Friday, July 12, 2019

Book News: American Zouaves, 1859-1959

Of course, many unit histories of popular Zouave regiments (mostly Union ones) have been published over the years; however, as far as I know, no one-stop history and reference guide exists out there that addresses the topic as a whole. A fulfillment of that kind of ambition does appear to be the goal of author Daniel J. Miller in putting together his upcoming book American Zouaves, 1859-1959: An Illustrated History (McFarland, October 2019 est.).

From the description: "Drawing on fifty years of research, this volume provides a comprehensive state-by-state catalog of American Zouave units, richly illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs and drawings. The author dispels many misconceptions and errors that have persisted over the last 150 years." According to the book page on the publisher's website, the study will contain around 400 images, which would be quite a collection.

Operating under the (mistaken?) assumption that the American Zouave military fad died down before the end of the 1800s, I'm curious about the twentieth-century part of the history indicated by the title. Perhaps Zouave unit designations in state militias endured as a kind of honorary tradition similar to today's 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army. I don't know.

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