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"Confederate Zouave regiments?" Topic

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Glengarry526 Jun 2020 11:57 p.m. PST

My source material isn't clear. Other than Coppens 1st Battalion Louisiana Zouaves were there any other complete regiments of Confederate Zouaves (as opposed to Zouave companies within a regiment)?

Extrabio194727 Jun 2020 6:53 a.m. PST

Are you looking for regiments that wore Zouave dress, or any regiment/company that called itself Zouaves, like the Charleston Zouave Cadets?

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2020 7:09 a.m. PST

Good question and a bit hard to sort out

In addition to Coppens' battalion there was the First Louisiana Special Battalion (Wheat's Tigers) as well as Avegno Zouaves who later became the 13th Louisiana

There were lots and lots of Zouave companies in Confederate regiments but outside of Louisiana as far as I can see not any whole regiments – the Confederates had a hard enough time getting out regular uniforms, let alone special ones!

doc mcb27 Jun 2020 7:28 a.m. PST

Pants wear out fastest, then coats, hat not so much. A red hat is a zouave. My Confederates have one regiment in grey, with red hats, and a scattering of red hats among other regiments.

Extrabio194727 Jun 2020 8:38 a.m. PST

True Zouave trousers are little more than woolen bags with two holes cut in the bottom through which you pass your lower legs. Many Zouave regiments wore chasseur trousers, which had individual legs, and were not nearly as baggy.

I can tell you from experience that you must wear period underwear when wearing Zouave trousers or you will chafe horribly. 😳

Glengarry527 Jun 2020 1:00 p.m. PST

I'm looking for regiments that wore Zouave dress.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2020 2:36 p.m. PST

I had a similar inquiry back in December 2019. There
was at that time carried on the hosting
service the very comprehensive zouavedatabase.

Beyond the two units cited (and I think Wheat's
Tigers were not a full regiment) there were on that
resource no Confederate Zouave regiments.

When I try to access the resource today, I get a
404 return ('not found') so it has apparently been
taken down.

Whoa ! Turns out I put the database query behind the
'weebly' etc.

Try this:

Good luck. There is a LOT of info there !

Ryan T27 Jun 2020 7:51 p.m. PST

Apart from the one company of Tigers and Coppen's Battalion there were several other zouave units from Louisiana. Six of the companies of the 13th La were formerly the Governor's Guard and wore a dark blue jacket trimmed with gilt lace, red zouave pants, and a red fez. This uniform was still in use at Shiloh according to a Federal description.

As well, Dupiere's Battalion, also known as the 2nd Louisiana Zouaves, went into Confederate service in April 1862. It was first planned to send the battalion to Virginia to reinforce Coppen's Zouave Battalion. This never happened and instead the battalion remained in the west. It was at the Battle of Corinth and was subsequently part of Waul's Texas Legion during the Vicksburg campaign.

Confederate uniform researcher Lee White described these zouaves as wearing flowing red pantaloons and short gray jackets as late as 1863.

Some evidence also exists for another ANV Confederate unit wearing a Zouave uniform as late as 25 June 1862. On page 186 of Sears, To the Gates of Richmond, is found the following description of a charge by Wright's Brigade of Huger's Division:

"One of these charges, by a Georgia regiment, momentarily confused the Yankees into thinking they were being attacked by their own men. The Georgians were wearing gaudy red Zouave uniforms, in imitation of the famous French colonial troops, and it was thought only the Army of the Potomac had any Zouaves in its ranks. Then someone pointed out that only the enemy would be coming at them from the direction of Richmond, and the Federals quickly opened fire on the Zouaves."

It would seem some type of Zouaves were indeed present, but the identification of these troops as being Georgians is questionable. At the time Wright's Brigade consisted of the 44th Alabama, 3rd Georgia, 4th Georgia, 22nd Georgia and 1st Louisiana. According to Todd, American Military Equipage, 1851-1872, pp. 851, 855, the 1st Louisiana Infantry included elements of the Orleans Light Guards Battalion. This pre-war militia unit in turn is described as wearing Zouave clothing.

It is therefore possible that at least part of the 1st Louisiana wore some type of Zouave uniform as late as the Seven Days battles in 1862.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2020 12:09 p.m. PST

A red hat is a zouave. My Confederates have one regiment in grey, with red hats, and a scattering of red hats among other regiments.

Sorry old boy. Red is the branch colour for Artillery in both armies. So this would be confusing.

A red Fez may make a Zouave, but I guarantee those would be discard on campaign and replaced by something more practical if the other bit of uniform are being discarded. The do not shade the eyes making it harder to see. Like the forage cap/bummer and the kapi it offers no protection to the top of the ears leading to sunburn. You might hang on to a fez to wear in camp after hours.

Glengarry528 Jun 2020 12:21 p.m. PST

Thanks all, much to ponder!

doc mcb29 Jun 2020 9:15 a.m. PST

A red kepi carrying a rifle in ranks is not likely to be confused with artillerymen. Unless it is a regiment of heavy artillery pressed into field service. But in any case I paint my armies to please one person.

Bill N30 Jun 2020 5:55 a.m. PST

There were instances of artillerymen being incorporated into Confederate infantry units. Whether those ex-gunners were wearing red caps is another matter.

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