men with military experience. Hawkins himself had served as a dragoon in the Mexican war, and Major Edgar Kimball had been breveted for gallantry in the Mexican conflict while serving with the 9th LS Infantry.

The motto of Hawkins' Zouaves was Toujoura Pre! ('Always Ready'), and the regiment would never be found lacking. They first saw combat in August 1861, at the capture of I'ort Hatteras and Fort Clark on the North Carolina Coast, and made a spirited bayonet charge during an attack on Roanoke Island in 1862. Then came the bloody conflict at Antietam: alter wading through

Antietam Creek the 9th mounted a steep ridge against ferocious resistance. ' The infantry fire was like hail around and among us, producing the most dreadful carnage,' wrote Lieutenant Kimball. The 'Mil's advance cost them dearly, with 240 men falling out of a total of 373 in the eight-company-strong regiment.

Swedish-born Private Charles Johnson, who wrote a regimental history of the 9th New York, The Long Roll, was hit twice in the hips in the course of the battle. '\\ hat a picture that was to paint on my memory, our boys thinned down to a company, still carrying their colours triumphantly,' lie recalled. Johnson was still suffering pain from his wounds when he died in 1896 at the age of 53.

10th New York The 10th New York, National Zouaves, was another Zouave regiment that had existed as a pre-war organisation in the city. It was formed after calls from the Yem York Herald in 1860 for Northern patriots to band together against the threat of war, and many members were active in the Masonic fraternity. Waters \Y. McChesney, a former member of fllsworth's United States Zouave Cadets, was appointed as drillmaster, and became the lOth's colonel. The 10th were mustered into service in late \pril 1861 for two years. For a time the unit was known as McChesney's Zouaves, but McChesney later resigned his position.

The regiment was renowned for the agility of its men. Many of its members were small, but wiry. 'No estimate has been made of the average age of the members of the tenth, but probably no regiment left New York State with a more boyish lot of soldiers,' wrote Charles \\. Covvtan in his book Services of the I Dili \ civ York I o I tin leers (S allium I Zouaves) in the war of the rebellion. 'As a rule they were small in stature, yet lithe and active, and handled guns and knapsacks with an elastic vigour which often put to blush regiments o! six footers.'

Serving in Virginia, the 10th was brigaded with (he 5th New York in Sykes' Division, Army of the Potomac. At Second Bull Run the regiment was positioned next to the 5th New York, and was also hit by the terrible attack from fongstreet's Corps.

The National Zouaves suffered 133 casualties and their regimental colours were captured by the 18th Georgia. Like the 5th New York, the wiry Zouaves of the National Zouaves saw some of the toughest fighting of the war.

Duryea Zouaves Uniform

Colonel Cleveland Hinslow iras the last commander oj the 5th \ew ) i ilk. and although comparatively soberly dressed here, he ivas renowned for his taste in extravagant uniforms, including a gaudily decorated Zouave jacket. 'Altogether he was half Italian bandit and half English highwayman, a romantic looking fellow,' remembered 5th \civ York veteran Thomas Soutliwick. H inslow created the 5th Xcw York let eran I olttnleers, ami was mortally wounded leading his men at lietliesda Church in 1X1)4. (liriu n I'oha uka )

Colonel Cleveland Hinslow iras the last commander oj the 5th \ew ) i ilk. and although comparatively soberly dressed here, he ivas renowned for his taste in extravagant uniforms, including a gaudily decorated Zouave jacket. 'Altogether he was half Italian bandit and half English highwayman, a romantic looking fellow,' remembered 5th \civ York veteran Thomas Soutliwick. H inslow created the 5th Xcw York let eran I olttnleers, ami was mortally wounded leading his men at lietliesda Church in 1X1)4. (liriu n I'oha uka )

The Fighting 69th

Formed in the 1850s, the 69th Regiment New York State Militia was Irish-American to a man. Its colonel was Michael Corcoran, the son of a British army officer who had grown lip in Ireland and served with the Irish Constabulary before emigrating to \meriea. In 1S60 Corcoran refused to parade the 69th in front of the Prince of Wales who was visiting New York, claiming the Prince was a symbol of British oppression. Corcoran risked a court martial for his stand; bur with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the action against him was dropped.

Irish nationalist Thomas Francis Meagher had been banished to Tasmania by the British government but he escaped to New York and became a US citizen. \ lawyer and skilled orator, he campaigned widely for Irish independence. Like many Sons of Krin who had made America their new home, Meagher saw the coming civil war not onlv as a chance for thousands of Irishmen to prove themselves in their adopted country, but also as a valuable training ground for a much dreamed of showdown with Britain for the freedom of Ireland.

Not only was Meagher a patriot, he was also a glory seeker. There was a vacancy for a new company to be added to the ranks of the Fighting 69th, as the Irishmen became known, and Meagher set about recruiting a company of Zouaves, who became Company k of the regiment. The company was known as the Irish Zouaves or Meagher's Zouaves, and swaggered a little more than their comrades who, for the most part, were attired in regulation Union dress.

At First Bull Run in 1861, w here many of their compatriots in the Fire Zouaves were broken, Company k put up a much better fight, as the 69th faced stout resistance from Confederates who had captured Henry House Ilill. Facing heavy fire, the 69th screamed murderous Gaelic war cries as they plunged up the slope; but each of their three courageous attacks was driven back. John Kecfe of Meagher's Zouaves was carrying the 69th's distinctive green regimental colours in the fight, when a rebel tore them from his hands. Outraged, kecfe snatched them back and shot the Confederate dead, kecfe also managed to capture

9th New York Drum Major

Drum major John II. Xa ylor, of the 5th \en> York Veteran I olunteers, in 1H(>4. The wa y turbans and Jezzes were worn in the Sill Sew ) ink Veteran I olunteers was an exacting science. Colonel II ins/ow ordered that the men's hair should be kept short so that their Jezzes would sit neatly on the back of their heads and the turban should be worn 'canoe style' as shown here. The jackets of the 5th I eterans were o/ a lighter shade of blue than those of the 'Old Fifth". (Michael J. McAfee)

Drum major John II. Xa ylor, of the 5th \en> York Veteran I olunteers, in 1H(>4. The wa y turbans and Jezzes were worn in the Sill Sew ) ink Veteran I olunteers was an exacting science. Colonel II ins/ow ordered that the men's hair should be kept short so that their Jezzes would sit neatly on the back of their heads and the turban should be worn 'canoe style' as shown here. The jackets of the 5th I eterans were o/ a lighter shade of blue than those of the 'Old Fifth". (Michael J. McAfee)

a Confederate flag in the mêlée; some compensation for the 69th being ordered back from their attack on I Icnry I louse I Iill.

Fresh Confederate troops had arrived, outflanking the Union right. In the retreat from Henry House Hill, Meagher was knocked head over heels and left unconscious on the field. I le

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