(1838 - 1902)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Command Billet: Company Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
At the age of fifteen he came with his father to the United States, and settled in Philadelphia.
"Private Charles Collis enlisted in April, 1861, with the 18th Pennsylvania Regiment. By April 24, 1861, Collis had been appointed to the rank of Sergeant Major. He mustered out on August 7, 1861, and immediately set out to raise an independent company of Zouaves, to be known as the Zouaves d'Afrique, which would be modeled after the French military units of the same name. The Zouaves d'Afrique were intended as a bodyguard for Major General Nathaniel Banks, and it took Collis only three days to raise the required number of soldiers. He had in mind that his men wear the traditional garb favored by the fierce French Zouaves, and to emulate them as much as possible."
"On August 25, 1861, the newly formed Zouaves d'Afrique, now headed by Captain Collis, were sent to Ft. Delaware for garrison duty where they quickly became masters of the drill they engaged in. Returning to Philadelphia on November 24, 1861, they rejoined Banks' command."
On the Campaign
Capt (soon to be Colonel) Collis was not at Antietam: he had returned to Philadephia in July 1862 to recruit and organize a full regiment of troops, which he did. They became the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry, with the 'Independent Company' becoming Comany A in the new regiment.
The rest of the War
After the War
He returned to Philadelphia, and the practice of law, and was appointed Assistant City Solicitor. In 1871 he was elected City Solicitor, and reelected in 1874 for a second term.
References & notes
More on the Web
His wife Septima published a book of her war experiences in 1889 - the complete text is online from UNC/Chapel Hill.
2/4/1838; Cork, IRELAND
5/11/1902; burial in Gettysburg National Cemetery, PA