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military service on hire to whoever will pay them best. These fierce mountaineers are active and industrivus. They make their
own powder, and employ themselves mainly in working iron and the precious metals. Some of them are skilful armourers, and, strange to say, coiners of wonderful skill; but this last occupation is confined to a single tribe. Specimens of counterfeit French coins, made by these industrious bandits, display unusual skill, combined with great delicacy of workmanship.
The Turkish markets are at all times inundated with these counterfeit coins, which sometimes find their way even into the French markets. When the Zouaoui finds no occupation for his musket, he comes armed with his pickaxe, and offers his services to the European colonists, who appreciate his fidelity and industrious babits.
The warlike propensities of the Zouaouas are so well known in they say,
Algeria, that their countrymen assign to them the honour of being destined to destroy the French power in Africa. The fatal blow,
will be dealt on the foreign dominion near a village named Adni, belonging to the tribe of the Beni-Iraten. The invaders will advance so far, but will there be beaten, and from that day the power of France will decline, until it becomes utterly extinct. Such is the universal opinion in Great Kabylia.
The confederation of the Zouaouia comprises 201 villages, and a population of 94,000 souls, and is the most numerous group of the whole Jurjura.
Such is the people which offered themselves as an auxiliary of France immediately on the conquest of Algeria by that nation; no wonder that their name became popular among the French as that of a friend from the outset.
It appears that an Arab chief, named Abd-er-Rah-man, offered to the French authorities an auxiliary force of 2000 natives, raised exclusively from among the Zouaouas, whom the chief described as the most valiant and trustworthy people of the country. As organized by him, there were to be six officers—namely, two corporals, two sergeants, one lieutenant, and one captain, for every hundred men, with a major for every five hundred, and a chief commander, whom we may call colonel, for each thousand. Marshal Bourmont was struck with Abd-er-Rah-man's proposition, and adopted it in principle ; but his position was so precarious that he did not venture to put it into execution. His successor, Marshal Clauzel, undertook the office for him. On the 1st of October, 1830—that is to say, only six weeks after the proposal of the Arab had been made-a decree of the governor authorized the formation of native battalions, which should bear the name of Zouaves. One only was created at first, the command of which was given to M. Maumet; to this succeeded a second, which however was not completed, because the brilliant promises which at first attracted the natives in swarms were not fulfilled. Desertion thinned the ranks of the first battalion, and the second contained only half its complement. The latter was commanded by Captain Duvivier, since become one of the most illustrious generals of the army of Africa. The corps had well nigh been dissolved almost as soon as it was formed; its commanders, who had to contend with the perpetual jealousies of their troops, prevented this consummation only by the most discreet and energetic perseverance. The corps of Zouaves was to be composed principally of natives, though Frenchmen and foreigners were admissible. Towards the
end of 1832 the two battalions were incorporated into one, and a decree of the 7th March 1833, fixed the constitution of the corps on a regular basis. Of the twelve companies which composed the battalion, two only were to be French, but each native company might admit twelve French soldiers. Foreigners were absolutely excluded. Vacancies were to be filled up by volunteers, and French soldiers were received from the regiments of the line. The enlistment of the natives extended only to three years, but that of the French was the same as in the service generally.
By a new royal decree, dated December 25th, 1835, the Zouaves were again divided into two battalions, commanded by a lieutenantcolonel, and composed each of four native companies and two French. The uniform adopted was from the beginning nearly the same as it is at present, with the exception that the officers, who were originally dressed very nearly in the way as the common soldiers, had now the option of retaining the French uniform. Some of them tried the Turkish costume; but whether this disguise impeded their march, or whether they felt some remorse in having abandoned the national dress, they soon resumed their uniform. This is to be regretted, for the costume of the Zouaves is far more elegant and picturesque than the frock-coat, tight trousers, and shako of the French infantry. By degrees, the natives (the Arabs at least) who prefer the cavalry service withdrew from the Zouaves. As for the Kabyls, political motives influenced them in abandoning the line which they had at first pursued with considerable eagerness ; so that the corps of Zouaves has ended in being composed almost exclusively of Frenchmen, and among them a large proportion of Parisians.
The important services rendered by the Zouaves in Africa are well known. In all military expeditions they have always been placed in the most perilous post ; no occasion of distinguishing themselves has ever been denied them-a privilege of which they have shown themselves nobly worthy. The consequence has been, that military men who have desired rapid promotion, acquired at the point of the sword, have always been anxious to serve among the Zouaves. Without enumerating a whole host of distinguished officers trained in this brilliant school, the corps of Zouaves has supplied generals Duvivier, Lamoricière, Cavaignac, Ladmirault, Canrobert, and Bourbaki. Such names declare plainly enough what place in the military history of French Algeria must be occupied by the valiant body of troops which gained there it's name and military reputation.
The uniform of the Zouaves, is a white turban decorated with red stuff, and in summer, white trousers and vest; in winter a kind of cloak made of cloth, a vest of red cloth with blue facings, and red trousers. The corporals are distinguished by two stars worked in silk on the breast. The sergeants have the stars of gold and silk mixed; the lieutenants have them worked in silver, the captains in gold ; the superior officers have no further distinctive mark.
Each man is armed with a musket, a pair of pistols, and a yatagan, or Algerine sabre.
One striking peculiarity of the Zouaves is their fondness for tame animals. The number of cats kept by the corps is most remarkable, but only in the camp but in the field; for the Zouave goes to the fi unt of the battle with his cat perched on his knapsack, where, amid the roar of artillery and the charge of cavalry, poor puss site at her ease, heedless of the din and unconscious of the danger!
C. A. J.
How beautiful is night!
Breaks the serene of heaven.
Beneath her steady ray,
The desert-circle spreads,