Antique Papal Zouave Uniform, Gray Wool with Red Trim, Brass Buttons
Zouaves Pontificaux, Multinational Fighting Force that Defended the Vatican
A regiment of volunteers from all over Christendom who banded together to defend Blessed Pope Pius IX and his temporal sovereignty between 1860 and 1871; their uniform is a combination of the uniform of the Zouaves of Africa and the one of the French infantries. This uniform would change the title of “bataillon de tirailleurs” into the famous “Zouaves Pontificaux.” The New York Herald of 10 June 1868 numbered the zouaves at 4,592, including 50 Englishmen, 10 Scots, 101 Irish, 14 Americans and 135 Canadians. Even Africa and China were represented. The largest nationality was, perhaps surprisingly, the Dutch (1,910), followed by the French (1,301).
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