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WIP 155th Pennsylvania Regt

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Nap, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. Nap Moderator

    Hi Folks

    This arrived recently image.jpeg

    As you can see its from Fort D ....sculpted again by the same sculptor that did the 54th Musician and Washington Lt Artillery Gary Dombrowski

    Let's have a bit of history on this unit and subject

    155th's Zouave Uniform Early 1864-1865:
    "Pearson's Zouaves"
    The information can be found on pages 223-226 in the Unit's History, "Under the Maltese Cross"

    In Late 1863 Col. Kenner Garrard, of the 146th N.Y., wanted Regiments of his Brigade (2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Corp) to be skilled in the drill style of the Zouaves, modeled after the French Light Infantry. Skills to learn included, bayonet exercises, skirmish duties and target firing. In the winter of 1863 the General was so pleased that certain Regiments, including the 155th, were granted the French Zouave Uniform. The uniforms were altered French Chasseur a Pied uniforms, which had been ordered by the US Govt., but these uniforms proved to be to small for the soldiers they had been ordered for. The uniforms were altered with the yellow trimming, and yellow tombeauxs, which made for a very attractive looking uniform. The men of the 155th were also pleased, as this was a welcome change from the drab standard Union Uniforms they had worn since their enlistment. Colonel Pearson, who had became the Colonel previous fall (1863), worked the men hard to learn the new skills congratulated the whole Regiment when issued the new uniforms, in the evening of January 19th 1864.

    The 155th would wear their attractive uniform for the rest of their service. Along of the 140th NY "Ryan's Zouaves", & the 146th NY "Garrard's Tigers" the 155th became what would become part of the Zouave Brigade, Ayres' 1st Brigade of Griffin's 1st Division in the 5th Army Corp.

    Issued on January 19, 1864, as described in the unit history, the uniform consisted of:

    - A Red Fez with a blue tassel the Traditional Zouave Head Gear, and during parades or other occasions the men wore a turban in the Turkish style, a feature which the men commented on as being the greatest and most impressive part of the uniform.

    -A French Army Blue Zouave Jacket, with yellow trim, and yellow tombeauxs.

    The Jacket has rounded front with a false vest, with 9 buttons.

    There are two, maybe three versions of the 155th Zouave Uniform. The second version has a slight shift in color, and some have no false vest (or it was taken out), but has a "hook and eye" at the top of the jacket to keep it closed. With a homespun checkered lining, like most schuylkill arsenal jackets.

    A red Maltese cross, representing the 1st division of the 5th Corp, was worn on the to beaux

    -A red wool flannel sash 10 inches or 8 inches wide and 6-10 feet long with yellow trim is also featured with the uniform worn around the waist. It is the same the one worn by the 146th NY. The sash did not have the triangle like the 5th NY (though the pattern piece does) and was rarely, if ever, worn with the ends "hanging out"

    -Baggy M1860 French Chasseur Trousers (not pantaloons) of the same color as the jacket, with enough material to make two pants, also added to the appearance of the soldier. These were mostly surplus from the 62nd & 83rd PA's brief run with a Chasseur Style Uniform. Most of these were from France, however, given the height/size of the Western Pennsylvania Men they chose to cease this and stuck to the Standard Federal Kit. The Surplus trousers were later distributed to the 155th along with others, mostly Western "Colored" Regiments.

    -The foot-gear consisted of Jambieres (Leather Leggings, made of goat skin, painted a yellowish brown) capped the white canvas gaitors, which protected the standard brogans & bottoms of the trousers worn by the men.
    -NCO Chevrons were yellow with a red backing.

    Arms of the 155th:

    Originally when the 155th PVI was organized in Pittsburgh & Harrisburg they were issued surplus Belgian Rifles with sword bayonets. These weapons upon inspection in Washington, D.C. were determined to be unfit for use in battle, by Captain A.T.A. Torbert, USA. The men of Co. K remarked in their history that "The guns were said to kill at 1,000 yards but on examination we found they would not be dangerous to the enemy unless we got close enough to bayonet or club him"
    The government then issued old style muzzle loader, "Buck & Ball", Springfield Rifles, more known as Harper's Ferry Rifles. These weapons only proved to be effective at very close range, not being much use to the combat of the time. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Colonel Cain who had been requesting more effective weapons for his men, collected newer 1861 Springfields from the thousands of dead union soldiers. Which they would continue to use till the end of the war

    Details of the cost of uniform

    Issued Sept. 2, 1862
    (prices varied by company)
    Shirt 88 cents
    Pants $3.03
    Overcoat (great coat) $7.20
    Dress coat (the blue piped frock) $6.71
    Socks 26 cents
    Drawers 50 cents
    Knapsack (gov owned)
    Canteen "
    Haversack "
    Scales "
    Blanket $2.95
    Cap 63 cents
    Shoes $1.90

    A majority of the men bought sack coats at Falmouth/Fredericksburg on or around 11/30/62 ($2.63 - $3.14 prices varied for some reason).

