Gardes Lafayette

Photo courtesy Michael McAfee, Zouaves: First and the Bravest

55th New York Vol. Inf., Co. F (formerly 55th NYSM)

Mustered in: August 28, 1861.

Transferred to the 38th regiment of infantry: December 21, 1862.


Régis de Trobriand, the 55th NY's colonel.
Original painting by Serge Baudouard, from a period photograph. Courtesy the Club Confédéré et Fédéral de France

Colonel Baron Philipe Regis DeTrobriand was authorized by the War Department, July 25, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry. The 55th State Militia formed the nucleus of this regiment, which was recruited mainly in New York city, and consisted principally of Frenchmen. The regiment was organized in camp near New Dorp, Staten Island, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years August 28, 1861, except Company B, which was not then organized and which joined the regiment in the field in April, 1862. The State recognized the regiment and gave it its numerical designation December 7, 1861. September 29, 1862, the regiment was consolidated into four companies, A, B, D and F; Company A being formed of a new company, just joined; B of B and K, old; D of C and D, old; F of A and F, old; the men of the other companies being distributed among the new ones.


Regimental supporters presented this French tricolor with embroidered “GARDES N.Y.,” “55” within a circular wreath, and “LAFAYETTE S.M.” (from l to rt) to the regiment on January 8, 1862 at Camp Tenallytown. 78” fly x 79” hoist.
Courtesy NY State Div. of Military & Naval Affairs.

The regiment left the State August 31, 1861; served at Fort Gaines, Md., in September, 1861; in Peck's Brigade, Buel's, later Keyes', Division, Army of the Potomac, from October, 1861; in same brigade, Couch's Division, 4th Corps, Army of the Potomac, later 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Corps, from March 13, 1862; in 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 3d Corps, from September, 1862; in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 3d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from November, 1862; and the battalion, Companies A, B, D and F, was transferred, December 21, 1862, to the 38th NY Infantry, as Companies G H, I and K, respectively.


A group of 55th Ny's soldiers at Fort gaines in 1861. Courtesy the Club Confédéré et Fédéral de France.

During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 16 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 20 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 29 enlisted men; total, 65; of whom 5 died in the hands of the enemy.

Info taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

Back to the Zouave unit listing!