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dred men ; he halted this little troop and troops alarming symptoms of mutiny, and said, “ Come, my men, look these fellows learned, to his surprise, that they were in the face; they are six thousand, you in a ripe condition for revolt. Wild are three hundred ; surely the match is Santons of the desert, emissaries, doubteven." This speech was sufficient. The less, of Abd-el-Kader, held secret meetFrenchmen awaited the onset till the en- ings near the camp; many soldiers atemy was within pistol-shot; then, after a tended them, and were seduced by artfulmurderous volley, they charged on the ly prepared inflammatory harangues and Arabs, who broke and fled in dismay. prophecies. In the month of December, During the remainder of the day they 1839, at the raising of the standard of would not approach this band nearer Islam, the natives flocked in vast numthan long rifle range.*
bers to rid the land of the Christians; The siege of Constantine may prop- and most of the native Zouaves deserted erly be said to have ended the war of to join the fortunes of the prince whom occupation in Africa. Hitherto we have they reverenced as a prophet. Old solseen the Zouaves only in time of active diers, trained in the French service to a war, or in the defence of hill-forts, obliged thorough acquaintance with European tacto unity through fear of an ever-men- tics, and gray with battling long for Laacing foe, and laboring for their own pres- moricière, suddenly left him, and by their ervation or comfort only; but now com- knowledge of the art of war gave great menced a new training for them, no less advantage to the Arab force. In their sevore and dangerous, in which they show- combats with the Sultan, the Zouaves not ed themselves equally willing and com- infrequently found that a sharp resistance petent,-a war against stubborn Nature or a masterly retreat on the part of the in all her most forbidding aspects. Un- enemy was executed under the direction der the blazing suns of that tropical cli- of one of their former comrades in arms. mate they recommenced at Coleah the It was a critical moment for the Zouaves; work already begun at Dely Ibrahim; but at the announcement of the renewal ditches were to be dug, works thrown up, of hostilities volunteers flowed in on all roads made, draining accomplished, farms sides, whether of young men full of ardor tended, all that was necessary for the and excitement, or, as in many instances, establishment of those permanent colo- of old soldiers who had already served nies which France was so anxious to set- their time. After a winter of petty skirtle in Algeria was to be done by the Zou- mishing and reëstablishing in Algeria the aves; yet, despite that terrible labor, the semblance of security, the Duke of Ordanger and hardship, the sickness and léans led the army, considerably reindeath, the ranks of the regiment filled forced, in a raid against the Arabs under up rapidly; and, joined by the wrecks of Abd-el-Kader in their own territory. The the battalion of Mechouar, they were Zouaves accompanied this expedition, and kept full to overflowing. This battalion whether in their charges against the mounof Mechouar was a troop left by Clausel taineers, who, with the aid of the Arab in the mechouar, or citadel, of Tlemcen, regulars, defended each pass, or sustainin the West of Oran, under the com- ing the shock of the provincial cavalry, mand of Captain Cavaignac; on the con- or even standing unmoved before the atclusion of the war, in 1837, they, of tack of Abd-el-Kader's terrible " Reds," course, returned to their regiment at Co- they maintained their character of rapid, leah.
intrepid, and successful soldiers. What This deceitful peace lasted only till names we find in this regiment! Lamo1839. In this year the vigilant colo- ricière, Regnault, Renault, (now General nel of Zouaves perceived in his native
* The mounted body-guard of Abd-el-Kader, * Moniteur, December 16, 1836; report of so called by the Fre ch from their complete Marshal Clausel.
of Division,) Cavaignac, Leflô, (now Gen- a holding of the ground already French eral of Brigade,) and St. Arnaud, who against the attacking Arabs; now it was died Marshal of France two days after to be a duel, a war of devastation; thus the victory of the Alma.
only could France hope to tame the indeA singular instance of the handiness fatigable Abd-el-Kader, and permanently of the Zouaves is found in the notice hold her own. The trouble was not so of their forced march on this campaign, much to fight bim as to get near enough undertaken May 20th, to support the to fight him; for he pursued a truly Faretreating Seventeenth Light Infantry. bian policy, and being lighter armed, was Their cartridges were fired away, the reg- consequently swifter than the invaders. ulars of Abd-el-Kader were upon them, Under Marshal Clausel, the French, drawand nothing seemed to remain but an he- ing with them the heavy wagons and muroic death, when, “Comrades,” cried one, nitions of European warfare, were oblig“see, here are stones!” Not a word more; ed to follow the high-roads, and the Arabs each caught the hint, and, with simultane- could never be taken by surprise ; scouts ous volleys of stones, drove off the charg- gave information of their numbers, and ing enemy, and broke their way to where after harassing marches they would find the remains of the Seventeenth rallied that the foe had either retreated to ununder Colonel Bedeau, after a retreat known fastnesses or assembled on the spot more properly to be called a continual in prodigious force. Now Lamoricière attack!
