ISSUE NUMBER 5

HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL

AUGUST 2009

HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL ISSUE NUMBER 5

PUBLISHED BY GEORGE GRASSE

 ZOUAVES

RESEARCH NOTES FOR MODELING 54mm SCALE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR ZOUAVES: PART 5

44th NEW YORK "PEOPLE'S ELLSWORTH REGIMENT" HISTORY

The "People's Ellsworth Regiment" was organized at Albany, New York, and mustered into Federal service on 30 August 1861.  It was also known as the "Ellsworth Revengers" regiment for the purpose of enlisting fired-up New Yorkers seeking revenge for the death of Colonel Ellsworth, a famous pre-Civil War personality who toured the country with his equally famous Zouave cadets.  The regiment moved to Washington D.C. on 21 October 1861.  The regiment's assignments are noted as follows:

From / To Brigade Division Corps Army
Oct 1861 to Mar 1862 Butterfield's Porter's n/a Army of the Potomac
Mar 1862 to May 1862 3rd (Butterfield) 1st (Porter) 3rd Army Corps Army of the Potomac
May 1862 to Jun 1864 3rd 1st 5th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Jun 1864 to Oct 1864 3rd 2nd 2nd Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Oct 1864 Mustered Out - - - -

The 44th New York participated in all of the main battles and campaigns of the Army of the Potomac during the term of its enlistment.  These included the Peninsula campaign March to May 1862; the Seven Days battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, White Oak Swamp, Turkey Bend, and Malvern Hill; Second Bull Run August 1862; Maryland campaign and Antietam Sep 1862; Fredericksburg December 1862; the "Mud March" January 1863; Chancellorsville May 1863; Gettysburg July 1863; the Summer 1863 stalemate; Mine Run campaign Nov-Dec 1863; Wilderness May 1864; Spotsylvania May 1864; North Anna May 1864; Cold Harbor Jun 1864; Siege of Petersburg Jun-Aug 1864; mustered out but of the men transferred into the 140th and 146th New York regiments, October 1864.

During all of these battles and campaigns the regiment lost 4 officers and 178 enlisted men killed or died of wounds and 2 officers and 145 enlisted men died of disease for a grand total of 329 war deaths.

THE UNIFORM

The 44th New York wore a simplified Americanized Zouave styled after the Albany Zouave Cadets, a pre-war militia company.  The uniform described here was worn in mid-1863.  It consisted of a short Zouave-style dark blue jacket with pointed and looped cuffs trimmed with red lace and a row of brass buttons down both sides of the jacket opening.  The jacket was edge in red lace down the front and along the bottom.  In a photo published in Zouaves by Michael McAfee, a soldier of the 44th New York is shown with the collar of a dark-colored shirt pulled out and over the Zouave jacket.  In the Osprey Elite book entitled American Civil War Zouaves, on plate K, figure 1 shows a private of the 44th New York with a collar-less shirt worn under the jacket in bright red piped light blue.  Also shown, is the right epaulette which appears to be crossed red lace.  Trousers were dark blue in the style of the French chasseurs with a red stripe down the outside seams of each leg and were tucked into light brown or dark tan leggings when available.  They wore a standard Union army kepi adorned on the top with the red Maltese cross of the 1st Division of the 5th Army Corps probably adopted and worn regularly by early 1863. 

Making AN "AVENGER"

Two figures will be constructed.  One is made using the body from Shenandoah Confederate infantry SHC001-SHC003, right leg forward (see Figure 1) and the other Shenandoah Confederate infantry SHC025-SHC027 crouched, left leg forward (see Figure 2).  In both cases, they wear short shell jackets buttoned only at the top to expose the shirt underneath.  The lower part of the trousers will be cut away and sheet lead will be used to make the leggings for the second figure.  The jacket buttons will be cut off and a row of smaller buttons on each side of the opened jacket will be added using fine cutoffs from small diameter round plastic and/or resin scrap.  The top of the jacket has a small stand-up collar that will be sanded down and covered with a small piece of lead sheet to simulate the fold down collar from the underlying shirt.  A "US" belt buckle and cartridge box plate will be added to each figure from Shenandoah's PE "US" sheet.  Lastly, a haversack will be added to the left thigh.  It has to be cut to fit around the cast-on canteen.  Figure 1 shows the metal parts for the first soldier and Figure 2 shows the modified second soldier.

                      Figure 1                                                                          Figure 2                                                            Figure 3

                                        

The next step is priming the figures and mounting them on a work base as shown in Figure 3.  Note also in Figure 3 the addition of the jacket and leggings buttons and the tin cup which all infantryman carried ready to use. The first painting step is to paint the face and get the basic dark blue on the uniform jacket, trousers, and kepi.  I also painted the shirt red.  The jacket is painted a shade of dark blue which I call "French Blue" and it is a mix of either Andrea or Vallejo Prussian Blue, Violet, and a little black.  This mix is maintained in separate bottles because I use so much of it.  The trousers for the 44th New York are also "French Blue".  The leggings are first done in a light brown and then washed in a mix of dark brown and black.  The shoes are painted in Andrea "Leather Brown" and then washed in a mix of 1/2 flat black and 1/2 gloss lack.  Incidentally, I use this often and keep a pre-mixed bottle handy and label it "Semi-Gloss Black".  The wash allows some of the worn shoe leather to come through as you would expect after months on campaign.

                                                                                                                    Figure 4

Figure 4 shows the two finished "People's Ellsworth Avengers" both finished as privates.  The device on the top of the kepi is a red Maltese cross signifying that they are in the 1st Division of the 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.  

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REFERENCES

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer, Volume III, page 1420 (New York 44th Regiment Infantry)

Zouaves: The First and the Bravest, Michael J. McAfee, Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA 1991.  The only photo of a soldier of the 44th New York in this book is shown on page 64.

American Civil War Zouaves, Osprey Elite #62, by Robin Smith, illustrated by Bill Younghusband, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 1996Plate K, figure 1 shows a private of the 44th New York wearing the prescribed uniform for this regiment.  The plate figure has a red shirt with stand-up collar.  My figures have privately purchased red shirts with falling collars.  In fact, any "civilian" shirt would be worn.

Echoes of Glory: Arms and Equipment of The Union, by the Editors of Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1991.

 

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