Zoeth Knowles-part of Company K of the 19th Massachusetts Regiment of the Infantry, known as the “Boston Tiger Fire Zouaves.”
A history of the regiment noted that members of this company wore light blue baggy trousers, dark blue jackets with buttons and dark blue fez caps. Despite the successes of the Zouave in the Crimean War, it was not until 1859 that the first widely publicized American Zouave unit was formed. The first Zouave regiment in the Civil War, the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry or Hawkin’s Zouaves, was mustered in on April 23, 1861. Other cities and states in the North and the South also saw the creation of Zouave units. One French language newspaper commented “Ils pleut des Zouaves” (It is raining Zouaves) because there were so many of the units formed in 1861. There were Zouaves present at every major Civil War battle from First Manassas or First Bull Run to Appomattox.
—Source: Zouaves the First and the Bravest by Michael J. McAfee (Thomas Publications, 1991.)
Photo credits: Theodore Cloues, ca. 1864. Unidentified Photographer, Probably Boston. Gift of the Cloues Family, 96.045.3.