An historic Zouave unit that helped to repulse Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg.
72nd Pennsylvania Zouaves jacket and cap has a similar look used by a few other Pennsylvania Zouave regiments such as the Gosline’s Zouaves (95th PA) for example. Both units used Rockhill & Wilson Clothiers of Philadelphia, and Schuylkill Arsenal also supplied uniforms for the 95th Penn (See example in ECHOES OF GLORY, page 146 showing the typical Schuylkill Arsenal plaid lining. This jacket offered here, has the same lining made in a tan or khaki color as seen in ECHOES OF GLORY, page 147. This jacket’s right sleeve lining of white cotton has the “R & W” stamps along with a red capital “B” (possible for Baxter’s) written in below the stamping. The single sizing dot stamped above the makers marking represents the smallest size. A number “1” in red is stamped in on the left sleeve lining. A single breast pocket on the left side, is lined with a dark brown polished cotton.
The trim on the dark blue wool jacket, consist of an inner wide band of red wool tape 1/2 inch wide. The 16 brass bullet button front (each side) are sewn between this 1/2 inch tape and a 1/8 inch worsted wool tape to the outside; both of these are used in conjunction throughout, and running up into the stand up collar. The jacket has a hook and eye at the neck, and from there sweeps outwardly toward the bottom. The sleeves are the typical double width at the elbow, and end with a sweeping curve at the cuff. Two small slits at the outside back areas allowed for comfort, and have small wool extensions connecting the split.
All of the brass bullet buttons are accounted for including two each on the cuffs.
I believe I have photographed all the damage to the trim, interior, and the one area on the right shoulder. There is also some very minor tracking in the wool which is difficult to see. The lining is fine, as well as the pocket lining. This is evidence of some insignia having been pinned on the left breast area (a slight wear to fabric and minute holing).
The chasseur pattern cap is dark blue with the same narrow red worsted wool trim, with some areas damaged either by moth, but mostly by wear and age. The brown polished cotton lining with drawstring in the crown is nearly perfect, and appears to be the same as what was used in the pocket lining, suggesting this cap may have been made by Rockhill & Wilson. The thin black sweatband shows some use, and a number “5” is scratched into the finish at the forehead area. No evidence what so ever there was a chinstrap on this cap; no signs inside or out. The visor appears to be a faux leather type (pressed paper), very thin and in fine condition. Only damage to the cap is the red worsted wool trim.
This jacket was photographed just for photographic purposes, with a federal pattern infantry officers vest, in place of an original which would have been a light blue color with red trim. This infantry officer’s vest is not included in the price.
Baxter’s Fire Zouaves, were formed using many of Philadelphia’s fireman in 1861. The uniforms were less ornate version worn by Colonel Elmer Ellsworth Zouaves. The regiment saw a good deal of battle, such as Antietam, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania CH, Cold Harbor, and the Petersburg Campaign, and much more before and in between.
A most historic unit, and a great representative uniform coat and cap.