How to Become a Zouave (March 23, 1862)


Sgt. Robert F. Beasley

[Special Correspondence of the Sunday Mercury.]


PROSPECT HILL, VA., March 16th.

On the March–Clear Weather and Cedar Huts–Rain–Off Again in Another Direction–Camp Misery and its Pleasures–How to Become a Zouave.

 On the 10th, at 10 o’clock, the regiment marched from Camp Tennally to reinforce General McCall, at Manassas. Before we got there we got orders to halt. The weather cleared, and the boys made cedar huts, and we stayed there until Friday, and then we marched back to Camp Misery ; and we halted again, and we got orders to prepare for the night. The hills were soon illuminated with camp-fires, and it began to get cloudy. On Saturday, at 1 o’clock. P. M., it began to rain in torrents : and there we were, without anything to keep us dry, for we had to leave our tents at Camp Tennally when we marched. To-day (the 16th) at ten o’clock we were formed into line of battle, and we marched back to Camp Tennally, where we got orders to be in readiness to march to-morrow, the 17th. It is said we will go to re-inforce the Burnside expedition. I hope we will have better weather than we had in Camp Misery. We had to stand up all night.

If you want to be a Zouave you must not eat for three weeks, and must not drink for two weeks, and must not sleep for one week, and then you will be a Zouave.

Yours, C. F. B.

P.S.–There are two more members of Hose 43 that I did not mention before : Norman Provost, Sixth Connecticut Regiment, and William V. Malloy, Ninth Regiment, N. Y. S. M.

Letter to the Sunday Mercury, March 23, 1862.

Note: Despite being signed “C. F. B.” it is clear from its content that this letter was actually written by “R. F. B., Co. A.” (which is assumed to be Sergeant Robert F. Beasley of Co. A)  – John Tierney

For biographical information on Sgt. R.F.Beasley see:


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