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Login Name Post: Zouave        (Topic#137230)
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26386
Zonie
07-04-05 06:10 PM - Post#137230    


ZOUAVE! Sounds like a good name for a movie doesn't it?

To be exact, the Remington 1863 Precussion Contract Rifle.
The NSSA won't allow them. The reproduction muzzleloader companys keep building them and I own one (a very old ARMI JAGER).

[i]Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms [/i] says they were made c, 1862-1865, which if memory serves me was thru most of the Civil War. Flayderman's goes on to say a total of 12,501 rifles were built during this period.
They were marked on the lock, ahead of the hammer with an American eagle over a small U.S. In two lines under the bolster was marked REMINGTON'S/ILION,N.Y., at the rear a horizontal date of 1863.
The breech of the barrel was marked with a date and V/P (eaglehead) proof with inspector initials and STEEL.
Tang of buttplate marked U.S.
I believe the presence of the inspectory initials indicates they were officially purchased by the Union Army and were Government Property.

Flayderman's goes on to say:
"One of the best made and designed military arms of the Civil War era. The origin of the name "Zouave" for this rifle has yet to be revealed. In official documents and the U.S. contract it was termed "Harpers Ferry Pattern."
The great majority of them found in higher grades of condition suggest they were not issued: their usage remains a mystery..."

My question is why, when the Union was busy overseas trying to buy foreign guns, were these 12,501 guns not issued?
I realize a few of them may have been issued to some small units but why did the majority of them appearently sit in some warehouse?

 
Gary 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2388
07-04-05 06:36 PM - Post#137240    

    In response to Zonie

Partial Answer - Why buy guns overseas? It wasn't because we needed all of them but to keep Confederate Caleb Huse from buying them for the Confederacy. Now as to why the "Zouave" guns weren't issued, I dunno. Didn't see anything in Bill Edward's book, Civil War Guns. Now, as to the name, I think it's marketing to capitalize on the Zouave craze. Let me see what else I can find. Hopefully one of our members is faster than I.

BTW, the hotel where Col. Elmer Ellsworth of the 5th New York Duryee Zouaves was killed no longer stands in Alexandria, Virginia. The site is now occupied by a Holiday Inn.

 
pappa bear 
40 Cal.
Posts: 436
pappa bear
07-04-05 07:38 PM - Post#137255    

    In response to Zonie

Uhh, Zonie, u made a boo-boo there...

The N-SSA DOES allow Zouaves, not because they were used in sufficient numbers during the war, but because they were so common in the association's formative years. They got "grandfathered" into the allowed firearms, pretty much because everybody's grandfather HAD one!

Go to any skirmish from Wisconsin to Florida, and there'll be Zouaves on the line. And they are darned fine shooters, too -- especially the ones with the Zoli or the Numrich Arms barrels.
Bought one of the latter for my son and it shoots (37 grains of Goex 3F under a Lyman 575213 OS) right along with my custom-made Whitney-Mississippi.

 
big bore 75 
40 Cal.
Posts: 342
07-04-05 09:10 PM - Post#137285    

    In response to pappa bear

Poppa bear is so correct the zouave is still in use in the N-ssa I used one as aback up just in case my 3 band '61 or the fayetteville took a poo, and is one darn good shooter
and comfortable to shoot, after a hard look on some battlefields there has been a few (repeat) a few have been turning up in battlefield excavations , the early days of the N-SSA approved them also because they were extreamly cheap to accuire and actually in brand new condition made sence to shoot a new one (even a original ) instead of uncle Johns confederate piece . bb75

 
KanawhaRanger 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
07-05-05 09:27 AM - Post#137393    

    In response to Gary

That partial answer is a good one. Marcellus Hartley bought everything he could afford to keep it out of Huse's hands. And, for a while the North needed every musket they could get. Deliveries of the "Zouave", however, didn't begin until April 11, 1863 when the arms shortage was pretty much over. Chief of Ordnance Ripley was very adamant that he wanted only "3 band" Springfield pattern or No.1 Class Enfields for the Army and generally frowned on anything else. However, that doesn't explain why the War Department contracted and paid for perfectly good U.S. made arms and didn't issue them at least to Militia or National Guard units. I believe it was because by mid 1863, Springfield and the various contractors were spewing out so many M1861's and it's variants ('61 Specials and M1863 Type I's) that they felt it best to hold them in storage for emergency issue. The Ordnance Dept. wanted uniformity in it's smallarms. Many regiments initially armed with Enfields were eventually re-issued Springfield pattern arms. Many other contract arms of non-Springfield pattern got the same treatment.

As far as I know, there was never an issue of M1862 Remington "Zouave" rifles. Some may have been issued to State troops somewhere, but no record has been found, at least to my knowledge. Remington had two contracts with the War Dept. The first was of August 11, 1862 for 10,000 with sabre bayonet at $17.00 per stand. (Edwards said $20.00) These were delivered between April 11, 1863 and January 8, 1864. There were actually 10,001 made in this order, one being held out as an example. The second contract was dated December 13, 1863 for 2,500 more. No record of deliveries. There is a record of an earlier contract dated July 30, 1861 for 10,000 "rifles with sword bayonets", but it is believed to have been cancelled.

