ISSUE NUMBER 6

HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2009

HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL ISSUE NUMBER 6

PUBLISHED BY GEORGE GRASSE

 AMERICAN CIVIL WAR ZOUAVES

RESEARCH NOTES FOR MODELING 54mm SCALE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR ZOUAVES: PART 6

33rd NEW JERSEY "MINDL'S ZOUAVES" HISTORY

The Regiment was mustered in at Newark, New Jersey, on 3 September 1863 and left the state for Washington D.C., on 8 September 1863.  It moved immediately to Warrenton, Virginia, where it was attached to the 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.  The regiment's assignments are noted as follows:

From / To Brigade Division Corps Army
Sep 1863 to Oct 1863 1st Brigade 2nd Division 11th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Oct 1863 to Apr 1864 1st Brigade 2nd Division 11th Army Corps Army of the Cumberland
Apr 1864 to Jul 1865 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 20th Army Corps Army of the Cumberland and Georgia
Jul 1865 Mustered Out - - - -

The 33rd New Jersey had been in the field for one month when its parent formation, the 11th Army Corps, along with the 12th Army Corps were transferred to the Western Theater of operations.  The movement of these two corps under General Hooker matched the strategic rail transport of two of Longstreet's divisions from the Army of Northern Virginia to Bragg's Army of Tennessee, then under great pressure by the advance of Rosecran's Union Army of the Tennessee converging on Chattanooga.  After a short period of guarding communication lines, the regiment moved to Lookout Valley near Chattanooga where Hooker's Wing (11th and 12th Army Corps) participated decisively in the battle of Chattanooga which ended in the rout of Bragg's army.  For there, the 33rd New Jersey participated in the march to the relief of Knoxville which had been besieged and attacked unsuccessfully by Longstreet who then abandoned his lines and marched back East to rejoin Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

The regiment then participated in the Atlanta Campaign from 1 May to 8 September 1864 and fought at Rocky Faced Ridge (May 8-11), Dug Gap (May 8), battle of Reseca (May 14-15), near Cassville (May 19), advance on Dallas (May 22-25), New Hope Church (May 25), battles about Dallas, New Hope Church, and Alatoona Hills (May 26 to June 5), operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain ( June 10 to July 2), assault on Kenesaw (June 27), Chattahoochie River (July 5 to 17), Peach Tree Creek (July 19 to 20), Siege of Atlanta (July 22 to August 25), operations at Chattahoochie River Bridge (August 26 to September 2), occupation of Atlanta (September 2 to November 15).

The regiment then took part in the March to the Sea Campaign (November 15 to December 10), including action at Montieth Swamp December 9, and the siege of  Savannah (December 10 to 21).

The regiment's last great action was the campaign of the Carolinas which the objective of defeating Johnston's army and encircling Lee at Petersburg.  The campaign began with the battle at Averysboro, N. C. (March 16), the great battle of Bentonville (March 19 to 21), the occupation of Goldsboro (March 24), the advance on Raleigh (April 14), at Bennett's House (April 26) and the surrender of  Johnston's army.

Mustered out of Federal service 17 July 1865.  During its term of service from September 1863 to July 1865, regiment lost 6 officers and 72 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 85 enlisted men died of disease for a grand total of 163 war deaths.

THE UNIFORM

The 33rd New Jersey wore a simplified Americanized Zouave uniform of dark blue jacket, trousers, and kepi.  The uniform described here was worn during the regiment's active service.  However, the March to the Sea and campaign in the Carolinas probably saw the withering away of uniform articles replaced with whatever could be acquired.  The regiment may have been re-uniformed late in the Carolinas campaign but probably from regular army issue stock.  It may have been re-uniformed again just prior to the Grand Review (May 23-24).

The jacket was of a short Zouave-style in dark blue with a single row of red trim all around.  At each corner at the front of the jacket, trefoil loops in the lace color were placed so that, to the viewer, there were two trefoils at the top of the jacket opening and two and the bottom opening.  Jacket cuffs had a points-up chevron in red lace.  Trousers were also dark blue and cut in the style of French Chasseurs but usually tucked into black leggings.  Two red laced trefoils adorned the the front pocket loops in the style of French Hussars.  The kepi was in the style of the regular U. S. Army, in dark blue, but adorned with red trim around the top of the crown and sides forming four loops on the top.  Buttons were brass.  Standard issue equipment including the black waterproof haversack, a canteen, a tin cup, bayonet, ammunition pouch on the right hip, cap box, and a Springfield rifle-musket.

Making A NEW JERSEY ZOUAVE

Two figures will be constructed.  Both are made using the body from Shenandoah Union zouave figures SHZ006 and SHZ007 (146th New York Zouaves).  Two other castings of this regiment SHZ008 and SHZ009 have knapsack straps cast onto the body and could have been used also.  The heads I used were from my Union kepi scrap tray and I'm not sure where I got them.  I scraped off all of the trefoil decoration on the jacket front.  New ones for the 33rd New Jersey will be painted on later.  I added the usual tin cup.  The upper part of the leggings has the "jambon" leather wrapping which was scraped away so the leggings are straight, simple canvas with six buttons.  The additional buttons were small pieces of stretched sprue super-glued in place.  After removing the casting seams and trefoils, I buffed up the figures using my Dremel tool with a #428 brush.  They were spray primed using Tamiya's light gray primer.  They were then mounted on bases and placed in the paint queue.  Faces were done first.  Figure 1 below shows progress so far.

                                      Figure 1                                                                         

                                        

After the faces were painted, I next painted the shirt.  One figure has a standard issue red shirt and the other a "homespun" shirt.  The jacket was painted dark blue.  While this was drying, I painted the arms and muskets.  Red trim was added to the edges of the jacket.  Next, the jacket trefoils are painted in the four "corners" described above.  The shoes are painted in Andrea "Leather Brown" and then washed in a mix of 1/2 flat black and 1/2 gloss lack.  The wash allows some of the worn shoe leather to come through as you would expect after months on campaign.  Figure 2 below shows both figures finished. 

                                      Figure 2

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REFERENCES

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer, Volume III, page 1364 (New Jersey 33rd Regiment Infantry).

Don Troiani's Civil War, Don Troiani, text by Brian Pohanka, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1995.  See page 168.

Zouaves: The First and the Bravest, Michael J. McAfee, Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA 1991.  Page 112 shows a private and page 113 shows an officer.

American Civil War Zouaves, Osprey Elite #62, by Robin Smith, illustrated by Bill Younghusband, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 1996Page 23 has a narration on the New Jersey "Zoos-Zoos" including the 33rd.

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

 

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