The 10th New York Infantry Regiment was organized from 27 April to 2 May, 1861, at New York City and left the state for Fort Monroe on 6 June 1861.  The regiment remained at Fort Monroe and Camp Hamilton, Department of Virginia.  In May 1862, the regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and remained in that service to June 1865.

Chronological Summary of Service for the 10th New York Infantry Regiment "National Guard Zouaves"

From / To Brigade Division Corps Army
Jun 1861 - May 1862 1st Brigade 1st Division n/a Department of Virginia
May 1862 - Sep 1862 3rd Brigade 2nd Division 5th Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Sep 1862 - May 1863 3rd Brigade 3rd Division 2nd Army Corps Army of the Potomac
May 1863 - Jun 1864 2nd Brigade 3rd Division 2nd Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Jun 1864 - Jun 1865 3rd Brigade 2nd Division 2nd Army Corps Army of the Potomac
Jun 1865 Mustered out at Washington, D.C.


The 10th New York Infantry Regiment, often referred to as the "National Zouaves",  joined the Army of the Potomac at the beginning of McClellan's Peninsular Campaign in Virginia in June 1862.  Fought at Old Church 13 June, the seven days before Richmond 25 June to 1 July including Gaines Mill 27 June, White Oak Swamp and Turkey Bend 30 June, and the stand at Malvern's Hill 1 July.  The regiment remained at Harrison's Landing until 16 August when it moved to Fort Monroe and marched to Centerville 16 to 28 August and then fought in the 2nd Battle of Bull Run on 30 August 1862.  Present at the Battle of Antietam, 16-17 September, 1862, and then moved to Shepardstown Ford and the town itself 19-20 September.  Movement to Falmouth, Virginia, between 29 October and 19 November.  Became the Provost Guard for Sumner's Grand Division from 7 December to 24 December.  Participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg 12 to 15 December, 1862. 

General Burnside remained in command of the Army of the Potomac and from 20-24 January, 1863, he launched a second campaign against Lee's position at Fredericksburg that yielded nothing and came down to history as the "Mud March".  This was enough to force Burnside out and he was replaced by General "Joe" Hooker.  After a few months of preparation, Hooker took the Army of the Potomac into the "Wilderness" that is known as the Chancellorsville campaign, 27 April to 6 May, 1863.  After that campaign, the 10th New York was assigned as Provost Guard, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps from 27 April to 14 June, 1863.  It was present at the Battle of Chancellorsville 1-5 May 1863.  General "Joe" Hooker retained command of the Army of the Potomac even in face of Lee's unexpected invasion of the North.  But he did well, well enough to keep his army between Lee and Washington, D.C.  Lee took advantage of this strategy and dispersed his army in Maryland and Pennsylvania to re-supply itself.  This troubled Lincoln who wanted Hooker to engage Lee and turn him back.  Not getting any results, Lincoln relieved Hooker and appointed General George Meade to command the Army of the Potomac.  Aside from protecting the capitol, Meade was instructed to bring Lee to battle, defeat him, and chase him back into Virginia.

On 1 July 1863, the engagement between Lee and Meade began leading to the three-day Battle of Gettysburg which fulfilled Meade's obligation.  The 10th New York arrived on the second day along with General Hancock's 2nd Union Corps as Provost Guard with 82 officers and men for General Alexander Hays' 3rd Division.  After the battle, the Army of the Potomac maintained contact with Lee's retreating Army of Northern Virginia and eventually advanced from the Rappahannock to the line of the Rapidan 13-17 September 1863.  The regiment was present during the month of October when several minor engagements were fought at Auburn, Bristoe, and Blackburn's Ford, all of which allowed the Army of the Potomac to deploy along the line of the Rappahannock.  From this position, the Mine Run campaign was undertaken from 26 November to 2 December 1863.  Lee had detached Longstreet's Corps to assist Confederate forces seriously threatened at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Nothing of strategic importance resulted: Lee was neither overrun or deterred from sending Longstreet.  Both armies remained in general proximity to each other and settled down for the Winter of 1863-64.

General U. S. Grant is promoted to General Commanding the Field Forces of the United States and initiates a grand strategic plan to defeat the South.  Union armies are now coordinated with specific population centers as strategic targets mostly as communication centers which could be quickly added to the huge railroad and river traffic developed by Union forces over the past two years.  Thus, Richmond and Atlanta became top priorities.  Grant accompanied Meade's Army of the Potomac and forced the issue with Lee in the Battle of the Wilderness 5 to 7 May 1864.  By the middle of June, Meade was in front of Richmond and Petersburg after severe combat in the Wilderness and place names south at Spotsylvania, Laurel Hill, Po River, Spotsylvania Court House and the "Bloody Angle", North Anna, to the Pamunkey River, to the Totopotomoy River, and the dreadful Battle of Cold Harbor.  In less than one year, the war would end. 

The "National Zouaves" lost during service 6 officers and 106 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 3 officers and 86 enlisted men by disease for a total wartime loss of 201 men.


The uniform of this model soldier represents the third issue since the regiment was formed.  It was authorized in September 1862 but it is not known for sure when it reached the regiment.  More than likely the regiment wore this uniform with some degree of replacement from early 1863 to war's end. The "Zouave" jacket was dark blue bound in red tape at the edges which formed a decorative trefoil on both side of the front.  The cuffs were pointed piped in red tape.  The jacket was never meant to be buttoned except with a hidden clasp at the neck.  Under it was worn a collar-less short-sleeved red vest  piped in yellow with six brass buttons down the center.  Often, the vest was replaced with an Army-issue white flannel shirt or a more colorful version from home or bought from the sutler.

