MAY 2010






The Regiment was organized at Harrisonburg on 18 October 1861 and left the state for Fort Monroe, Virginia, the next day.  Thus began its history and its assignments during its term of service were:

From / To Brigade Division Corps Army
Oct 1861 to Apr 1862 3rd Brigade Sherman's n/a Expedition to South Carolina
Apr 1862 to Jul 1862 2nd Brigade 1st Division n/a Department of the South
Jul 1862 to Apr 1863 n/a n/a 10th Army Corps Department of the South
Apr 1863 to Jun 1863 Guss' Brigade Seabrook Island 10th Army Corps Department of the South
Jun 1863 to Jul 1863 2nd Brigade Folly Island 10th Army Corps Department of the South
Jul 1863 to Jul 1863 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 10th Army Corps Department of the South
Jul 1863 to Aug 1863 1st Brigade Morris Island 10th Army Corps Department of the South
Aug 1863 to Apr 1864 n/a Hilton Head 10th Army Corps Department of the South
Apr 1864 to May 1864 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 10th Army Corps Department of Virginia and N.C.
May 1864 to Jun 1864 1st Brigade 3rd Division 18th Army Corps Department of Virginia and N.C.
Jun 1864 to Dec 1864 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 10th Army Corps Department of Virginia and N.C.
Dec 1864 to Jan 1865 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 24th Army Corps Department of Virginia
Jan 1865 to Mar 1865 2nd Brigade 2nd Division Terry's Prov. Corps Department of North Carolina
Mar 1865 to Jul 1865 2nd Brigade 2nd Division 10th Army Corps Department of North Carolina
Jul 1865 Mustered Out - - - -


The 76th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment has one nickname: the "Keystone Zouaves" and several engagements of fame and two of significant importance: Fort Wagner in July of 1863 and Fort Fisher in January of 1865.  These major combats are part of a long, well-served history along the mid-Atlantic seaboard.  The regiment spent the latter part of 1861 and early part of 1862 on the South Carolina.  Its first major engagement was the Battle of Secessionville outside of Charleston, S.C., on 16 June 1862 after which the unit moved to Hilton Head where it conducted various local operations until April 1863.  The 76th "Keystone Zouaves" then began operations that centered around the assaults (11 and 18 July) and then siege until October 1863.  It returned to Hilton Head and remained there until April 1864.

Now began the period of operations against the Richmond-Petersburg defenses.  The regiment moved from Hilton Head to Yorktown in April 1864.  Between May 4 and 28, it was part of Butler's operations on the south side of the James River.  Bermuda Hundred was captured 5 May 1864; Walthal Junction and Chester Station were taken 6-7 May; action at Proctor's Creek and operations against Fort Darling 12-13 May; Battle of Drewry's Bluff 14-16 May.  Settled in at Bermuda Hundred 17-28 May.  All of this time, from July 1862 to April 1864, the 76th Pennsylvania was always part of the 10th Army Corps.

In, May 1864, it was reassigned and became part of the 18th Army Corps under General William F. "Baldy" Smith, a major component of the Army of the Potomac gathering at Cold Harbor under General U. S. Grant.  The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought 1 June 1864 and the 18th Army Corps suffered the second highest number of casualties next to Hancock's 2nd Army Corps.  The results of that battle are well known.  The 76th Pennsylvania returned to the control of the 10th Army Corps after the battle and entered into the siege operations against Petersburg lasting from 16 July to 6 December.  During this period, the regiment participated in the following actions during its involvement in the Petersburg siege: the Mine Explosion (in reserve) 30 July; demonstration at Deep Bottom 13-20 August with actions at Strawberry Plains and Deep Bottom; Battle of Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, 28-30 September; Battle of Fair Oaks 27-28 October; in the trenches around Richmond until 6 December 1864.

The spectacular events involving the 76th Pennsylvania "Keystone Zouaves" that led to war's end began with the expedition to Fort Fisher, North Carolina coast, during the period 6-24 December 1864, as part of the 24th Army Corps.  A second expedition was mounted from 3-15 January 1865 resulting in a determined assault and the fort's capture on 15 January 1865.   Reassigned back to the 10th Army Corps, the 76th was involved in these closing actions: Fort Anderson 18-19 February; capture of Wilmington 22 February; advance on Goldsboro 6-24 March; advance on Raleigh 9-13 April; at Bennett's House and the surrender of Johnston's army 26 April 1865.

The 76th Pennsylvania Regiment was mustered out of Federal service 18 July 1865 and during its term of service from October 1861 to July 1865, it lost 9 officers and 161 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 officers and 192 enlisted men died of disease for a grand total of 364 war deaths.


There are two photographs of privates of the 76th Pennsylvania "Keystone Zouaves" in Zouaves by Michael J. McAfee, pages 106-107.  Both figures are wearing fine examples of the uniform including the dark blue Zouave-style short jacket with false vest, medium blue waistband piped in red, medium blue trousers, white leggings, and tan-yellow leather "jambons" worn around the top of the leggings. The jacket is adorned with deep red piping around the edges, trefoils with brass buttons,  and cuff chevrons worn "points up".  The fez was medium blue with yellow piping around the base and a dark blue tassel.  This uniform was probably worn during the unit's service along the Atlantic Coast.

