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monotony of such a life, there was enough adventure to be found for the seeking,— now an incursion into the Sahel, or into the plains of Mitidja, or a wild foray through the northern gorges of the Atlas. Day by day progress appeared; they learned to inarch rapidly and long, to sustain the extremes of hunger, thirst, and weather, and to manoeuvre with intelligent precision ; diligently fitting themselves, in industry, discipline, and warlike education, for the position they had to fill. Their costume and equipment were brought near perfection ; they wore the Turkish dress, slightly modified,— a dress perfectly suited to the changes of that climate, and without which their movements would have been cramped and constrained. Only the officers retained the uniform of the hussars, which is rich and easy to wear. The cost of a suitable Turkish uniform would have been too heavy for them, besides that the dress of a Turk of rank is somewhat ridiculous. Certain officers on the march used, however, to wear the fez, or, as the Arabs called it, the Chechia. Lamoriciere was known in Algeria as Bou Chechia, or Papa with the Cap, — as he was known later in Oran as Bou Araoua, Papa with the Stick. One finds, however, nothing of Orientalism in the regulations of this body of troops; not the least negligence or slovenliness is allowed in the most trifling detail. In fine, the care, and that descending to note the smallest minutis, which brought this race of soldiers to such a pitch of perfection, leaving them their gayety and sprightliness, and, notwithstanding the rigidness of the discipline, giving solidity and precision to irregular troops, was rewarded by success unparalleled in history. It was the best practical school for soldiers and officers; and many of the best generals in the French army began their military career in the wild guerrilla combats or the patient camp-life of this band of heroes.
Nearly two years had passed away in this training, when Marshal Clausel returned to Africa, and led the Zouaves, whose fitness for the service he well knew,
into Oran. Here they added fresh laurels to those already acquired. In the expedition of Mascara, where they fought under the eye of the Duke of Orleans, they covered themselves with glory; insomuch that on his return to Paris he procured a decree, 1835, constituting the First Begiment of Zouaves, of two battalions, of six companies each, and, should occasion justify the measure, of ten companies. Lamoriciere continued in command.
In 1836 the Zouaves again took the hill of Mouza'ia. This time they razed its fortifications even with the ground, and returned to Algiers, where they remained during General Clausel's first and unfortunate expedition into Constantine, the eastern province of French Africa. In 1837 the second expedition was made, and in this the Zouaves took part One of the divisions of the army was under the command of the Duke of Nemours. In this division were the Zouaves under Lamoriciere, who here showed themselves worthy of their renown. Fighting by the side of the most excellent soldiers in the regular army, they proved themselves bravest where all were brave. They were placed at the head of the first column of attack. Lamoriciere was the first officer on the breach, and carried all before him. The soldiers whom he had trained supported him nobly; but when they had won the day, they found that many companies were decimated, some nearly annihilated; numbers of their officers were dead in the breach. "Those who are not mortally wounded rejoice at this great success," said an officer to the Duke; and it was a significant sentence.*
To form some notion of those troops, among whom the Zouaves showed themselves like the gods in the war of Troy, one anecdote will suffice, chosen from many which prove the valor of the army generally. The rear-guard at Mansourah was under the command of Changamier; it was reduced to three hun
* Verbal report of Colonel Combes to the Duke of Nemours, — conclusion.
dred men ; he halted this little troop and said, " Come, my men, look these fellows in the face; they are six thousand, you are three hundred; surely the match is even." This speech was sufficient The Frenchmen awaited the onset till the enemy was within pistol-shot; then, after a murderous volley, they charged on the Arabs, who broke and fled in dismay. During the remainder of the day they would not approach this band nearer than long ritle range.*
The siege of Constantine may properly be said to have ended the war of occupation in Africa. Hitherto we have seen the Zouaves only in time of active war, or in the defence of hill-forts, obliged to unity through fear of an ever-menacing foe, and laboring for their own preservation or comfort only; but now commenced a new training for them, no less sevore and dangerous, in which they showed themselves equally willing and competent,—a war against stubborn Nature in all her most forbidding aspects. Under the blazing suns of that tropical climate they recommenced at Coleah the work already begun at Dely Ibrahim; ditches were to be dug, works thrown up, roads made, draining accomplished, farms tended, all that was necessary for the establishment of those permanent colonies which France was so anxious to settle in Algeria was to be done by the Zouaves; yet, despite that terrible labor, the danger and hardship, the sickness and death, the ranks of the regiment filled up rapidly; and, joined by the wrecks of the battalion of Mechouar, they were kept full to overflowing. This battalion of Mechouar was a troop left by Clausel in the mechouar, or citadel, of Tlemccn, in the West of Oran, under the command of Captain Cavaignac; on the conclusion of the war, in 1837, they, of course, returned to their regiment at Coleah.
