ISSUE NUMBER 7

HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL

FEBRUARY 2010

HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL ISSUE NUMBER 7

PUBLISHED BY GEORGE GRASSE

 AMERICAN CIVIL WAR ZOUAVES

RESEARCH NOTES FOR MODELING 54mm SCALE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR ZOUAVES: PART 7

140th NEW YORK ZOUAVES HISTORY

The Regiment was mustered on 13 September 1862 at Rochester, New York, and left for Washington, D.C., on the 19th.  Its assignments history is:

From / To Brigade Division Corps Army
Sep 1862 to Oct 1862 2nd Brigade 1st Division 12th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Oct 1862 to Nov 1862 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 12th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Nov 1862 to Mar 1864 3rd Brigade 2nd Division 5th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Mar 1864 to Apr 1864 4th Brigade 1st Division 5th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Apr 1864 to Jun 1865 1st Brigade 1st Division 5th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Jun 1864 to Jun 1865 1st Brigade 2nd Division 5th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Jun 1865 Mustered Out - - - -

The 140th New York originally had two nicknames: "Monroe Country Regiment" and "Rochester Race Horses".  It was originally uniformed as a regular infantry unit with dark blue Federal blouse and kepi with sky blue pants.  At the battle of Gettysburg, the 140th New York was especially noted for their part in the action around Little Round Top on the second day of battle.  In early 1864, the date is not known for certain, the regiment was re-fitted with the dark blue/red-trimmed Zouave uniform.  Along with the 146th New York and 155th Pennsylvania, similarly fitted though in different colors and trim, the 140th New York continued through the remainder of the war clad in Zouave style and remained part of the 5th Army Corps.

The regiment participated in all of the major campaigns and battles of the Army of the Potomac from late 1862 to April 1865.  The following is a summary of the important actions:  Fredericksburg (12-15 December 1862), the "Mud March" (20 - 24 January 1863), Chancellorsville campaign and battle (27 April - 6 May 1863), the Gettysburg campaign and battle (11 June - 24 July 1863), the Bristoe campaign (9 - 22 October 1863), Mine Run campaign 26 November - 2 December 1863), battles in the Wilderness (5-7 May 1864), battles around Spotsylvania Court House (12 May - 21 May 1864), North Anna operations (23-26 May), on the line of the Pamunkey (26-28 May 1864), the Totopotomy line (28-31 May 1864), Cold Harbor (1-12 June 1864), Siege of Petersburg (16 June 1864 to 2 April 1865); Appomattox campaign (3-9 April 1864).

The 140th New York was mustered out of Federal service 3 June 1865 and during its term of service from September 1862 to June 1865, it lost 8 officers and 141 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 officers and 168 enlisted men died of disease for a grand total of 319 war deaths.

THE UNIFORM

The 140th New York  Zouave uniform consisted of a dark blue jacket, dark blue trousers a la chasseurs, and a red fez with yellow piping around the base and a dark blue tassel.  The uniform described here was worn during the regiment's 1864-65 active service.  Before that, as noted in the introduction, the uniform was typical Federal issue.

The jacket was of the short Zouave-style in dark blue with a single row of red trim all around.  At each corner at the front of the jacket the trefoil loops were in red with the trefoils in solid color as opposed to open loops.  Each loop had a small brass button.  Jacket cuffs had a single red points-up chevron.  The jacket was made with a false vest in dark blue with a single row of brass ball buttons.  The waist sash is dark blue with red piping at the top and at the bottom.  

Trousers were also in dark blue without adornment and of a closer fit often referred to as "chasseur-style" and not the baggy style of traditional French Zouaves.  The legs of the pants were tucked into white leggings which were wrapped at the top by a yellow-tan leather "jambon" to protect the lower leg from heavy underbrush.  Legging buttons were bone or metal wrapped in white material.

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.  The knapsack was standard Federal issue and was probably marked "140", or "140 NY" on the back in white.

Making THE 140th NEW YORK "ROCHESTER regiment" ZOUAVE

Two figures will be constructed.  Both are made using the body from Shenandoah Union zouave figures.  One will be made with the body from SHZ001 to 05 and the other from SHZ010 to 13 (5th New York Zouaves).  Although the pants are somewhat baggy, they'll do for these figures.  Figure 1 shows the kit before any work is done.

                    Figure 1     

    

 

The heads I used were from my Union Zouave fez spare parts tray taken from the Shenandoah Zouave head set.  One of the figures will have knapsack straps added and be so fitted.  You will see that later in the construction/painting phase.  First step is cleaning and I adding the false vest which will be shown as "open".  It is made from thin strips of lead foil trimmed and fitted then glued.  Buttons are added and made from small drops of white glue in two passes.  I used a #11 X-Acto blade to trim mold seams and then buffed the figure's components  with a Dremel tool using the #428 wire brush. 

