Union 9th New York Infantry

  • American Civil War
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Also known as ''Hawkin's Zouaves'' after their Commanding Officer Rush Hawkins, The 9th New York Infantry was formed from volunteers to The Union Army in 1861 – with the start of The American Civil War. The Unit styled themselves after the colorful French Military Units known as Zouaves. They wore the traditional balloon pantaloons and French Shako Jacket (embellished). Unlike most Zouave Units of The Civil War, The 9th maintained a primary color scheme of Federal Blue. They would also retain their colorful clothing until late in The War.


So popular a Unit, that over 2,000 Men volunteered to fight. When officially enlisted in US Service, and later transported by Ferry to training camps, as many as (3) of the largest Vessels had to be found to move The Regiment. They were assigned to The Army of The Potomac 3rd Division.


Ten Battalions in all, The 9th fought in one of the first attempts to take The Confederate Capital of Richmond and later participated in the horror that was known as The Battle of Antietam (1862). They would also fight in the epic winter engagement of Fredericksburg (Virginia), as being one of The Regiments who made on of (22) futile attempts to storm the heavily defended and entrenched Rebel positions there. The Regiments lost over half their numbers at this engagement. They also participated in a dark Chapter of Civil War History as being on of the US Army Units dispatched to The City of New York (their Home), to quell The 1863 New York Draft Riots (in which hundreds of Civilians were killed and wounded).


The 9th also fell under a particular loophole in 19th Century US Military Law. While this would later be changed to the ''duration'' of a Conflict, and while some Units re-enlisted on their own nonetheless, The 9th did not. Colonel Hawkins still was able to convince some ex-members to rejoin and The 9th New York Veterans Regiment was formed. They were merged into several other smaller such Units and served the rest of The War as Sharpshooters.