Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Zouave

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ZOUAVE, a soldier belonging to the light infantry corps of the French army, which were organized in Algeria soon after the conquest of that country in 1830, and were originally intended to be composed exclusively of the Kabyle tribe. This idea, however, was soon abandoned, and since 1840 the corps has been composed almost entirely of French soldiers, recruited from the veterans of ordinary line regiments, who are distinguished for their fine physique and tried courage. They still, however, retain the picturesque dress originally adopted, consisting of a loose dark-blue jacket and waistcoat, baggy Turkish trousers, yellow leather leggins, white gaiters, a sky-blue sash, and a red fez with yellow tassel. The few corps composed of Algerines still connected with the French army are now known as Turcos. The name was also given to several regiments which served on the side of the North in the American Civil War, but these were only distinguished from the other volunteer regiments by their picturesque uniform.