This deceitful peace lasted only till 1839. In this year the vigilant colonel of Zouaves perceived in his native
• .Wcmiteur, December 16, 1886; report of Mfir>hnl Clausel.
troops alarming symptoms of mutiny, and learned, to his surprise, that they were in a ripe condition for revolt Wild Santons of the desert, emissaries, doubtless, of Abd-el-Kader, held secret meetings near the camp; many soldiers attended them, and were seduced by artfully prepared inflammatory harangues and prophecies. In the month of December, 1839, at the raising of the standard of Islam, the natives flocked in vast numbers to rid the land of the Christians; and most of the native Zouaves deserted to join the fortunes of the prince whom they reverenced as a prophet Old soldiers, trained in the French service to a thorough acquaintance with European tactics, and gray with battling long for Lamoriciere, suddenly left him, and by their knowledge of the art of war gave great advantage to the Arab force. In their combats with the Sultan, the Zouaves not infrequently found that a sharp resistance or a masterly retreat on the part of the enemy was executed under the direction of one of their former comrades in arms. It was a critical moment for the Zouaves; but at the announcement of the renewal of hostilities volunteers flowed in on all sides, whether of young men full of ardor and excitement, or, as in many instances, of old soldiers who had already served their time. After a winter of petty skirmishing and reestablishing in Algeria the semblance of security, the Duke of Orleans led the army, considerably reinforced, in a raid against the Arabs under Abd-el-Kader in their own territory. The Zouaves accompanied this expedition, and whether in their charges against the mountaineers, who, with the aid of the Arab regulars, defended each pass, or sustaining the shock of the provincial cavalry, or even standing unmoved before the attack of Abd-el-Kader's terrible " Reds," • they maintained their character of rapid, intrepid, and successful soldiers. What names we find in this regiment! Lamoricierc, Regnault, Renault, (now General
* The mounted body-guard of Abd-el-Kader, so called by the 1're ch from their complete red uniform.
of Division,) Cavaignac, Lefld, (now General of Brigade,) and St. Arnaud, who died Marshal of France two days after the victory of the Alma. A singular instance of the handiness of the Zouaves is found in the notice of their forced march on this campaign, undertaken May 20th, to support the retreating Seventeenth Light Infantry. Their cartridges were fired away, the regulars of Abd-el-Kader were upon them, and nothing seemed to remain but an heroic death, when, "Comrades," cried one, "see, here are stones!" Not a word more; each caught the hint, and, with simultaneous volleys of stones, drove ofi' the charging enemy, and broke their way to where the remains of the Seventeenth rallied under Colonel Bedeau, after a retreat more properly to be called a continual attack!Hard at work during the winter of 1840—11, General Bugeaud found these indefatigable soldiers in perfect condition to take the field again, when he landed in April. There had been sharp fighting during the past year at Mouza'ia, in which the Zouaves always led the van, and were, as in every engagement they ever fought, covered with honor. "The Second, electrified by the example of its officers, and led by Colonel Changarnier, flung itself on the intrenchments; the redoubts were carried, etc. At the same time, in the other column, Lamoriciere led the way with his Zouaves, followed by the other troops. The Zouaves surmounted the almost impassable cliffs, attacked and carried two lines of intrenchment, and, in the teeth of a murderous fire, forced a third; a few moments later the two columns joined, and, rushing up the acclivity, planted the flag of France on the highest peak of the Atlas." • Little variation is found in the reports of generals concerning the Zouaves at this time; they say of these troops always, " The First," or " The Second, was covered with glory." But now, with the arrival of Bugeaud, the war in Africa was changed; hitherto it had been a mere war of occupation,— * Report of Marshal Valee: Monikur.
