Tuesday, December 18, 2012

72nd Pennsylvania Regiment/Baxter´s Fire Zouaves

So here are the pictures of the last of the 4 regiment in the Philadelphia Brigade the 72nd Pennsylvania Regiment (3rd California Regiment) or Baxter´s Fire Zouaves.

This was the unit that was most fun to paint, as the perry Zouaves dosen´t have the option for kepis and I didn´t have the energy or inspiration to convert them all I chose to make a mix of different Zouave headgears. I´m not sure if Baxter´s Fire Zouaves wore red firemen skirts, but they give good contrast and makes the unit stand out, so I painted some anyway;)

Now I have worked my way through the 80 minis I got for this little Interlude project, just 1 minis left the Brigade Commander...pictures of him in a day or two:)

Minis from the Perry Plastic Zouaves kit with a few metal Foundry minis mixed in. Flags ofcourse from Flag of War.

The 72nd was recruited from among the firemen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in early August 1861, with DeWitt Clinton Baxter as its colonel, Theodore Hesser as lieutenant colonel, and J. M. De Witt as major. It became part of Edward D. Baker's California Brigade, also composed of Pennsylvania regiments with California designations. After Baker's death at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, Pennsylvania reclaimed the regiments as its own, and each unit was redesignated with a new numeral. After some months of patrolling along the Potomac River, the 72nd was transported to the Peninsula. It saw its first action at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 1, 1862. During the Seven Days Battles, it supported the army's rear guard.

The 72nd was transferred to northern Virginia too late to fight in the Second Battle of Bull Run but did see light skirmishing at the Battle of Chantilly. At the Battle of Antietam, the regiment participated in the attack on the West Woods, being routed along with much of the rest of the division. Nearly half of the regiment was lost, including several officers killed.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, it defended the Angle on July 2 and 3. On the evening of the 2nd, it helped defeat Confederate Brigade General Ambrose R. Wright's attack, advancing just over the stone wall. The next day, it was placed in reserve for the brigade near the copse of trees. During Pickett's Charge, its position served as a rallying point for the left wing of the 71st and two companies of the 106th Pennsylvania, which had been driven back. Despite Brigadier General Alexander S. Webb's best efforts, these troops refused to counterattack for several minutes. This might have been due to the 71st's colorbearers being shot down. (Civil War regiments often followed the regimental flag since orders would have been difficult to hear on the battlefield.) At Gettysburg, Col. Baxter replaced the wounded General Webb in command of the Brigade, and Lt. Col. Hesser replaced him in command of the 72nd Regiment.

The unit fought well during the Overland Campaign and in the beginning stages of the Siege of Petersburg. On June 24, 1864, the regiment was mustered out of service.

A total of 1,600 men fought in the 72nd, of whom 1,053 became casualties, a 65% casualty rate.


  1. Beautiful unit, I'm enjoying this project very much.

  2. A great looking unit, very cool.

  3. I love your Zouaves and your project overall, Dal! It's a colorful but crazy way to dress for a battlefield. When I used to play ACW, the Rebel player always targeted any Zouaves they could shoot at because they're pretty. I'm pretty sure that was true on the actual battlefield as well.

    1. Glad to hear that Mounty, Thank you !

      If you are the elite you should dress like the elite:)

  4. A really beautiful unit, Michael. You have painted the Brigade really fast too!

    1. Thanks Juan !

      I hhave realy tryed to do it quick by some industrial painting of the 80 minis, prime all minis blue at the same time, block paint real slopy and wach with strong tone. Thhe time consuming was the one and only highlight after tha wash, mounting the flags and make the bases:)

      Best regards Michael