Proud Pennsylvanians

In August ISM Irish-born lawyer Captain Charles I I.T. Col I is raised a company of Zouaves in Philadelphia as a bodyguard for General Nathaniel Hanks. Dubbed the Zouaves d'Afrique, Collis and his men proved their mettle during a rearguard action fighting off Confederates during the retreat of Banks' army at Middletown, Virginia. Collis and his Zouaves were cut off from the main Union army, but made it back to the lines, bringing with them 40 wagonloads of much-needed supplies which they had escorted to safety.

The Zouaves d'Afrique, who had the initials 'ZDA' proudly displayed on their cartridge box plates, were a particularly fine looking outfit. The company also boasted a gourmet chef. Private Nunzio Einelli, whose exquisite soufflés were very popular with Captain Collis.

In recognition of his valuable services, Collis was despatched back to Philadelphia to raise a full regiment of Zouaves, and in just over a month nine companies of the 114th Pennsylvania were formed. One of those who enlisted was Robert kenderdine. I le faced fierce opposition from his Quaker family, bin thought it was his duty to help preserve the Union and abolish slavery. From the 114ih Pennsylvania's training ground at Camp Banks, near Gcrmantovvn, Robert wrote to his parents: 'My country is now calling loudly for succor. 1 yield. 1 assure you 1 have acted from stern duty.'

At Fredericksburg in the winter of 1X62 the 114th Pennsylvania charged straight into a Confederate counter-attack, which helped save the Federal left flank from disaster. Encouraging his men, Collis snatched up the colours on horseback and rode with them among his cheering Zouaves. Collis, who was then only 24, later received the Medal of I lonour for his gallant action.

\t Gettysburg Collis' Zouaves look 50 per cent casualties, mostly on the second day, when they were part of the Third Corps over-extended battle line, \dvancing across the Emmitsburg Road near the Peach Orchard, to help cover the retreat of a Federal battery from an onslaught by Barksdale's

/'lie J4ill Ohio, Piatt's /.mill ves, Iniihl a bridge across u creek in western Virginia. Some oj"the men can be seen wearing tricorne shaped hats, a curious Joint oj Zouave dress to be sure, /'¡all's Zouaves were very innovative. \ot only iliil they build bridges, but some served mounted in a skirmish with the enem y. ( Michael J. Mc4Jee)

Piatt Zouave UniformColonel Cladek

Colonel John J. Cladek was in command of the rough streetwise Zouaves of the 35th Sew Jersey, Cladek's Zouaves, an outfit which sometimes seem In have frightened its own side as much as it did the enemy, hut emerged to be a first class Jighting anil. I he 35lli Xew Jersey were issued Hawkins' Zouave uniforms, which had become the government standard issue. (Michael J. McAfee)

Colonel John J. Cladek was in command of the rough streetwise Zouaves of the 35th Sew Jersey, Cladek's Zouaves, an outfit which sometimes seem In have frightened its own side as much as it did the enemy, hut emerged to be a first class Jighting anil. I he 35lli Xew Jersey were issued Hawkins' Zouave uniforms, which had become the government standard issue. (Michael J. McAfee)

Mississippi Brigade, the 114th ran into heavy opposition. They were reinforced bv men of the 73rd New York, fellow Zoos-Zoos who were grandlv known as the 2nd Fire Zouaves. Together, the 114th and 73rd faced withering fire from the frontal and flank attacks made bv the Rebels. Some wounded Zouaves crawled into a nearby barn for safety, but thev were burned to death when the building went up in flames.

The dav afterwards, a Confederate officer surveyed the carnage in the Peach Orchard and wrote: 'Manv dead Federal soldiers were lying, conspicuous among them Zouaves with baggy red trousers.'

Among the 114th's wounded at Gettysburg was Private Kenderdine, the man who had defied his parents to become a Zouave. His wound was mortal and a week after the battle he died. The 114th went on to serve at Kelly's Ford, Mine Run, Guinea Station and the trenches at Petersburg. In 1X64, in honour of their 'discipline and soldierly bearing', General Meade selected the 114th Pennsylvania as his headquarters guard and the 114th's musicians became the headquarters band. Colonel Collis was breveted brigadier-general and commanded the headquarters brigade. The 114th became showpiece soldiers, but nobody looked down on them. Thev had earned respect throughout the Army as tough troops.