a holding of the ground already Frecei against the attacking Arabs; now it was to be a duel, a war of devastation; thus only could France hope to tame the indefatigable Abd-el-Kader, and permanently hold her own. The trouble was not so much to fight him as to get near enough to fight him; for he pursued a truly Fabian policy, and being lighter armed, was consequently swifter than the invaders. Under Marshal Clausel, the French, drawing with them the heavy wagons and munitions of European warfare, were obliged to follow the high-roads, and the Arabs could never be taken by surprise; scouts gave information of their numbers, and after harassing marches they would find that the foe had either retreated to unknown fastnesses or assembled on the spot in prodigious force. Now Lamoriciere proposed a plan, in the execution of which he was eminently successful. Bugeaud's design was, to follow the Arabs into the desert, to climb the steep mountains, to plunge into their chasms, to storm every hill-fort, and to drive, step by step, the swift Abd-el-Kader far from the land which his presence so troubled; but how? for swift troops are light-armed, carry no luggage, and but little provision; and to follow without food the Arabs who concealed food in silos, caches in the ground, seemed hopeless. Lamoriciere required but his Zouaves, who carried only four days' provisions, and no baggage of any sort; when they drew near any of these silos, which were always, of course, in the vicinity of the deserted villages, he spread out his troops in a long crescent, and they advanced slowly, rooting up the ground with their bayonets till some one struck on the stone or pebbles covering the precious deposit Thus, without wagons, trained to tireless activity, they could follow the Arabs from douar to douar with little delay, and with fatal effect
Great reinforcements were sent to Africa, and the Zouaves were not forgotten; for, in the royal ordinance of September 8th, 1841, the regiment was raised to three battalions of nine companies; only one of the nine, however, could receive natives, so that but three native companies now existed, and few Algerines were found even in these. The reasons seem to have been threefold: first, the danger from mutiny; second, the evils arising from the mixture of the two races, which had augmented their vices, without a corresponding improvement in their good qualities; third, and perhaps most important of all, the discontent very properly felt by the French Zouaves, who were compelled to work at the trenches, to dig, to plant, etc., while the Mussulmans utterly refused to take part in this, to their mind, degrading toil. The Gordian knot was cut, and all difficulty done away, by making the regiment, in effect, exclusively European. Thus reorganized and reinforced, the regiment, on receiving the standard sent it by the king, immediately separated, — one battalion marching for Oran, one for Constantine, while the other remained at Blidah, in Algeria. The year 1842 was full of great results; the new system worked well, great numbers of tribes laid down their arms and swore fealty to France, and the provinces were more than nominally in the hands of the French. Still many of the more distant and powerful tribes held to their allegiance to the Prophet Sultan. The war gradually took on itself the form of a civil contest, and mutual animosities gave rise to many occasions for sanguinary combats; one of these, in the valley of the ChelifT, September, 1842, lasted unintermittingly for thirty-six hours! In this battle, and that of Uued Foddah, and, in fact, in almost every battle of those years, the Zouaves took an honorable part. In mountain fights, long marches over burning sands, repulses of cavalry, at Jurjura, Ouarsanis, among the Beni Menasser, at the Smalah, in the struggles of Bedeau with the Moroccan cavalry, and in the memorable battle of Isly, they did good service; their history was but a narrative of brilliant exploits. In many of their hill fights, the deserters of 1839 gave much trouble. In a skirmish, 1844, on the south side of the An res, in which Captain Espinasse (died General of Di
vision, Magenta, June 6th, 1859) was concerned, and wounded four times, an old native Zouave commanded the Kabyles, and defended their principal position with much skill. In fine, to recount the hundredth part of their deeds, — to make out a list of their soldiers, sub-officers, or officers who have been since promoted to high honors, — to trace minutely each step by which they mounted to their present position, would be to write, not an article, but a book. In 1842 the natives disappeared finally from their ranks; the best and bravest soldiers of the African army eagerly sought their places, attracted by the uniform, the manner of life, the constant danger and no less constant excitement, the liberty allowed, the glory ever open to all. As their numbers were decimated by the continual warfare, the ranks were immediately filled by the descendants of those brave Gauls who once said, "If the heavens fall, what care we? We will support them on the points of our lances I" In 1848, the Zouaves received a