Coldwater Zouave Cadets from Michigan

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Aug 25, 2012
The Coldwater Zouave Cadets a.k.a. the Coldwater Cadets a.k.a. The Cadets

(Coldwater, Branch County) served as Company C of the 1st Michigan Three Month Volunteer Infantry. They were a relatively ‘new’ company having organized in July of 1860. In 1861 the State issued them 40 rifle muskets probably with accruements. Captain Ebenezer Butterworth was elected commander in 1860

The “Zouave” title was not always used; in period newspapers they were often referred to as the ‘Coldwater Cadets’ or as ‘the Cadets’. Despite any confusion arising over their name, the Coldwater Cadets considered themselves Zouaves and wore Zouave fatigue uniforms. Soon after forming they paraded in uniforms consisting of nothing more than shirt sleeves and black pants but these simple uniforms were quickly replaced with more appropriate Zouave outfits. The new Zouave-styled fatigue uniforms consisted of blue Zouave jackets worn with scarlet trousers and scarlet army caps.[ii] No information about their dress uniforms has been found and it is unknown if they even had dress uniforms.

They were issued dark blue nine button jackets, dark blue trousers, dark blue forage caps, and dark blue overcoats prior to leaving Michigan.

After the Coldwater Cadets departed for Federal duty, the citizens of Coldwater formed a home guard company, which was called the Coldwater Reserve Cadets (Coldwater, Branch County). A description of the Coldwater Reserve Cadets can be found below in the section on home guard units.

Captain Butterworth was wounded and captured at the First Battle of Bull Run. He died in captivity.
[ii] “New Military Organization”, The Grand Rapids Daily Enquirer and Herald, October 7 1860, p. 3, col. 1.
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