Confederate Zouave

This is the uniform of a Confederate Zouave at the early part of the war. The Zouave fighting men of Louisiana were known for their bravery and fierce fighting, and their uniforms became a symbol of this.

As the war wore on and supplies became scarce, the colorful uniforms gave way to the more common homespun and more-available traditional uniforms.

Zouave units fought for both the Union and Confederate sides.

From a painting by Frederick Rey.
©Frederic Ray and Tern Inc. 1990


Already the war was affecting fashion

This following illustration of a lady's Zouave-inspired jacket is from the Feb 1862 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine (pg. 432).

  The magazine calls this jacket a "Morning Negligée." If the reader chooses to make this, she might consider a mouse-colored fabric. Needlework, cords, and braids should serve as decorative work, and the whole should be warmly quilted. In place of silk braiding, the lady might prefer beads or bugles.

"...we have seen a collar of white pearl beads, worn over an azurline blue robe. For a morning undress it was very becoming."

"Undress" was informal dress, something not worn in public but worn at home, perhaps used like we would use a robe.


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