Who are We?
The “Palmetto Riflemen” & “New York Zouaves” are an American Civil War Living History Group based in the Carolinas and Georgia, with the Company Headquarters currently (2012) being in Lexington, South Carolina. The primary goal of the company is to further the education of the general public and to preserve the memory of the Federal & Confederate Soldiers of the American Civil War, 1860 to 1865.
The officers and men of the “Palmetto Riflemen” & “New York Zouaves” represent the Volunteers of the original units that served from 1860 to 1865 across the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, & Pennsylvania.
The present members of company are a group of men and women, mostly from the states of South Carolina & Georgia who participate in local and national living histories and battle reenactments. The members are drilled in the proper Infantry Tactics and formations of the time-period, as outlined by our By-Laws. (Hardee’s Rifle & Light Infantry Tactics, and McClellan’s Bayonet Drill.)
While our primary impression is that of Confederate Skirmishers & Federal Zouaves, we do welcome, and often portray, the soldiers of various regular & volunteer Regiments when needed at events where the 17th Veterans or the Palmetto Sharpshooters were not present themselves. While we are a Zouave unit, it is not mandatory that all members wear the Zouave uniform. Each is encouraged to do so, but those who do not wish to, are not required to do so. Our company strives to live up to the statement of then Captain George B. McClellan that:
“The Zouaves are all French; they are selected from among the old Campaigners, for their fine physique and tried courage, and have certainly proved that they are, what their appearance would indicate, the most reckless, self-reliant, and complete infantry that Europe can produce."
If you are interested in signing the roll of our gallant company, or for more historical information about the men who we portray, please feel free to contact us through the Company Commander.
"Who knows but it may be given to us, after this life, to meet again in the old quarters, to play chess and draughts, to get up soon to answer the morning roll call, to fall in at the tap of the drum for drill and dress parade, and again to hastily don our war gear while the monotonous patterns of the long roll summons to battle? Who knows but again the old flags, ragged and torn, snapping in the wind, may face each other and flutter, pursuing and pursued, while the cries of victory fill a summer day? And after the battle, the wounded and slain will arise and all will meet together under the two flags, all sound and well and there will be talking and laughter; and cheers, and all will say, "Did it not seem real? Was it not as in the old days?…" - Pvt. Berry Benson, 1st South Carolina Rifles Regiment