I've seen it written that the vast majority of the "Zouaves" were sold to European speculators after the War, bored smooth and sold to countries an Africa and South America. I can believe it because untold thousands of Springfields and Enfields met the same fate, many being sold to France to use against the Prussians. Who knows? the "Zouaves" may have been sold to the French.

I believe the "Zouave" name came from the fact that it looked so much like the French "Minie Rifles" which were used by Zouave units in the French Army. They also had a lot of brass furniture and really looked purty. It was still an All American gun. The barrel and lock were of M1841 Harper's Ferry (Mississippi) pattern, the stock was the M1855/61 pattern and the bands were of M1861 Special/63 Type I pattern.


 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26386
Zonie
07-05-05 08:46 PM - Post#137626    

    In response to KanawhaRanger

Pappa-bear: It wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.
I was basing my comment on Joseph G Bilby's book Civil War Firearms COMBINED BOOKS Pennsylvania cw 1996, in which he says:
".."Minty" original Zouaves were available in the 1960s and quickly became popular with N-SSA shooters. The short, heavy barrel of the Remington gun was faster to reload than a "three band" rifle-musket and dissipated heat better in a rapid-fire skirmish. While good shooting guns, reproduction Zouaves are generally forbidden at authentic reenactments."

KanawhaRanger: An excellent, informative responce. My thanks to you for sharing your wisdom with us.
Just Jim...



 
KanawhaRanger 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
07-05-05 09:33 PM - Post#137657    

    In response to Zonie

Thanks, Zonie. I sure don't consider myself as having any wisdom, just do a lot of reading and shooting. I used to have an El Cheapo Zouave and that's what I started muzzleloading and reenacting with. You're right, most units banned Zouaves from reenactments years ago, though they are generally an excellent shooter for N-SSA and other target shooting. Cheap as mine was, it was a real good shooter, especially with PRB. Some reenactors have modified theirs to look like some of the secondary Confederate contract rifles. If I still had mine, I would.


 
pappa bear 
40 Cal.
Posts: 436
pappa bear
07-05-05 10:31 PM - Post#137674    

    In response to Zonie

Joe Bilby's a good man who I am proud and fortunate to call a friend. He's with the 69th New York, whose campsite is about 200 yards from where that ugly picture to the left was taken, at the N-SSA's Fort Shenandoah near Winchester, Va. I've had the pleasure of sipping a glass or two of Certain Ethnic Beverage with him.

I think the misapprehension there comes with the phrase "authentic reenactments" -- which skirmishes definitely are not. Like one of our ancients told me, "Reenactors shoot fake bullets ar real people; skirmishers shoot real bullets at -- no, not fake people, but things that break."

Most of us try to look as authentic as we can while doing so, but the two camps -- reenactors and skirmishers -- march to different drummers. Skirmishers don't drill or present fake battles. Most importantly, we NEVER point guns at or toward each other, because we all know they are always loaded with the aforementioned real bullets -- even when we KNOW they are not.

But Joe's book is an excellent compendium, filled with photos of N-SSA types and their firearms. A good work to have in any reference library.

 
walruskid1 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1865
07-13-05 07:21 PM - Post#140913    

    In response to pappa bear

what is the general opinion of the euroarms zouave. i bought the last one cabelas in dundee mich. had. i see they no longer list it in their catalog. other than shooting high it seems very well made. (at least to me.)
"underhammers for the army of ohio"


 
bomberboy 
32 Cal.
Posts: 11
bomberboy
08-13-05 06:23 PM - Post#153956    

    In response to Zonie

I believe the Zouave rifle is a great rifle I own a replica of a Zouave Rifle made by Antonio Zoli and have only fired blanks out of the rifle do to the lack of a bullet mold. but i do believe the Zouave rifle has one problem, the rifle is just to small and it can hurt someone if you are in a double line. Do to the fact that the muzzle would be next to the head and ear when fired. that is why most civil war reenactments do not allow to use do to the length of the barrel and the danger it may inflict

bomberboy

 
KanawhaRanger 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
08-13-05 11:12 PM - Post#154100    

    In response to bomberboy

If you are in the proper position in a battle line the muzzle is only 6 to 7 inches closer to the head of the man in the front rank than it would be with a Enfield or Springfield. The rear rank steps forward one step with their right foot when aiming and the lower barrel band should be about opposite of the front rank man's face.

What we did, when we had mixed weapons in our unit was to put all two band rifles, Mississippi's, Fayetteville's, etc. in the front rank to keep down the possibility of accidents.

The main reason for the exclusion of the Zouave from reenactments was for authenticity's sake. There is no record of the M1862 Remington Rifle (Zouave) being issued to troops during the War.


 
WEZ 
36 Cal.
Posts: 88
WEZ
08-21-05 05:21 PM - Post#157751    

    In response to walruskid1

I have a euro arms zouave as well.. And it ranks up there with any of my shooters. I shoot only prb in my .58 cal.

