Uniforms Some Zouave uniforms in Michigan.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
The Detroit Light Guards a.k.a. the Light Guard (Detroit) was considered the primer militia company in the state and was first on the State Military Board’s order of merit in the years prior to the Civil War. They were considered the best-dressed, best drilled militia company in Michigan. They became Company A, 1st​ Michigan Three Month Volunteer Infantry Regiment. After hosting the Chicago United States Zouave Cadets, in 1860 the Detroit Light Guard adopted a semi Zouave uniform for fatigue. This consisted of gray roundabout jackets (possibly the same gray shell jackets as before), gray Zouave trousers with dark trefoils and gray Sardinian caps. For fatigue dress the Detroit Light Guard wore gray jackets, gray Zouave pants and gray Sardinian caps.i
The Detroit Daily Tribune on August 30 1860 states that the Detroit Light Guards now have a very pretty light infantry cap and grey Zouave pants in addition to their usual garb. A jaunty Zouave cap was also used as winter wear in 1860.iThe company fatigue dress was gray jackets, gray Zouave pants and gray caps.iiiThe Detroit Daily Tribune of 1860 called the trousers, gray Zouave pants and the caps Light Infantry caps (M1851 Light Infantry Cap? or M1854 Light Infantry Cap?).ivA photograph of the Detroit Light Guard, taken in 1860, shows them in dark shell jackets (nine buttons?) with gray Zouave moderately baggy trousers with dark trefoils. The trousers are worn with medium colored leggings. Sergeants have light colored downward pointed chevrons (white) on the sleeves. Dark kepis (blue) with unknown badges (tiger head) are worn. Enlisted men have white waist and cross belts.

Two officers in the photograph wear dark frock coats and one officer a dark short jacket. All officers wear gray Zouave trousers identical to their men and are wearing leggings. The officers are wearing dark kepis and white waist belts. Their jackets had small standing collars. The sleeves appear to be plain. Gray Zouave trousers with thin dark trefoils are worn. White leggings (mostly likely canvas) are worn over shoes. A short dark cap is worn. The cap appears to have strait sides and does not sloping forward at the front as a kepi would. A white pompom with holder (possibly shaped like a tiger head) adorns the kepi. A white waist belt with square belt plate is worn. A white cross strap is worn joined by a round plate with what appears to be a tiger head on it. A black cap patch pouch and ammunition pouch is worn. A pack is worn with the straps visible. A roll (possibly rubber coated) is attached at the top of the pack.

The Coldwater Zouave Cadets a.k.a. the Coldwater Cadets the became Company C, 1st​ Michigan Three Month Volunteer Infantry. The Cadets were a new company formed in 1860. The “Zouave” title was not used for any length of time; they were usually referred to as the Coldwater Cadets. The fatigue uniforms were blue Zouave jackets with scarlet trousers and army cap.v

The Adrian Guard (Adrian) became Company B, 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment. They were the state’s second oldest militia company dating from 1842. After the1860 visit of the United States Zouaves Cadets of Chicago, the company acquired Zouave uniforms consisting of blue roundabout jackets with gilt buttons and scarlet a la Zouave pants. The pants were not gathered at the ankles and were worn loose. Their caps were red.viA Detroit Free Press article of September 1 1860 gives the fatigue uniforms as Zouave uniforms with blue jackets, red pants and red caps.viiThe Detroit Daily Advertiser in 1860 gives the dress uniforms as gray with red trim. The dress headgear was bearskins. The fatigue uniforms were loose blue Zouave jackets with red trim, the pants and caps were red.viii

The United States Zouave Cadets a.k.a. United States Zouave Cadets of Detroit (Detroit) a.k.a. Detroit Zouave Cadets was formed in July of 1860. Members were to be between 20 and 23 years of age. They adopted a full Zouave dress, which differs somewhat from that worn by the Chicago United States Zouave Cadets.ix This should mean a short blue Zouave jacket with trim, red chasseur trousers and kepi, however the Detroit Daily Advertiser indicates they were to wear genuine French Zouave uniforms including bag pants and turbans.x

Hudson Zouave Cadets (Hudson) was for boys 12-16 years old. In 1861 they ordered caps from J & A Herzof of Chicago. (Could this be the same company as the Hudson Cadets?)