    The complete zouave uniforms were $15.33 (issued 01/31/64). Replacement item costs: turbans were 77 cents; zouave shirts (were all labeled "zov shirt") were $1.90; the leather leggins or jambieres were $1. Zouave pantaloons were $3.27. A fez was $1.25.

    Uniform Misconceptions:

    There are some common misconceptions of the 155th PVI's Zouave Uniform.

    One is the color, in the unit history it is described as dark blue, it is actually French Blue(as seen in the pictures above of reproductions).

    The misconceptions get borne out of the fact that there a so few surviving Uniforms, and when those uniforms are photographed or seen in a low light surrounding they appear dark blue. The 155th was one a small few to use that color.

    The Troiani Print from 1993 (not shown) is a very close representation of the uniform in many ways, except the buttons on the false vest are on the wrong side, and the sash is to skinny and features a triangle ala the 5th NY's sash.

    Some references

    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Currently basecoating ... image.jpeg

    The uniform colour is interesting ..I will be using this as part of the mix


    Stay tuned !...running this along with the Zulu !!

    Happy benchtime

  2. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great references, as usual, Nap! I'll definitely save this. :)

    Looking forward to your progress.

  3. Nap Moderator


    Hi Ken

    Thanks for posting nice to have you watching

    Piccy update ....all basecoats on currently working on the eyes

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg


    Getting a bit of a feel for this scale ...got loads in the GA as well!

    Happy benchtime

  4. Geoff Charman A Fixture

    Looking nice Nap.

  5. Tom W. Well-Known Member

    Painted the old Pegaso 90 mm-classic some weeks ago.Like the Zuave-uniform.Not only the 5th New Yorker`s wear nice uniforms.There are many other´s,too.
    captnenglish and Nap like this.
  6. Chris Oldfield A Fixture

    Another nice project & a great start, Kev - something I always enjoy about your work is the thorough reference descriptions & the historical input, & this is no exception. Following with interest!
  7. Nap Moderator


    Just the first bits done , should look good once completed

    Agree there Tom ...a variety of uniforms were worn , particularly in the Militia and just pre war

    Hope we can see your 90mm figure here on the forum

    Thanks Chris ...I like the research bits as well as the painting ....adds more interest to the project

    Cherrs to you all for looking in

    Happy benchtime

    Chris Oldfield likes this.
  8. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looking good Nap, nice history too. A great period too.
    Nap likes this.
  9. Nap Moderator


    Cheers Bob ...a great period of history as you say .....hopefully I can do it justice

    Thanks for looking in

    Happy benchtime

  10. Cannonball A Fixture

    Great start Nap and the reference material is as thorough as ever and a really interesting read. Looking forward to more.

    Nap likes this.
  11. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    As an aside, the red maltese cross on the uniform is the 5th Corp badge
    Nap likes this.
  12. Nap Moderator


    Correct Bob


  13. bucsfan21 Well-Known Member

    Nap, 144th PA one of the most colorful! 114th PA Collis Zouaves also very colorful from the PA. Regiments of Zouaves. Trioani's artwork also one of my favorites! Look forward to seeing this one come to life under your brush!(y)

    Best of Everything, Terry Martin-Member of the Atlanta Military Figure Society of Atlanta, GA :)
  14. bucsfan21 Well-Known Member

    There were several zouave regiments in the Federal Army during the War Between the States, AKA Civil War. The Confederates had a few regiments as well. A member of the Chicago Club did a handout in their publication, The Scabbard, years ago and documented the Zouave regiments. It was one excellent piece of research. I am sure the Chicago Club, MMSI, still has the info.

    All the Best, Terry Martin, member of the Atlanta Military Figure Society
  15. Nap Moderator


    Hi Terry

    Thanks for posting the details , yes the units were very colourful indeed ...this bust could be converted to many with minimal of change

    That publication The Scabbard article sounds really interesting as well


    Been a bit busy on this ...uniform all finished ...just starting the flesh by lightening the base using a Sand brown from Vallejo

    Pics not great ...iffyvision !

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg


    Highlights/shadows are there!

    Thanks for looking in

    Happy benchtime

    Chris Oldfield and KenBoyle like this.
  16. Nap Moderator

    KenBoyle likes this.

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