Wouldn't sell it for nothin!
Shoot'em if you got'em WEZ


 
flash_in_the_pan 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1205
flash_in_the_pan
08-21-05 05:53 PM - Post#157776    

    In response to Zonie

From what I've read the Remington was probably the best made most accurate rifle produced during the Civil War, and maybe the best military ML of all time. Obviously they weren't issued to the line troops because the Quartermaster officers kept them.

 
Smokin_Gun 
40 Cal.
Posts: 301
Smokin_Gun
08-28-05 03:02 AM - Post#160308    

    In response to Zonie

Zonie I can't give you the exact Unit but I saw this rifle demo'd and it was spoken that the were Issued to a Zouave Malitia in Upstate N.Y. As you may know the Zouaves were French Mercenary's fighting in the Civil War. I have an early repro CVA made in Spain. Most accurate Civil War era rifle ever made. Very consistant at 200 yds. Have hit 24' gongs at 500 yds with a mini ball.

SG
"I Smoke Black Powder"


 
Va.Manuf.06 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2406
08-28-05 10:37 AM - Post#160382    

    In response to Smokin_Gun

Oh, boy...

 
jbg 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1330
08-28-05 01:52 PM - Post#160444    

    In response to Smokin_Gun

Smokin' Gun, please give us your references about Zouves being French mercenaries. I've never heard of that before.

 
Leatherbark 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1151
Leatherbark
09-04-05 05:04 AM - Post#162831    

    In response to Zonie

Seems I read that there were Zouaves out there with welded breech plugs that are not allowed.......Maybe Japenese made?

 
KanawhaRanger 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
09-04-05 03:28 PM - Post#162957    

    In response to Va.Manuf.06



 
Smokin_Gun 
40 Cal.
Posts: 301
Smokin_Gun
09-14-05 07:33 PM - Post#166972    

    In response to jbg

Look it up on the internet....
"I Smoke Black Powder"


 
Smokin_Gun 
40 Cal.
Posts: 301
Smokin_Gun
09-14-05 07:35 PM - Post#166975    

    In response to Va.Manuf.06

sorry there oh boy, s/b 24" typo...
"I Smoke Black Powder"


 
Smokin_Gun 
40 Cal.
Posts: 301
Smokin_Gun
09-14-05 07:37 PM - Post#166977    

    In response to KanawhaRanger

Hell you're as bad as he is ... LMFBPAO
"I Smoke Black Powder"


 
flash_in_the_pan 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1205
flash_in_the_pan
09-14-05 09:52 PM - Post#167014    

    In response to jbg

Here you go jbg:

Quote:

The original Zouaves were native North African troops serving in the French Army in the 1830s. They wore distinctive uniforms.... These soldiers fought in North Africa for French interests. Later Zouaves fought in the Crimea and Italy in the 1850s. These troops were well trained and disciplined and were famous for great feats on the battlefield, and often mischief and rowdiness off the battlefield.

Prior to the US Civil War, "Zouave fever" spread to America. The colorful uniforms and fancy drill caught on with many city's militia units....

The 72nd Pennsylvania wore a modified Zouave uniform, with Chausseur pants and jackets with little fancy trim. Their trademark was their vest and leggings.

By the end of the Civil War most Zouave uniforms had disappeared due to the Army not wanting to replace them. There were however units that maintained the Zouave uniforms throughout the war, and actually were given Zouave uniforms to recognize the bravery of the unit.

Zouaves disappeared at the end of the Civil War in the US, except for veteran's groups. They continued on in the French Army until World War I when the ability to blend into the battlefield required more traditional green uniforms.




I think Smokinggun is referring to those original Zouaves, not the volunteer Zouaves of the ACW. I just pulled the above info from the first site I found. I believe that the most famous Zouave unit was actually a NY militia unit.

Of course none of this applies to the Remington Zouave which was not a volunteer militia member, a French mercenary, or even African, but rather a rifle which probably did not see combat in the war.

 
jbg 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1330
09-16-05 02:52 PM - Post#167697    

    In response to Smokin_Gun

I have. The only information I have been able to find on either the internet or in print is that Zouave units were emulating the French, who at the time of the "Late Unpleasantness" were considered the world's greatest army.I have been able to find no information at all stating that Zouaves were French mercenaries fighting for either the federal government or the Confederacy.
And while the french might have been considered that good in 1861, just imagine the beating they, or any other army, would have taken at the hands of the combined armies of the Confederacy and the Union in 1865.

 
KanawhaRanger 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
09-18-05 08:34 PM - Post#168752    

    In response to Smokin_Gun

LSMFT!

(Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco)

Now, tell me what LMFBPAO means.

 
murph182 
Pilgrim
Posts: 4
09-22-05 11:35 AM - Post#170316    

    In response to Gary

Quote:


BTW, the hotel where Col. Elmer Ellsworth of the 5th New York Duryee Zouaves was killed no longer stands in Alexandria, Virginia. The site is now occupied by a Holiday Inn.




I believe it's the same building, however.....I live in Alexandria and the last time I read the plaque on the wall, I'm pretty sure it said the building was mostly the same (albeit with heavy remodeling)

 
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