The Tecumseh Volunteers a.k.a. Tecumseh Light Infantry (Tecumseh) for a short time in 1861 they wore uniforms provided by the citizens of Tecumseh. The uniforms were blue jackets, red pants and red caps.xi This was a Zouave type uniform.xii They went in to 4th​ Michigan as Company G. They received state issued gray uniforms.

The Independent Zouaves (Lansing) was active for three months in 1861 and probably obtained same type of distinctive uniforms. The seemed to disappear when the Elder Zoauves formed and these may in fact be the same company. The Elder Zouaves went into the 3rd​ Regiment and were issued gray uniforms by the state.

The Student Battalion from University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) are shown in a photograph of three Captains. All of the Captains wear battle shirts and strait leg trousers The Ellsworth Zouaves, a.k.a. Ellsworth Cadets Captain wears a darker shade of the battle shirt without any trim. The shirt had a pocket on the left side (perhaps the right side as well). His kepi is medium or dark. He has a light sash with sword belt. All wear their kepi straps under their chins. There is no information on what the enlisted members of these student companies wore but they are described as being in full uniforms.

Hastings Zouave Cadets (Hastings) in 1861 reportedly wore uniforms.

Lafayette Guard (Detroit) was formed in 1861 by citizens of French decent. They decided to wear uniforms based on French infantry uniforms. This included French style blue frock coats and red trousers.xiii

Women in Grand Rapids in 1861 when they presented the 3rd​ Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment with a regimental flag wore a type of semi uniform. Twenty young ladies were in Zouave jackets and brown jockey caps trimmed in red, white and blue.

i Detroit Free Press, September 1 1860.
ii Detroit Daily Advertiser, February 13 1860.
iii Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 30, 1860.
iv Detroit Daily Tribune, August 30 1860.
v The Grand Rapids Daily Enquirer and Herald, October 7 1860.
vi Adrian Daily Expositor, August 27 1861 also described in Charles Lindquist, Adrian The City That Worked.
vii Detroit Free Press, September 1 1860.
viii Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 30, 1860.
ix The Detroit Free Press, July 25 1860.
x Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 14 1860.
xi Diary of Harrison Daniels.
xii Adrian Daily Expositor, May 4 1861.
xiii Detroit Free Press, May 9 1861. Detroit Daily Tribune, May 10 1860.
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
The Detroit Light Guards a.k.a. the Light Guard (Detroit) was considered the primer militia company in the state and was first on the State Military Board’s order of merit in the years prior to the Civil War. They were considered the best-dressed, best drilled militia company in Michigan. They became Company A, 1st​ Michigan Three Month Volunteer Infantry Regiment. After hosting the Chicago United States Zouave Cadets, in 1860 the Detroit Light Guard adopted a semi Zouave uniform for fatigue. This consisted of gray roundabout jackets (possibly the same gray shell jackets as before), gray Zouave trousers with dark trefoils and gray Sardinian caps. For fatigue dress the Detroit Light Guard wore gray jackets, gray Zouave pants and gray Sardinian caps.i
The Detroit Daily Tribune on August 30 1860 states that the Detroit Light Guards now have a very pretty light infantry cap and grey Zouave pants in addition to their usual garb. A jaunty Zouave cap was also used as winter wear in 1860.iThe company fatigue dress was gray jackets, gray Zouave pants and gray caps.iiiThe Detroit Daily Tribune of 1860 called the trousers, gray Zouave pants and the caps Light Infantry caps (M1851 Light Infantry Cap? or M1854 Light Infantry Cap?).ivA photograph of the Detroit Light Guard, taken in 1860, shows them in dark shell jackets (nine buttons?) with gray Zouave moderately baggy trousers with dark trefoils. The trousers are worn with medium colored leggings. Sergeants have light colored downward pointed chevrons (white) on the sleeves. Dark kepis (blue) with unknown badges (tiger head) are worn. Enlisted men have white waist and cross belts.

Two officers in the photograph wear dark frock coats and one officer a dark short jacket. All officers wear gray Zouave trousers identical to their men and are wearing leggings. The officers are wearing dark kepis and white waist belts. Their jackets had small standing collars. The sleeves appear to be plain. Gray Zouave trousers with thin dark trefoils are worn. White leggings (mostly likely canvas) are worn over shoes. A short dark cap is worn. The cap appears to have strait sides and does not sloping forward at the front as a kepi would. A white pompom with holder (possibly shaped like a tiger head) adorns the kepi. A white waist belt with square belt plate is worn. A white cross strap is worn joined by a round plate with what appears to be a tiger head on it. A black cap patch pouch and ammunition pouch is worn. A pack is worn with the straps visible. A roll (possibly rubber coated) is attached at the top of the pack.

