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Federal Detachment

Collis' (PA) Independent Company

"Zouaves d'Afrique"


Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:


   Enfield Rifle


This Detachment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of the Potomac
  Corps - Twelfth Army Corps
  Division - 1st Division, 12th Corps
  Brigade - 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps

Unit history

"This company included many French soldiers who had served as Zouaves in the campaigns of France and who had been identified with the 18th Regiment, in the three months' service. It was recruited at Philadelphia by Charles H. T. Collis, proposing to serve as a bodyguard to Major-Gen. N. P. Banks. The uniform adopted was that of the French Zouaves d'Afrique and was retained by the 114th Regiment, to which it was latter attached, throughout the war."

"The corps was mustered in and sent to Fort Delaware on August 17th, 1861, where it was thoroughly drilled in zouave tactics. Late in September the Zouaves reported to Gen. Banks, at Darnestown, Md. After a period of guard duty the corps went into winter quarters. In the spring of 1862 the command served, for a short time, with Geary's Independent Brigade and then rejoined Gen. Banks in the Shenandoah Valley. In a number of battles and skirmishes, including Middletown, Cedar Mountain, second Bull Run, Chantilly and Antietam, the Zouaves had shown those qualities of dash and bravery for which this type of infantry is usually famous. After the affair at Middletown, Capt. Collis was commissioned colonel and detailed to proceed to Philadelphia and recruit his command to a full regiment. "
(from Taylor)

On the Antietam Campaign

The Zouaves were attached to the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry - there were no officers with the unit at Antietam:

"I would include in this commendation the few remaining men of the company of the Zouaves d'Afrique attached to this regiment; their only remaining officer was necessarily absent sick. Of the company of Zouaves d'Afrique, 3 were wounded, 1 of whom is missing."
- Report of Col Andrews, 2nd Mass.
The reference to "the few remaining men" may be talking about desertions. "Many of the Zouaves felt betrayed by promised bounties not being paid to them, and by Collis going off with his wife to recruit in Philadelphia and live in the lap of luxury." (from Hagerty)


Initial Strength: not known; Wounded (WIA): 3;

Maps Showing this Unit

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #120: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #54: Gordon's Brigade, Williams' Division - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #27: Twelfth Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #28: Williams' Division, Twelfth Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 5 PM
Tablet #55: Gordon's Brigade, Williams' Division - 17 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM

After the Antietam Campaign

The company became Company A, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry, Col Collis commanding, as that unit came into service shortly after Antietam.

References & Notes

History source quoted as from Taylor's Philadelphia in the Civil War, presented on the 114th PA Infantry website, and
Hagerty, Edward J., Collis' Zouaves, Louisiana State University Press, 1997; portions transcribed online by Eric Hess.

We have one individual in the AotW database who was on the Maryland Campaign with this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
F&SCaptCollis, Charles Henry Tucky        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person


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