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The New Orleans Zouaves was a general term applied to soldiers recruited initially from the firefighting units and dockworkers in the city, and later from the city's upper classes and the countryside. Like other Zouave units in the Civil War, they modeled their dress after French Zouave soldiers, who wore...

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The New Orleans Zouaves was a general term applied to soldiers recruited initially from the firefighting units and dockworkers in the city, and later from the city's upper classes and the countryside. Like other Zouave units in the Civil War, they modeled their dress after French Zouave soldiers, who wore rather garish and colorful uniforms, especially compared to the rest of the Confederate Army. They were quite diverse, their numbers including many Irish immigrants as well as French-speaking Creoles. Many soldiers in the Zouaves had extensive military experience, serving in filibustering expeditions in Central America that had originated in New Orleans. They would earn a reputation as fearsome fighters.

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