Trousers were without adornment and of a fit the appears to be closer to the true, baggy "zouave-style" than the slimmer, tailored cut or "chasseur-style".  The legs of the pants were tucked into white leggings which were wrapped at the top by a yellow-tan leather "jambon" which often reflects a dark or black shade in period photographs.  Legging buttons were bone or metal wrapped in white cloth.

The unit carried the Springfield rifled-musket, with cap box worn at the right front, a cartridge box worn on the right rear hip, and a bayonet in its scabbard worn on the left, dangling from the waist belt.  Other equipment included black waterproof haversack, a canteen with cloth cover of varied shades, and a tin cup.  The knapsack was standard Federal issue and was probably marked "76", or "76 PA", or "76 PA KZ" on the back in white.  A rolled blanket also of varied shades of brown-gray was secured to the top of the knapsack.


One figure will be constructed using the one of the standard poses from Shenandoah's 5th New York Zouave kits, in this case SHZ010 standing crouched firing.  The figure will have the left arm replaced by another which is slightly extended so that I can create the pose of raising the rifle to take aim.  I will also add a tin cup and the knapsack as shown in Figure 1 which shows the kit before any work is done.

          Figure 1     



The head I used was from my Union Zouave fez-headed spare parts tray from the Shenandoah Zouave head set (not the head shown in Figure 1).  This figure will have knapsack straps added for the knapsack, not a kit-supplied item.  A tin cup is another added feature.  You will see these items later in the construction/painting phase.  First step is cleaning up the figure's seam lines on all parts and polishing them with a Dremel tool using a #428 wire brush.  A false vest will be added later on in the process.

As far as assembly goes, I only super glued the head to the body.  Next step is priming.  This is done by laying out the parts on wax paper and spraying with an appropriate primer for metal or resin figures.  In general, these are fine spray primers.  You don't need heavy coverage or you could obliterate fine details or leave an undesirable grainy surface.   Another alternative is to prime with the brush using a product such as Model Master MA4622 brush-on white acrylic primer.  When dry, I mounted the figure on a  "work" base with just a couple of small drops of super glue.  

Figure 2 shows the primed figure on its working base with the face painted according to these 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, watered-down mix of middle flesh and dark flesh; 6) wash the temples and inside of the ears with a thinned, watered-down mix of 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 each of scarlet and dark brown, 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: medium brown, dark brown, red brown; keep this mixture as a wash and note how the flesh-colored hair automatically reveals the highlight color.

Figure 2


                                           Figure 3                                                                                                                                 Figure 4

The basic elements of the uniform are started as shown in Figure 3.  The fez and trousers are painted a light shade of medium blue.  These will be finished in a thinned-down wash of a true medium blue.  The "jambons" have a base coat of yellow ochre and the leggings are true white.  Both will be washed with darker shades of the same colors.  I painted the shirt a dark blue.  The false vest will be added in the next step.

Figure 4 shows the addition of the false vest and painted details of the jacket and leg-wear.  Basic equipment that is cast onto the figure (cartridge box, cap, box, haversack, and canteen) will be painted in the next step.



                                Figure 5

Figure 5 shows all details of the uniform painted.  The trefoil "loop holes" are painted the color of the jacket  which shows through the lace.  In some regiments, the "loop holes" were filled in with lace or had a button sewn in place.

 Recall that the false vest, here made from thin lead foil to which are added small droplets of white glue for the buttons, was intended to allow the soldier to button up his jacket but give the appearance of being open as was the French Zouave style. 

At this point I'd like to point out that this figure represents a private in pristine, parade dress, fresh-issue uniform.  It doesn't take much imagination to picture this figure after having been in the field for 6 months.  The jambieres would have been "lost", he may or may not have retained the leggings, and he may have worn out the baggy trousers and adopted a pair of regulation issue replacements.


Figure 6

Figures 6 and 7 show the completed figure.  Knapsack belts to support the knapsack and rolled blanket were added before the arms were fitted and glued in place.  This particular pose required several trial fittings which required slight bending of the upper arms.  Once glued in place, gaps were filled with Monogram's Red Putty and sanded.  The number "76" in white on the knapsack is my interpretation.  When infantry regiments went into line from route march, knapsacks and non-essential items were dropped in an area.  Several men were detailed to guard them while the regiment moved off.  Identifying numbers on these knapsacks were quite common but artist and photographers of the period did not create an historical record.  Relics are too few to give an overall sample of every regiment.  The inscription might also be interpreted as "76 Pa" (Pa = Pennsylvania) or "76 PV" (PV = Pennsylvania Volunteers) or "76 KZ" (KZ = Keystone Zouaves).

Figure 7




A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer, Volume III, Thomas Yoseloff publisher, New York, 1959 (see page 1599).

Don Troiani's Civil War, Don Troiani, text by Brian Pohanka, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1995 (see page 86).

Zouaves: The First and the Bravest, Michael J. McAfee, Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA 1991 (see notes on page 91and photos on pp.106-107).

American Civil War Zouaves, Osprey Elite #62, by Robin Smith, illustrated by Bill Younghusband, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 1996 (see pages 29-30 and  plate H #3).

Echoes of Glory: Arms and Equipment of The Union, by the Editors of Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1991 (see page 142).







Copyright by George Grasse