The headdress was a red fez with a middle blue tassel and covered with a white turban.  In combat, the turban was probably not not worn.  The trousers were not of the traditional Zouave baggy style but more of a "Chasseur-style" with somewhat straight legs.  It was sky blue adorned with a double row of red stripes on the outside.  The top of the trousers were covered with a middle blue waist sash without a fall to the left side, i.e., it was completely wrapped around the waist.  The bottom of the trousers were tucked into white canvas leggings cinched on the outside with seven white cloth-covered buttons.  On campaign, the leggings often looked a dark, off-white and quite dirty especially at their bottoms near the ground.  Shoes were supposed to be blackened but on campaign, the natural leather material showed through in many places.

Equipment was standard U. S. Government issue for infantry and consisted of a black waist belt held with an oval brass belt buckle and from the belt were suspended the cartridge box over the right outside hip, the cap box at the right front, and a bayonet scabbard, all in black.  Hung over the right shoulder and under the jacket was the black water-proof haversack and Army-issue tin canteen covered in varying shades of gray from gray-blue to gray-brown.  Hanging from canteen or haversack was the ever-present tin cup.  Enlisted men were issued the standard Springfield .58 caliber rifle-musket with leather sling.  On the march, the men carried a black water-proof knapsack on their back held in place by black leather straps.  A gray-blue/gray-brown blanket roll was tied to the top of the knapsack with black leather straps.  As with all veteran infantry units the face of the knapsack usually bore the identity of the regiment in white.  This took an abbreviated form and could have been any one of the following: "10 NYNZ" or "10 NZ" or, according to Michael J. McAfee (see bibliography) simply "NZ".


          Figure 1     



One figure will be constructed using one of the standard poses from Shenandoah's 146th New York Zouave kits, specifically SHZ008.  I added a tin cup and replaced the head with a Zouave head with turban and changed the arms to "biting cartridge".  Some time ago I ordered a large stock of all of the different arm positions in both plain cuff and chevron cuff styles so I could swap out arm positions.

The kit parts have already been cleaned of seam lines and polished using a Dremel tool with a #428 wire brush.  Note that there is no waist sash "tail" on this figure which is correct for the 10th New York "National Zouaves".  Before priming, I glued the head to the body and the tin cup to the canteen.  All other parts are left off to be painted separately and then glued later.

Figure 2



Figure 2 shows the primed figure on its wood base with the face painted and a head start on the main painting sequence starting with the vest.  Nothing on the original casting had to be changed except the removal of the Jambons (the leather covering at the top of the leggings).  These were scraped off with an X-Acto knife and sanded using the Dremel tool with #428 wire brush.  Then, small diameter pieces of round plastic stock were carefully cut and glued to mimic the legging buttons which were glued in place with tiny amounts of super glue.   Note that the tassel is cast directly onto the figure's left shoulder and not separate as on castings that do not include the knapsack.  I fashioned the tassel cord from three pieces of copper fuse wire twisted, fitted, glued, and painted in a mix of Andrea ANAC20 Light Blue and Vallejo VC0963 Medium Blue which is also the color of the waist band.  Note the placement of the tin cup.  The vest and fez were painted in a mix of Vallejo VC0946 Bordeaux Red and VC0947 Vermillion Red.  The yellow trim is Andrea ANAC07 Basic Yellow and ANAC51 Golden Ochre.  None of these colors are maintained in pre-mixed bottles; they are simply mixed on the palette and applied.  The turban was first painted in plain white, stained in an off-white shade (a pre-mix of  Vallejo VC0951 Flat White and VC0988 Khaki.  I went over the turban's highlights with plain white. 


Figure 3


Figure 3 differs only from the previous photo having the trousers painted in Andrea ANAC54 Union Blue which is, incidentally, a close match to FS 595b FS35177.  I will place a small amount of this color on my palette, mix in a smaller amount of Andrea ANAC22 Prussian Blue, thin it down quite a bit with distilled water, and wash the trousers to create shadows.  I'll come back again when dry to do highlights by mixing the base color (ANAC54) with off white, thinning it just a little, and the brushing on raised places on the trousers.

Figure 4 shows the remaining parts that are now painted and ready to attach once the figure is completed.  The knapsack is painted in a mix of flat black and gloss black which I keep in a bottle labeled "Semi-Gloss Black".  The white "NZ" is my preference for the unit's initials standing for "National Zouaves".

Figure 4


Figure 5


Figure 5 shows the front of the completed figure and figure 6 shows the rear.  The shoes, some of the leggings, and the knees were dusted with red-brown chalk.  The rest of the figure was dusted with pale beige chalk.  The jacket is painted in my own mix which I call "French Blue" and has been described in previous Zouave articles.  The trousers are Andrea's Union Blue. 

Figure 6







Dyer, Frederick H.  A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Volume III, Thomas Yoseloff publisher, New York, 1959 (see page 1409).

Editors of Time-Life Books.  Echoes of Glory: Arms and Equipment of The Union, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1991 (excellent photos of original red vest and uniform trousers on page 133).

McAfee, Michael J.  Zouaves: The First and the Bravest, Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA 1991 (see notes on page 40 and photo of the second uniform on p.96 and the final uniform on p.97).

Smith, Robin.  American Civil War Zouaves, Osprey Elite #62 illustrated by Bill Younghusband.  Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1996. (color plate F-3 shows a sergeant wearing the second uniform the jacket of which, according to some sources, wore away into brown).

Troiani, Don.  Don Troiani's Regiments & Uniforms of the Civil War, Art by Don Troiani, text by Earl J. Coates, Michael J. McAfee, and Don Troiani.  Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002 (see page 74 for art work and text).







Copyright by George Grasse