Act of Kindness - Unlikely Reunions: 3rd Georgia and 9th New York Hawkins' Zouaves

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3rd GA 9th NY Invite.JPG

Athens Weekly Banner, Jul. 30, 1889, page 1.
The 3rd Georgia and the 9th New York "Hawkins' Zouaves" established a relationship that endured long after the war. Delegations from the survivors group of each regiment attended the reunions of the other. The first invitation was issued by the 3rd Georgia in 1889 and the Zouaves traveled to Georgia to attend the reunion which was held July 21 - Aug 1, 1889 at Fort Valley, GA.

There's some history that explains the special affection these men held for one another. During numerous campaigns, the regiments developed a "unique relationship." In 1861, the two regiments first met near Dismal Swamp in North Carolina, and they met again in February of 1862 at Roanoke Island.
3rd GA 9th NY Fort Valley.JPG

Athens Weekly Banner, Jul. 30, 1889, page 1.
After the battle at Roanoke Island in February of 1862, the 9th New York Hawkins' Zouaves and the 3rd Georgia Infantry faced each other at other battles. According to John E. Whitney of Hawkins' Zouaves, the 9th got the upper hand "in each engagement defeating it [3rd GA] badly, and capturing a number of its men."

The regiments [9th and 3rd] came in contact with one another at South Mills or Sawyer 's Lane, South Mountain, Antietam, and (part of the 3rd GA) at Suffolk.

So that the name "3rd Georgia," became in a measure like a "household word" in the Ninth. After the war ended and peace restored some of the survivors of the Ninth whose business took them occasionally into Southern States-Georgia more particularly-endeavored to find members of the Third Georgia, with whom they would like to compare notes on the "late unpleasantness," and talk over the "old heroic days."

Former members of the respective regiment did occasionally meet, and informal invitations were extended in a general way from one the other, to meet one or the others of regimental associations at their annual reunions. Mr. Richard H. Jackson, a survivor of the Ninth, finally put himself in communication with the Third Georgia Survivor's Association, which led to a correspondence between said officers and those of the Hawkins' Zoauves Association, and a formal invitation from the former to the latter, to attend their annual reunion, to be held at Fort Valley, Ga., on July 31st and August 1st, 1889.

The invitation was extended by the Third Georgia Survivor's Association at their annual meeting assembled, the motion being carried unanimously amidst great enthusiasm. The reading of the correspondence which led up to it was received with hearty cheers by the survivors present.
One of them shouted "Thought we had killed them all at Sharpsburg, sorry we killed any of that kind!"
The correspondence between the two officers of the two associations, together with the invitation, was received and read at the annual meeting of the Hawkins' Zouaves Association, April 19, 1889, together with the following letter transmitting the same:

The Survivors' Association
3rd Georgia Veterans
Madison, GA., July 24, 1888

Mr. J.C.J. Langbein, New York City.

Dear Sir:---In behalf of the Association, most cordially do I second the enclosed invitation to attend the reunion. Come if possible. Taste the sweets of peace with us in partaking in a Georgia Barbecue. That is what "Banquet" means, as stated in the invitation card. We were foes-Let us be friends.

Yours very cordially,
W. A. Wiley, Asst. Secretary
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