Monday, August 18, 2014

11th New York "Fire Zouaves"

The 11th New York "Fire Zouaves" or Ellsworth Zouaves were organized from hand picked fire fighters from New York City in May 1861 with high expectations due to their famous commander Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth a personal friend to President Lincoln who prior to organizing the 11th NY was a celebrated drill instructor that competed in troupe championships and travelled extensively putting on presentations before the war.

In late May after both getting in minor trouble with the law and at the same time putting out local fires the regiment was among the first to set foot on confederate soil capturing Alexandria Virginia on 24 May 1861. However, Ellsworth himself was shot and killed taking down a confederate flag from atop the Marshall House inn by it's proprietor James Jackson who himself was shot and killed by    Ellsworth's guard Cpl. Francis Brownell and received the medal of honour for it. Ellsworth was replaced by Colonel Noah L. Farnham another popular officer within the regiment.

On  July 21, 1861 the regiment fought in the 1st Battle of Bull Run(first Manassas) where after a shaky start due to confusion went on to both repulse a cavalry charge from a portion of Stuart's cavalry and make 4 attempts at taking Henry House Hill and later conducting a rearguard action of the retreating Union army. The unit suffered heavy causalities including Colonel Farnham who was so seriously wounded he could no longer command troops again. With the loss of their best officers and men plus disease pretty much knocked the stuffing out of the regiment which never really recovered and finally mustered out on June 2 1862 with a couple attempts later to reorganize that never saw fruition for various reasons.

I've always liked the look of this unit which is a kind of rough and tumble bunch of Zouaves looking. I've depicted the unit in it's second uniform at the time of Bull Run which was a mix of old and new uniform's consisting of  red Kepi's w/dark blue band, red fezz's and blue tassel's, and some with tan leather leggings from their first uniform and red/white shirt's, new blue fezz's and tassel's, a few in havelocks, dark blue pants and sashes plus some Bowie style knives and rifled muskets . They had removed their coats of dark blue Zouave jacket with red cuffs and red trimming with sky blue trimming inside the red to fight in what was a very hot day.

In terms of gaming this wasn't a very practical unit to do with it's very short history, but I really liked their look and knew I had to do them! I expect I'll do that a few times more with other units.:-) Anyhow I'll use them as regular Zouaves for other games. The flags were a bit challenging as I had to use two different manufacturer's as GMB frustratedly does not produce the Fire Zouaves. Looking around I found that Flags of War does one so I put in an order. While the design is nice the trim was way to yellow so I had to paint over that and sadly,the national colours that come with it were to bright(sorry Ian) for me. Since GMB flags are bigger then Flags of War I couldn't use one of those which caused me to rummage around before I found a Body's banner flag of the same size and a suitable colour in my bit's case.....only problem it has the 24th Michigan written on it!! At this point I said screw it and promptly stuck it on and in the heat of battle I don't think it will be that noticeable.

The figures are based two to a base to be used primarily for Regimental Fire and Fury where you need a lot of bases even for the smaller actions, but I can also simply put two bases together for other systems if needed.

Certain aspects of photography I don't like doing, but find it a necessary evil to share the hobby and my passion for it. By this I mean I don't enjoy the set up, photo sizing and cleaning up portion of it, but I do enjoy the end results and sharing it on my blog. I hope to improve on my story telling and presentation in the future as I find my set ups getting stale at times, but I don't always have the time to do proper ones so I may in the future do little battlefield photo sessions when I have time to put in a decent effort.

One thing that has me in a bit of a pickle is that I'm currently doing two horse and muskets periods with AWI and ACW which are both very demanding in terms of high figure counts which always has me procrastinating which one to do a unit for next! Oh, if you haven't got the new BP Rebellion supplement and you enjoy the AWI period then this is a must have! It's really great and full of uniform guides, lovely pictures, and just stuffed full with scenario's!

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures