Zouave

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Zouave'

Zouave Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Zouave \Zouave\ (?; 277), n. [F., fr. Ar. Zouaoua a tribe of Kabyles living among the Jurjura mountains in Algeria.] (Mil.) (a) One of an active and hardy body of soldiers in the French service, originally Arabs, but now composed of Frenchmen who wear the Arab dress. (b) Hence, one of a body of soldiers who adopt the dress and drill of the Zouaves, as was done by a number of volunteer regiments in the army of the United States in the Civil War, 1861-65.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Zouave'


Zouave was the title given to certain light infantry regiments in the French Army, normally serving in French North Africa between 1831 and 1962. The name was also adopted during the 19th century by units in other armies, especially volunteer regiments raised for service in the American Civil War. The characteristic zouave uniform included short open-fronted jackets, baggy trousers and often sashes and oriental headgear.

The Zouaves of the French Army were first raised in Algeria in 1831 with one and later two battalions, initially recruited solely from the Zouaoua (or Zwāwa), a tribe of Berbers finding homes in the mountains of the Jurjura range (see Kabyles). The existence of the new corps was formally recognised by a Royal decree dated 7 March 1833. In 1838 a third battalion was raised, and the regiment thus formed was commanded by Major de Lamoriciere. Shortly afterwards the formation of the Tirailleurs algériens, the Turcos, as the corps for Muslim troops, changed the enlistment for the Zouave battalions, and they became a purely French body.

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