Photographs of Zouaves

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
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Nov 20, 2012
Location
Texas
The original Zouaves were native north African troops serving in the French Army in the 1830s. They wore distinctive uniforms. The uniforms usually consisted of fez and turban, very baggy pants, a vest, a short jacket that was cut away from the top with only on button or clasp at the throat and a sash. They also wore leggings. The uniforms were usually brightly colored and had much trim and braid and many brass buttons on them. These soldiers fought in North Africa for French interests. Later Zouaves fought in the Crimea and Italy in the 1850s. These troops were well trained and disciplined and were famous for great feats on the battlefield, and often mischief and rowdiness off the battlefield. Prior to the Civil War the "Zouave fever" spread to America. The colorful uniforms and fancy drill caught on with many American militia units. This was particularly true after Col. Elmer Ellsworth took his Chicago Zouave Cadets on a tour of North America, challenging militia units to drill competition. By the end of the Civil War most Zouave uniforms had disappeared due to the Army not wanting to replace them. There were however units that maintained the Zouave uniforms throughout the war, and actually were given Zouave uniforms to recognize the bravery of the unit. Zouaves disappeared at the end of the Civil War in the US, except for veteran's groups. They continued on in the French Army until World War I when the ability to blend into the battlefield required more traditional green uniforms.
http://philazou.home.mindspring.com/page7.html

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Company H of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry "Collis' Zouaves" at Petersburg, Va., August 1864.

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Another photo of Company H.

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Company G, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry "Collis' Zouaves" at Petersburg, Va.

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Another photo of Company G.

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Lt. Colonel George A.G. Coppens (seated) with his younger brother Captain Marie Alfred Coppens (standing) of Coppens’ 1st Battalion, Louisiana Zouaves, March 1861.

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Coppens' 1st Battalion, Louisiana Zouaves taken in either New Olreans or Pensacola, 1861. Lt. Col. Coppens is standing among the officers at right (second from right) and a vivandiere is seen at left.

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Francis E. Brownell of the 11th New York Infantry "Fire Zouaves."

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Company E of the 5th New York Infantry "Duryee's Zouaves" standing at attention in camp at Fort Monroe, Virginia, 1861.

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Staged image of Zouaves loading wounded men onto the ambulances.

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A sailor and a zouave, the latter likely a member of Duryee’s Zouaves, 5th New York Infantry.

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Studio portrait of members of the 9th New York Infantry "Hawkins' Zouaves," 1861.

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Corporal in the 9th New York Infantry "Hawkins' Zouaves."

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Pvt. William B. Van Syckle, Co. E, 9th New York Infantry "Hawkins’ Zouaves." Mortally wounded at Roanoke Island, Feb. 8, 1862.

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Soldier in 34th Ohio Infantry "Piatt Zouaves," raised and uniformed by Abram Sanders Piatt of Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Two unidentified soldiers in 34th Ohio Infantry "Piatt Zouaves."

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Two unidentified members of the 34th Ohio Infantry "Piatt Zouaves."

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Unidentified soldier of Company F, 34th Ohio Infantry "Piatt Zouaves."

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Private William Keane, 74th New York Infantry "Fifth Excelsior Regiment."

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Four soldiers of the 146th Pennsylvania Infantry. David W. Allen, Chauncey B. Smith, Jesse C. Johnson, and John Duckworth posed for this photograph while on duty in Elmira, N.Y. in 1863.
From an excellent article on their uniform here: https://www.libertyrifles.org/research/regiments/146th-new-york

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Sergeant Henry G. Lillibridge of Co. H, 10th Rhode Island Infantry.
 
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Mdiesel

First Sergeant
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Location
Maryland
Duryea Zouave
 

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JWheeler331

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Location
Louisiana
Third picture up from the bottom......Staged right? Anyone know anymore info on it?

Does anyone here have any ancestors that were a part of a Zouave group?
 

rhp6033

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Everett, Washington
The french continued to wear the blue jacket and "rouge pantaloons" as part of their regular uniform until well into the first year of WWI. Of course, these weren't the "baggy" variety that Zuave units wore. It is at that point that it became brutally apparant that a grey uniform had considerable advantages blending into the mud of WWI trench warfare, which developed within just a few months. But this change occured over the considerable resistence of senior general officers, who felt that the tradition of the red pants improved morale , discouraged the enemy, and encouraged audacity and aggressiveness in combat.
 

JRJ

First Sergeant
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Location
God's Country.
Said it before and I'll say it again. It took a brave man to go out and fight in this getup. Plus, who would want to fight someone crazy enough to go to battle in it?
 

rhp6033

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Everett, Washington
The french continued to wear the blue jacket and "rouge pantaloons" as part of their regular uniform until well into the first year of WWI. Of course, these weren't the "baggy" variety that Zuave units wore. It is at that point that it became brutally apparant that a grey uniform had considerable advantages blending into the mud of WWI trench warfare, which developed within just a few months. But this change occured over the considerable resistence of senior general officers, who felt that the tradition of the red pants improved morale , discouraged the enemy, and encouraged audacity and aggressiveness in combat.
 

BelleBlackburn

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Location
Nashville, TN
When the US flag was lowered in Nashville in June 1861 from the Capitol and the Confederate flag was raised, it was done by the Dunlap Zouaves. Was that these guys??
 

TerryB

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN
When the US flag was lowered in Nashville in June 1861 from the Capitol and the Confederate flag was raised, it was done by the Dunlap Zouaves. Was that these guys??
There's a photo at the TSLA website that's believed to be of one of the Dunlop Zouaves, but no one knows what happened to the unit. It may have consolidated with the 1st Tenn, but there's no roster for them. And I never could find the man's name on any other roster. He was from Nashville and was on the 1860 and 1870 census.
 

Robert Gray

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
The 4th Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The 4th Michigan wore a very americanized zouave uniform. This uniform consisted of a federal dark blue sack coat, dark blue chasseur trousers, tan gaiters, and a maroon zouave fez with a light blue tassle. [Wikipedia] [Photo National Archives]
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TerryB

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN
Pistols as an infantry weapon were frowned on by the brass. Early in the war, men bought them, but were usually told to get rid of them. They were so much extra weight on a march, so for those reasons they eventually fell out of favor with the infantry. Most of the pistols you see in early photos, especially in 1861, are photographer's props.
 

wondering

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Location
North of the 49th
The original Zouaves were native north African troops serving in the French Army in the 1830s. They wore destinctive uniforms. The uniforms usually consisited of fez and turban, very baggy pants, a vest, a short jacket that was cut away from the top with only on button or clasp at the throat and a sash. They also wore leggings. The uniforms were usually brightly colored and had much trim and braid and many brass buttons on them...

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Thanks for all the photos, Aug351! I hate to admit I've always been curious about the whole Zouave thing (bit odd in North American theatre). Unfortunately (or fortunately for some I guess), these units seem to have been caught in the middle of a military fashion crisis! ~ polar opposites to the future "rugged and serviceable" uniforms of American combat units.

Certainly some fancy military duds came out of the Civil War (emulating grand traditions of old European armies) ~ but still, who was responsible for all this! :smile: (You know of course I'm pulling your leg, and in no way commenting on the fighting abilities of these brave soldiers, but still ........ hehe!). Engaging thread, thanks. :showoff:
 
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