proposed a plan, in the execution of which Hard at work during the winter of he was eminently successful. Bugeaud's 1840-41, General Bugeaud found these design was, to follow the Arabs into the indefatigable soldiers in perfect condition desert, to climb the steep mountains, to to take the field again, when he landed plunge into their chasms, to storm evin April. There had been sharp fighting ery hill-fort, and to drive, step by step, during the past year at Mouzaïa, in which the swift Abd-el-Kader far from the land the Zouaves always led the van, and were, which his presence so troubled; but how? as in every engagement they ever fought, for swift troops are light-armed, carry no covered with honor. “The Second, elec- luggage, and but little provision ; and to trified by the example of its officers, and follow without food the Arabs who conled by Colonel Changarnier, flung itself cealed food in silos, caches in the ground, on the intrenchments; the redoubts were seemed hopeless. Lamoricière required carried, etc. At the same time, in the but his Zouaves, who carried only four other column, Lamoricière led the way days' provisions, and no baggage of any with his Zouaves, followed by the other sort; when they drew near any of these troops. The Zouaves surmounted the al- silos, which were always, of course, in most impassable cliffs, attacked and car- the vicinity of the deserted villages, he ried two lines of intrenchment, and, in spread out his troops in a long crescent, the teeth of a murderous fire, forced a and they advanced slowly, rooting up the third; a few moments later the two col- ground with their bayonets till some one umns joined, and, rushing up the accliv- struck on the stone or pebbles covering ity, planted the flag of France on the the precious deposit. Thus, without wag. highest peak of the Atlas.”* Little va- ons, trained to tireless activity, they could riation is found in the reports of generals follow the Arabs from douar to douar concerning the Zouaves at this time; they with little delay, and with fatal effect. say of these troops always, “ The First," Great reinforcements were sent to Afri. or “ The Second, was covered with glory." ca, and the Zouaves were not forgotten;
But now, with the arrival of Bugeaud, for, in the royal ordinance of September the war in Africa was changed; hitherto 8th, 1841, the regiment was raised to it had been a mere war of occupation,– three battalions of nine companies; only
* Report of Marshal Valée: Moniteur. one of the nine, however, could receive natives, so that but three native compa- vision, Magenta, June 6th, 1859) was nies now existed, and few Algerines were concerned, and wounded four times, an found even in these. The reasons seem old native Zouave commanded the Kato have been threefold: first, the danger byles, and defended their principal pofrom mutiny ; second, the evils arising sition with much skill. from the mixture of the two races, which - In fine, to recount the hundredth part had augmented their vices, without a cor- of their deeds, - to make out a list of responding improvement in their good their soldiers, sub-officers, or officers who qualities; third, and perhaps most import- have been since promoted to high bonors, ant of all, the discontent very properly - to trace minutely each step by which felt by the French Zouaves, who were they mounted to their present position, compelled to work at the trenches, to dig, would be to write, not an article, but a to plant, etc., while the Mussulmans ut- book. In 1842 the natives disappeared terly refused to take part in this, to their finally from their ranks; the best and mind, degrading toil. The Gordian knot bravest soldiers of the African army eawas cut, and all difficulty done away, by gerly sought their places, attracted by making the regiinent, in effect, exclusive- the uniform, the manner of life, the conly European. Thus reorganized and re- stant danger and no less constant exciteinforced, the regiment, on receiving the ment, the liberty allowed, the glory ever standard sent it by the king, immediately open to all. As their numbers were deciseparated,- one battalion marching for mated by the continual warfare, the ranks Oran, one for Constantine, while the oth- were immediately filled by the descender remained at Blidah, in Algeria. ants of those brave Gauls who once said,
The year 1842 was full of great results; “ If the heavens fall, what care we? We the new system worked well, great num- will support them on the points of our bers of tribes laid down their arms and lances !” In 1848, the Zouaves received swore fealty to France, and the provinces a large accession from Paris; the gamins were more than nominally in the hands of the Revolution were sent to them in of the French Still many of the more great numbers; out of this unpromising, distant and powerful tribes held to their rebellious material, some of the finest allegiance to the Prophet Sultan. The of these admirable troops have been war gradually took on itself the form of a made. And now, when the entry into civil contest, and mutual animosities gave this regiment was longed for by so many, rise to many occasions for sanguinary as a species of promotion, on the 13th combats ; one of these, in the valley of of February, 1852, Louis Napoleon, then the Cheliff, September, 1842, lasted unin- President of the Republic, decreed that termittingly for thirty-six hours! In this three regiments of Zouaves be formed, battle, and that of Oued Foddah, and, in