Apart from Collis' famed Zouaves, Pennsylvania produced four more memorable Zouave outfits: the 23rd Pennsylvania (Birney's Zouaves); the 72nd Pennsylvania (Baxter's Fire Zouaves); the 76th Pennsylvania (Keystone Zouaves); and the 95th Pennsylvania (Gosline's Zouaves). The 72nd was recruited in Philadelphia, and like the 11th New York was composed of firemen. It seemed that firefighters in the North were particularly fascinated with the idea of becoming Zouaves, and within a week the muster rolls of the 72nd Pennsylvania were full.

Baxter's Zouaves, commanded bv Colonel I)e Witt Clinton Baxter, became part of the Philadelphia Brigade, an outfit mainly recruited in central Pennsylvania and also comprising the 69th, 71st and 106th Pennsylvania Volunteers. On the second day at Gettysburg the 72nd helped recapture an artillery piece of the 1st Rhode Island Artillery that had fallen into enemy hands and the morning of 3 July found the Philadelphia Brigade stationed by the stone wall at the Angle, where they faced the onslaught of Pickett's Charge.

The 72nd had been held in reserve to cover the space occupied bv Cushing's battery, in case the battery was knocked out, but thev were ordered into action to reinforce the 71st and 69th Pennsylvania. A single Confederate volley cut down at least 80 Zouaves, but musket fire from the 72nd is said to have accounted for the death

69th Soldier

The 44 th Xew York, Ellsworth's Avengers, were the pride t>J \ew ) or h sin le and lived up lo l heir spectacular name. This private wears his juche I buttoned anil just visible on the top of his cap are the initials 'PER , standing for People's Ellsworth Regiment, the other name by which the 44th was known. ( Michael jf. McAJee)

help stop the Confederates at the stone wall, said they deserved to have their monument placed in the exact spot where they'd helped fight hack the Confederate high tide. After a lengthy tight in the courts, they won their case and in 1891 the statue was proudly placed in the Angle. Baxter's Fire Zouaves' had won their last light.

The celebrated Keystone Zouaves of the 76th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry saw action miles from home, on the Carolina coast. They were garrisoned at Hilton I lead in South Carolina, and were involved in assaults on Fort Wagner, a Confederate stronghold guarding Charleston 1 larbour and a place more readily associated with the gallant assault made by the coloured volunteers of the legendary 54th Massachusetts Regiment, commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.

In July 1863 the Keystone Zouaves and other units of General George C. Strong's brigade

The 44 th Xew York, Ellsworth's Avengers, were the pride t>J \ew ) or h sin le and lived up lo l heir spectacular name. This private wears his juche I buttoned anil just visible on the top of his cap are the initials 'PER , standing for People's Ellsworth Regiment, the other name by which the 44th was known. ( Michael jf. McAJee)

of the Confederate general Richard Garnctt near the wall.

The statue of a 72nd Pennsylvania Zouave-using his musket as a club is one of the most spectacular at Gettysburg, but getting it located in the An gle was a problem for the veterans of Baxter's Fire Zouaves. To stop the Angle getting crowded with monuments, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association ruled that regiments who fought in the area could only erect monuments where each regiment had first been located. However, the 72nd Pennsylvania, who had been held in reserve before rushing up to

First Fire Zouaves
Dying in II ushington on 2.i March 1862, Private James Davis had a short career as an Ivenger. I lis jacket is unbuttoned in this studio photograph, revealing what could be one of the specially made shirts issued lo the unit. (Martin !.. SchoeuJeld)

advanced through hellish Confederate fire and struggled on to Fort Wagner's parapet. For a few glorious moments it seemed as if victory could be in the grasp of the gaudily clad Zouaves, but amid desperate tenacious lighting the Union troops could not maintain their foothold and were sent reeling back. The Keystone Zouaves lost ISO men. During another assault on the fort, a week later, they were hurled back again, and Fort Wagner remained impregnable to L nion troops until September 1863.

Transferred back to the eastern theatre, the 76th saw action in the Virginia campaign of l<X64, including (.old Harbour, the Crater and Petersburg but some rueful veterans of the regiment thought that none of these actions compared with the hell the Keystone Zouaves went through at Fort Wagner 011 the humid Carolina coast.

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