Zouaves East West

Like the 69th New York, many early war militia units boasted companies of Zouaves. There didn't seem to be a city or town in the North where Zouaves couldn't be found.

'Oh we belong to the Zoo-Zoo-Zoos,

Don't you think we ought a?

We're going down lo Washing-town

To fight for Abraham's daughter'

So ran a popular marching song of the war, belted out lustily by brave volunteers. But although Ellsworth and his Zouave Cadets had popularised Zouaves in America, some companies were already well established before the Zouave craze gripped the nation.

Cosmopolitan New York City, with its high proportion of French immigrants, boasted the Gardes Lafayette, who, complete with a company of Zouaves, became the 55th Regiment, New York State Militia, led by Philip Regis Denis De Trobriand, a French nobleman. Lionel Jobert D'Epineuil, who claimed to be a French army veteran, tried to raise another regiment of 'genuine' Zouaves from New York's French population, but most were already serving with other regiments, and the 53rd New York only mustered 130 true Frenchmen into its ranks.

Company B of the Brooklyn Greys, the 13th

34th Regiment Zouave Uniform

Colour corporal Theodore d'T.scliambault of the Moth Xew ) ork, who was killed during the assault on Port Hudson, the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. Sole that Colour Corporal d'Tschaiiibaii/t has wrapped his sash in such a way that he has two end pieces hanging down over his leg; this must have been a real challenge to achieve with the unwieldy six-Jool-long sash he was issued with. (Brian Pohanka)

Colour corporal Theodore d'T.scliambault of the Moth Xew ) ork, who was killed during the assault on Port Hudson, the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. Sole that Colour Corporal d'Tschaiiibaii/t has wrapped his sash in such a way that he has two end pieces hanging down over his leg; this must have been a real challenge to achieve with the unwieldy six-Jool-long sash he was issued with. (Brian Pohanka)

New York State Militia, wore a natty Zouave uniform, while the Albany Zouave Cadets, who became Company A of the 10th Regiment, New York State Militia, wore a uniform heavily influenced by the United States Zouave Cadets. The Boston Light Infantry of Massachusetts, an old established independent company, had worn traditional uniforms including bearskin caps, but mothballed them in 1861 in favour of bright new Zouave uniforms. The illustrious Salem Light Infantry, founded in 1805, received Zouave m

Salem Light Infantry Uniform

Lieutenant Charles R ('urcille oj Company I), I65lh Xew ) ork, was also killed during the assault tin Purl Hudson, lie was only I') at the time of his death and would have had a promising career ahead. In this photograph. Carville wears a frock coal and distinctive red Zouave officer's trousers. ( Michael J. McAfee)

Lieutenant Charles R ('urcille oj Company I), I65lh Xew ) ork, was also killed during the assault tin Purl Hudson, lie was only I') at the time of his death and would have had a promising career ahead. In this photograph. Carville wears a frock coal and distinctive red Zouave officer's trousers. ( Michael J. McAfee)

uniforms and renamed themselves the Salem Zouaves when they served as Company I of the Nth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.

I'.ven the sober citizens of the North's western states were quick to respond to the Zouave allure. Several Zouave units flourished in Ohio and Indiana, including the 34th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Piatt's Zouaves, l ighting on horseback, they galloped into action during a skirmish in West Virginia in 1861. They were wearing income hats as part of their Zouave uniforms, and must have looked a truly bizarre sight.

The most famous of the western Zouave regiments was the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Wallace's Zouaves, founded by Lew Wallace, a young lawyer, author and Mexican War veteran. Some of the 11th Indiana Zouaves also fought mounted in 1861, at a lively skirmish with Confederates near Romney, V irginia, a town they had previously liberated from the Confederates but which was now re-occupied by rebels.

A party of 13 mounted scouts from the lltli Indiana, commanded by brave Corporal Hay, were ordered to scout the area, and they ran into a

Indiana Zouaves

Swedish-hom Gustav /'. Linquist hail original/)' Signal on as a private with the Sth \ew York, hut liail a dramatic rise through the runks, beComing a second Ueutenant in the lOSth Xew York in the winter of 18(>2. In this picture, l.ini/iiist wears a jcz. Xole the unusual pattern of the tonibeau, just visihle on the breast of Iiis jucket. ( Michael .7- McAfee)

Swedish-hom Gustav /'. Linquist hail original/)' Signal on as a private with the Sth \ew York, hut liail a dramatic rise through the runks, beComing a second Ueutenant in the lOSth Xew York in the winter of 18(>2. In this picture, l.ini/iiist wears a jcz. Xole the unusual pattern of the tonibeau, just visihle on the breast of Iiis jucket. ( Michael .7- McAfee)

Harper Weekly Sandy Hook

I grout) oj 10th Xew l inkers pictured in this Harper's Weekly illustration at their camp at Sandy Hook, Xew Jersey. Although they were impressively known as McChesney's '/.ouaves after their commander Colonel Haters II. IIcCliesney, he proved unpopular and a deputation of officers successf ully petitioned to have him removed from command. The lOlli Xew York, popularly known as the Xational /.ouaves, was said to have had some of the fittest men in Xew York serving in its ranks, (lion Field)

I grout) oj 10th Xew l inkers pictured in this Harper's Weekly illustration at their camp at Sandy Hook, Xew Jersey. Although they were impressively known as McChesney's '/.ouaves after their commander Colonel Haters II. IIcCliesney, he proved unpopular and a deputation of officers successf ully petitioned to have him removed from command. The lOlli Xew York, popularly known as the Xational /.ouaves, was said to have had some of the fittest men in Xew York serving in its ranks, (lion Field)

Confederate cavalry patrol of 41 troopers. The pluck) corporal led his men in a desperate charge-that killed eight rebels. I lav was wounded three times in the fight, but managed to stay on his horse and get back to safety.

The rest of his command were attacked by another force of Confederates, numbering around 60 men. The Zouaves made a stand on an island in the middle of a creek, and as night fell the rebels tried to sweep them off it. There was desperate hand-to-hand fighting, but the Zouaves held their ground, accounting for another 20

Confederates, \fter dark the Zouaves quictlv waded through the creek and crept back to camp. Remarkably, the) had lost onlv one man, killed in the hot fight on the island.

Wallace had set about raising the lltli Indiana as soon as he heard about (he firing on Fort Sumter, the first act of the blood) drama of (lie Civil War. Recruiting posters were put up all over Indiana and brave volunteers flooded in. The 11th had nearlv the same effect as Fllsvvorth's dashing United States Zouave Cadets. The llth's snappv Zouave drill, devised bv Wallace, attracted plentv of spectators. In her book The Soltlier of Indiana in the War Jor lite ( nion, historian Catherine Merrill wrote that Wallace's Zouaves were 'tall, erect, in the bloom and vigor of young manhood. Their appearance would have been striking w ithout the aid of the show) uniforms'.

The original lltli was a three-month regiment, and when its term of service expired Wallace recruited another lltli Indiana thai saw action in both the western and eastern theatres of the Civil War, lighting at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Champion's Hill, Vicksburg and the Shenandoah Valley. Wallace became a major-general, the youngest Union officer to hold the rank, but he is better known for writing the novel Ben Hur.

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