each on one of the three battalions as a fact, in almost every battle of those years, nucleus, taking the number of the batthe Zouaves took an honorable part. In talion as its own. Thus the first regimountain fights, long marches over burn- ment was formed at Blidah, in Algiers; ing sands, repulses of cavalry, at Jurjura, the second at Oran, in Oran; the third Ouarsanis, among the Beni Menasser, at at Constantine, in the province of Conthe Smalah, in the struggles of Bedeau stantine. Officers of the corps of infantry with the Moroccan cavalry, and in the were eligible to the new regiments, holdmemorable battle of Isly, they did good ing the same grade; the men were to be service; their history was but a narra- drawn from any infantry corps in the tive of brilliant exploits. In many of army, on their own application, if the their hill fights, the deserters of 1839 gave Minister of War saw proper. None were much trouble. In a skirmish, 1844, on accepted but men physically and morally the south side of the Aurès, in which in excellent condition ; the officers had, Captain Espinasse (died General of Di- for the most part, already served with credit ; the under-officers and soldiers in the continued war, they found conhad been many years in the service; genial employment till the final submisand even many corporals, and not a few sion of the last tribes, July 15, 1857, dis ensigns and lieutenants, voluntarily re- solved the army of Kabylia, and made linquished their positions to serve in the them, perforce, peaceful, till the 26th of rank-and-file of the new corps. So, occu- April of this year brought them to win pied in pacificating and securing the three fresh laurels on a new field. provinces, the regiments lost nothing of Vague reports, assertions without proof, their former renown; obedient to orders, have been not infrequently made, to the and fearless of danger, it was no idle effect that the Zouaves are in character compliment paid them by Louis Napoleon, cruel, dissolute, and excessively given to when, in the winter of 1853-4, he said, “ If hard drinking. That they are absolutely the war break out, we must show our Zou- free froin the first charge I shall not ataves to the Russians.” They were a body tempt to deny; that they are more so than trained in the school of a terrible expe- other men, in like circumstances, there is rience of twenty-four years; they had no proof; there is even good reason to learned, like the lion-hunter, Gerard, to state the contrary, if we may judge by intake death by the mane, and look into stances, of which, for want of space, one his fiery eyes without blenching; they shall suffice here. The Zouaves were in were fit for this service, which demanded the van of the army, on their march to the best nerve of the two most powerful ward the Tell ; in their charge was a large nations of the world. What they did body of prisoners, wounded, and helpless there is known to all; at the battle of women, old men, and children, whom they the Alma, Marshal St. Arnaud was una- were conducting to the Tell, to restore ble to repress his admiration, calling them them to their homes. The weather was “the bravest soldiers in the world.” All intensely hot, even for Africa; the nearest Europe, at first wondering at these strange well was eleven leagues distant; and the troops, with their wild dress, their half-sav- sufferings of the poor people must have age manners, and strange method of war- been dreadful indeed. Mothers fung fare, found speedy cause to admire their down their infants on the burning sand, courage and success ; France was proud and pressed madly on to save themselves of their renown, and they became im- from the most horrible of deaths; old men mensely popular in Paris, sure proof of and boys sunk exhausted, panting, declartheir remarkable qualities. Their oddi- ing they could go no farther. “Then it ties, their courage, their imperfect knowl- was,” says an eyewitness, “ that the Zouedge of the distinctions of meum and tuum, aves behaved like very Sisters of Charity, their wondering, childlike simplicity, fur- rather than rough bearded soldiers; they nished themes for endless songs and cari- divided their last morsel with these uncatures; the comedy of “ Les Zouaves” fortunates, gave them drink from their met with great success; and the cant own scanty stores, and, putting their can'name for them, “ Zouzou,” is to be heard teens to the mouths of the dying, revived at any time in the streets. In 1855, the them with the precious draught. They Fourth Zouaves was created, consisting raised the screaming infants, overturned of but two battalions, and enrolled in the and held ewes, that they might suckle the Imperial Guard ; they are distinguished poor creatures, abandoned in despair by from the others by wearing a white tur- their mothers, and, in many instances, ban, while that of the other regiments is carried them the whole distance in their green ; since the formation of this regi- arms. At night they ate nothing, giving ment, no new corps have been added. their food to the helpless prisoners, whose The peace with Russia, in 1856, was not lives they thus saved at the risk of their peace for the Zouaves, who returned, own.” If in war they “ imitate the acdesiring nothing better, to Africa, where, tion of the tiger,” we have every rea
son to believe that in peace they are, ribbon of the Legion of Honor, bought to say the least, not less humane than and colored with their blood, the dishonor others.
