The Zouave Volunteers
More than 70 US Army volunteer regiments fashioned themselves “Zouaves,” borrowing the term and the uniform from French Army regiments serving in North Africa during the mid-nineteenth century. Instantly recognizable in their colorful garb, Zouave regiments sported tasseled fezzes, short, open jackets trimmed with braid and baggy pants, often in brilliant red. Sheet music, periodicals, and parades featuring precision drills contributed to the popularity of the Zouave regiments.
Fashion was one arena that connected the home front to the war effort. Magazines like Godey’s Lady’s Book freely adapted and marketed the Zouave jacket to middle-class women.