Next, I glued the head to the body and the body to the small flat stand that comes with each kit.  Usually, a place a number of "cleaned" figures on a cookie sheet and carry them down to my painting/sanding room where I lay them out on wax paper and spray them with a primer.  In this case, I decided to use my Model Master MA4622 brush-on white acrylic primer.  I mounted the two figures on "work" bases with just a couple of small drops of super glue.  When set in place, I brushed on the primer.  

Figure 2 below shows both figures primed, mounted on their work bases, and ready to paint.  Note that tin cups have been added.  These were common essentials and I don't know why the manufacturer doesn't include them in each enlisted man's kit.  These were purchased separately from Shenandoah as any accessory, SHM006, ten cups per packet.  The faces are painted first.  If you look closely at Figure 2, you can see the whites of the eyes of the left figure.  I use a mix of white and add a little Vallejo VC0988 Khaki (FS30277).  This gives me an off-white color.

I keep a Vallejo/Andrea style paint bottle of this already pre-mixed.  I use quite a bit of this color for the whites on, say, Napoleonic uniforms also known as "the small clothes" including vest, stockings, turnbacks, and culottes.

Painting faces is done in the following major steps: 1) off-white for eyes; 2) outline the eyes in a dark brown color such as Vallejo VC0872 Chocolate brown; 3) add the eyes either looking straight ahead of off at an angle (note that the top of the eyeball is normally not visible except when someone is excited); 4) add the main or middle flesh color of your palette and include all of the hair and facial hair (if present); 5) wash the lower part of the face from the ears down with a thinned mix of middle flesh and dark flesh; 6) wash the temples and inside of the ears with a mix middle flesh and a tiny drop of scarlet; 7) wash the beard area with a mix of medium flesh and a little medium gray; 8) touch up the high or projecting areas of the face (bridge of the nose, nostrils, outside edges of the ears) with a mix 50-50 of medium and light flesh; 9) paint the lower lip with a mix of medium flesh and touch of scarlet but a little darker than the temple shade; 10) paint a thin line between the upper and lower lips; 11) wash the hair in whatever thinned down version of color you want .

Figure 2

After the faces were painted, I next painted the shirt which barely shows because of the false vest.  Nonetheless I painted both in off-white shirts.  If the vest were more open, I would paint a homespun design such as checks or stripes.  From this point on, I am generally painting from "the inside to the outside".  That is, the shirt first, then the vest, then the waist sash, then the jacket. . . . you get the idea.  Finally, you reach a point where you start painting "onto" the figure such as adding the jacket's red trim, the canteen strap, and so on.

Figure 3

                                                                                                Figure 3 shows progress so far.  While the sash was drying, I jumped ahead and painted the fez with its yellow piping.  Incidentally, I often use the word "piping" which appears in most uniform documentation of Napoleonic uniforms which is what I started on many years ago.  An equivalent term is "tape or taping" or sometimes "lace" and refers to thin strips of material used to embellish the uniform.  The jacket will be painted dark blue.  While this was drying, I painted the arms, musket, fez tassel, pack, pack straps, and bayonet scabbard.  These items are set aside and will be glued later (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

 

Figure 5

Figure 5 shows the two figures near completion of the uniform.  Note that the red trefoils are solid red with a small brass ball button.   The pants have one coat of paint for now; I'll finish them at the end but for now, I will concentrate on the jambier, leggings, and shoes.  The jambier is the yellow-colored item on the upper part of the lower leg made of heavy canvas or leather usually giving a yellow-ochre color.  First, they have to painted with a semi-gloss black trim which is represents the reinforcing leather.  The white leggings that show on the lower half of the lower leg are painted white and then stained with a slightly darkened wash of off-white.  The shoes are semi-gloss black.

As a side note, there were several regiments in the Union armies that wore leggings with or without the jambier.  The legging color most often seen when worn was white or closer to off-white.  Some regiments worn dark-colored leggings either brown or black but the material is not known for sure, probably canvas.  Later in the war, infantry of both sides often tucked the ends of the trousers into their socks. 

 

Figure 6

                                                                                                Figures 6 and 7 show the completed figures. 

Figure 7

 

 

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REFERENCES

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer, Volume III, Thomas Yoseloff publisher, New York, 1959 (see page 1458).

Don Troiani's Civil War, Don Troiani, text by Brian Pohanka, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1995 (see pages 145-147).

Zouaves: The First and the Bravest, Michael J. McAfee, Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA 1991 (a few notes on pages 42, 91 photo on p.80).

American Civil War Zouaves, Osprey Elite #62, by Robin Smith, illustrated by Bill Younghusband, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 1996 (see plate K #2).

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

 

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