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The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry

Sketch of the 5th NY drilling, by Thur de Thulstrap
The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, "Duryée's Zouaves," was one of the most renowned fighting regiments of the American Civil War. Their colorful Zouave uniform, precise maneuvers, effectiveness in combat and steady bearing under fire, won them universal respect and recognition. "I doubt whether it had an equal," General George Sykes said of the 5th New York, "and certainly no superior among all the regiments of the Army of the Potomac." Many observers considered the 5th New York to be the best-drilled volunteer unit in the Federal Army. In addition to a casualty list that totalled 211 dead out of 1,508 men borne on the rolls, nine of its soldiers attained the rank of general -- five the full rank, and four by brevet.

Above, a sketch by Thur de Thulstrup of the 5th New York Infantry drilling atop Federal Hill, Baltimore, in 1862.

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Founded in 1971, Company A of the 5th New York is one of the oldest and most respected Civil War living history organizations. Uniformed in full Zouave regalia modeled on the garb of the famed French colonial troops, we have participated in countless living history programs, authentic encampments and battle re-enactments, as well as in television documentaries and films. Our Zouave company is always eager to enroll new recruits who share our pride in military skills, our commitment to authenticity and the heartfelt desire to carry on the heroic legacy of the "Old Fifth."

Above right, the re-enactors of Co. A, 5th New York Infantry, in the Nation's Capital.

In addition to providing detailed information on the 5th New York living history organization, this web site traces the origins of the French Zouaves, describes the "Zouave craze" that swept the United States on the eve of the Civil War, and recounts the valorous record of the 5th New York, the most famous of dozens of American Zouave units that served in our nation's bloodiest conflict.

Corporal of the 5th New York Infantry

Looking for someone or something in particular? Try our search engine or our Additional Resources page. There we have links to related Internet resources, as well as a selected bibliography for additional reading.

The Roll of Honor is a complete regimental roster, an alphabetical list of men who served in the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry during the period of the unit's service, 1861-1863. Our organization maintains a detailed database with dates of birth and death, wounds, hospitalization, and promotion, as well as biographical information on these soldiers. If you think you are related to one of these men, please contact headquarters, and we will check the database for further information.

Image above left, a corporal in the 5th New York Infantry at Federal Hill, Baltimore, 1862. Courtesy of Richard Tibbals

This site also offers more than 100 vivid illustrations of the men, life, times and history of the Zouaves in the pages of The Gallery. We have organized The Gallery into four sections that highlight key themes: Origins of the Zouaves, The Zouave Craze, Duryee's Zouaves, and The Fifth Today. You will find tips on how best to navigate among the images on The Gallery page itself.

We would like to alert you when we add new information to the site or in the event of news we think you will find of interest. Please leave your name and e-mail address at our Comments Page. We would particularly appreciate any thoughts you have about our site and our history. Thanks for visiting with us.

Navigation Tip: No matter where you are on the site -- with the exception of the Photo Gallery pages -- you can always return to the Home Page by clicking on our logo, found in the upper left-hand corner of each page.

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Company A, 5th Regiment, New York State Volunteers Duryee Zouaves, Inc.