of a life gaped wearily away on the paveThe author of “Recollections of an Offi- ments of Paris. cer sums up the character of the Zou- " Composed of such elements, one can aves in a few words which clear them scarcely imagine the body of Zouaves from the other two charges, those of dis- other than brilliant in the field of batsoluteness and drunkenness. He says,— tle. The officers are generally chosen “ Beside the condition of success result- from the regiments of the line, men reing from the first organization, it must be markable for strength, courage,
prusaid, that, somewhat later, the happy idea dence; full of energy, pushing the love came to be adopted, of giving to the Zou- of their colors to its last limit, always aves destined to fight in the light-armed ready to confront death and to run up troops the costume of Chasseurs-à-pied. to meet danger, they seek glory rather The recruitinent added also not a little than promotion. To train up their solto the reputation which the Zouaves so diers, to give them an example, in their rapidly acquired; the soldiers are all own persons, of all the military virtues, drawn, not from conscripts, but from ap- such are their only cares. Our ancestors plicants for the service. Many are Paris- said, • Noblesse oblige'; these choose the ians, or, at all events, inhabitants of the same motto. Their nobility is not that of other great French cities; most have al- old family-titles, but the uniform in which ready served,— are therefore inured to the they are clothed, the title of officer of work, - accustomed to privations, which Zouaves. Esprit de corps, that religion they undergo gayly,—to fatigues, at which of the soldier, is carried by the Zouaves they joke, - to dangers in battle, which to its highest pitch; the common soldiers they treat as mere play. They are proud would not consent to change their turof their uniform, which does not resemble ban for the epaulettes of an ensign in that of any other corps, — proud of that the other service; and many an ensign, name, Zouave, of mysterious origin, – and not a few captains, have preferred to proud of the splendid actions with which await their advancement in the Zouaves each succeeding day enriches the history rather than immediately obtain it by enof their troops-happy in the liberty they tering other regiments. There exists, experience, both in garrison and on ex- moreover, between the soldiers and offipeditions. It is said that the Zouaves
cers, a military fraternity, which, far from love wine; it is true; but they are rarely destroying discipline, tends rather to draw seen intoxicated; they seek the pleasures more closely its bonds. The officer sees of conviviality, not the imbrutement of in his men rather companions in danger drunkenness. These regiments count in and in glory than inferiors; he willingly their ranks officers, who, ennuied by a attends to their complaints, and strives to lazy life, have taken up the musket and spare them all unnecessary privations. the chechia,-under-officers, who, having Where they are exposed to difficulties, already served, brave, even rash, seek to he does not hesitate to employ all the win their epaulettes anew in this hard means in his power to aid them. In reservice, and gain either a glorious posi- turn, the soldier professes for his officer tion or a glorious death, -old officers of an affection, a devotion, a sort of filial the garde mobile,— broad-shouldered ma- respect. Discipline, he knows, must be rines, who have served their time on ship- severe, and he does not grumble at its board, accustomed to cannon and the penalties. In battle, he does not abanthunderings of the tempest, young men
don his chief; he watches over him, will of family, desirous to replace with the red die for his safety, will not let him fall into * Sourenirs d'un Officier du 2me de Zouaves.
the hands of the enemy if wounded. At Paris, 1859.
the bivouac he makes the officer's fire,