large accession from Paris; the gamins of the Revolution were sent to them in great numbers; out of this unpromising, rebellious material, some of the finest of these admirable troops have been made. And now, when the entry into this regiment was longed for by so many, as a species of promotion, on the 13th of February, 1852, Louis Napoleon, then President of the Republic, decreed that three regiments of Zouaves be formed, each on one of the three battalions as a nucleus, taking the number of the battalion as its own. Thus the first regiment was formed at Blidah, in Algiers; the second at Oran, in Oran; the third at Constantine, in the province of Constantine. Officers of the corps of infantry were eligible to the new regiments, holding the same grade; the men were to be drawn from any infantry corps in the army, on their own application, if the Minister of War saw proper. None were accepted but men physically and morally in excellent condition; the officers had, for the most part, already served with
credit; the trader-officers and soldiers had been many years in the service; and even many corporals, and not a few ensigns and lieutenants, voluntarily relinquished their positions to serve in the rank-and-file of the new corps. So, occupied in pacificating and securing the three provinces, the regiments lost nothing of their former renown ; obedient to orders, and fearless of danger, it was no idle compliment paid them by Louis Napoleon, when, in the winter of 1853-4, he said, " If the war break out, we must show our Zouaves to the Russians." They were a body trained in the school of a terrible experience of twenty-four years; they had learned, like the lion-hunter, Gerard, to take death by the mane, and look into his fiery eyes without blenching; they were fit for this service, which demanded the best nerve of the two most powerful nations of the world. What they did there is known to all; at the battle of the Alma, Marshal St. Arnaud was unable to repress his admiration, calling them "the bravest soldiers in the world." All Europe, at first wondering at these strange troops, with their wild dress, their hall-savage manners, and strange method of warfare, found speedy cause to admire their courage and success; France was proud of their renown, and they became immensely popular in Paris, sure proof of their remarkable qualities. Their oddities, their courage, their imperfect knowledge of the distinctions ofmeum and tuum, their wondering, childlike simplicity, furnished themes for endless songs and caricatures; the comedy of " Les Zouaves" met with great success; and the cant 'name for them, " Zouzou," is to be heard at any time in the streets. In 1855, the Fourth Zouaves was created, consisting of but two battalions, and enrolled in the Imperial Guard; they are distinguished from the others by wearing a white turban, while that of the other regiments is green; since the formation of this regiment, no new corps have been added. The peace with Kussia, in 1856, was not peace for the Zouaves, who returned, desiring nothing better, to Africa, where,
in the continued war, they found congenial employment till the final submission of the last tribes, July 15, 1857, dissolved the army of Kabvlia, and made them, perforce, peaceful, till the 26th of April of this year brought them to win fresh laurels on a new field.
Vague reports, assertions without proof, have been not infrequently made, to the effect that the Zouaves are in character cruel, dissolute, and excessively given to hard drinking. That they are absolutely free from the first charge I shall not attempt to deny; that they are more so than other men, in like circumstances, there is no proof; there is even good reason to state the contrary, if we may judge by instances, of which, for want of space, one shall suffice here. The Zouaves were in the van of the army, on their march toward the Tell; in their charge was a large body of prisoners, wounded, and helpless women, old men, and children, whom they were conducting to the Tell, to restore them to their homes. The weather was intensely hot, even for Africa; the nearest well was eleven leagues distant; and the sufferings of the poor people must have been dreadful indeed. Mothers flung down their infants on the burning sand, and pressed madly on to save themselves from the most horrible of deaths; old men and boys sunk exhausted, panting, declaring they could go no farther. "Then it was," says an eyewitness, " that the Zouaves behaved like very Sisters of Charity, rather than rough bearded soldiers; they divided their last morsel with these unfortunates, gave them drink from their own scanty stores, and, putting their canteens to the mouths of the flying, revived them with the precious draught They raised the screaming infants, overturned and held ewes, that they might suckle the poor creatures, abandoned in despair by their mothers, and, in many instances, carried them the whole distance in their arms. At night they ate nothing, giving their food to the helpless prisoners, whose lives they thus saved at the risk of their own." If in war they "imitate the action of the tiger," we have every rea