The Coldwater Zouave Cadets a.k.a. the Coldwater Cadets the became Company C, 1st​ Michigan Three Month Volunteer Infantry. The Cadets were a new company formed in 1860. The “Zouave” title was not used for any length of time; they were usually referred to as the Coldwater Cadets. The fatigue uniforms were blue Zouave jackets with scarlet trousers and army cap.v

The Adrian Guard (Adrian) became Company B, 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment. They were the state’s second oldest militia company dating from 1842. After the1860 visit of the United States Zouaves Cadets of Chicago, the company acquired Zouave uniforms consisting of blue roundabout jackets with gilt buttons and scarlet a la Zouave pants. The pants were not gathered at the ankles and were worn loose. Their caps were red.viA Detroit Free Press article of September 1 1860 gives the fatigue uniforms as Zouave uniforms with blue jackets, red pants and red caps.viiThe Detroit Daily Advertiser in 1860 gives the dress uniforms as gray with red trim. The dress headgear was bearskins. The fatigue uniforms were loose blue Zouave jackets with red trim, the pants and caps were red.viii

The United States Zouave Cadets a.k.a. United States Zouave Cadets of Detroit (Detroit) a.k.a. Detroit Zouave Cadets was formed in July of 1860. Members were to be between 20 and 23 years of age. They adopted a full Zouave dress, which differs somewhat from that worn by the Chicago United States Zouave Cadets.ix This should mean a short blue Zouave jacket with trim, red chasseur trousers and kepi, however the Detroit Daily Advertiser indicates they were to wear genuine French Zouave uniforms including bag pants and turbans.x

Hudson Zouave Cadets (Hudson) was for boys 12-16 years old. In 1861 they ordered caps from J & A Herzof of Chicago. (Could this be the same company as the Hudson Cadets?)

The Tecumseh Volunteers a.k.a. Tecumseh Light Infantry (Tecumseh) for a short time in 1861 they wore uniforms provided by the citizens of Tecumseh. The uniforms were blue jackets, red pants and red caps.xi This was a Zouave type uniform.xii They went in to 4th​ Michigan as Company G. They received state issued gray uniforms.

The Independent Zouaves (Lansing) was active for three months in 1861 and probably obtained same type of distinctive uniforms. The seemed to disappear when the Elder Zoauves formed and these may in fact be the same company. The Elder Zouaves went into the 3rd​ Regiment and were issued gray uniforms by the state.

The Student Battalion from University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) are shown in a photograph of three Captains. All of the Captains wear battle shirts and strait leg trousers The Ellsworth Zouaves, a.k.a. Ellsworth Cadets Captain wears a darker shade of the battle shirt without any trim. The shirt had a pocket on the left side (perhaps the right side as well). His kepi is medium or dark. He has a light sash with sword belt. All wear their kepi straps under their chins. There is no information on what the enlisted members of these student companies wore but they are described as being in full uniforms.

Hastings Zouave Cadets (Hastings) in 1861 reportedly wore uniforms.

Lafayette Guard (Detroit) was formed in 1861 by citizens of French decent. They decided to wear uniforms based on French infantry uniforms. This included French style blue frock coats and red trousers.xiii

Women in Grand Rapids in 1861 when they presented the 3rd​ Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment with a regimental flag wore a type of semi uniform. Twenty young ladies were in Zouave jackets and brown jockey caps trimmed in red, white and blue.

i Detroit Free Press, September 1 1860.
ii Detroit Daily Advertiser, February 13 1860.
iii Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 30, 1860.
iv Detroit Daily Tribune, August 30 1860.
v The Grand Rapids Daily Enquirer and Herald, October 7 1860.
vi Adrian Daily Expositor, August 27 1861 also described in Charles Lindquist, Adrian The City That Worked.
vii Detroit Free Press, September 1 1860.
viii Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 30, 1860.
ix The Detroit Free Press, July 25 1860.
x Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 14 1860.
xi Diary of Harrison Daniels.
xii Adrian Daily Expositor, May 4 1861.
xiii Detroit Free Press, May 9 1861. Detroit Daily Tribune, May 10 1860.
Great information . Very interesting.
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
Certainly early in their existence many wore an interesting cap that looked like a cross between a camp hat and a Zouave cap. I don't know how long these were worn but they appear in many early images .
 

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